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Frequently Asked Questions


Find answers to your frequently asked Scouting questions 

Guidelines and Procedures 

Checking Out Product to Families

Some units require families to sign a contract for product checked out.  Doing so allows the unit to know what product each family is responsible for.  If product is not returned, the family is then responsible for the retail cost of product.

Scouts’ sales tracking depending on how the sale is organized. The unit may need to track individual Scout sales.  In this case, ensure that Scouts’ sales are accurately recorded so they are credited the correct commission earned.  Each unit tracks finances differently.  Please ensure families are financially covering costs of Scouting so their participation is not at the expense of other Scouts.     

Customer Payments

Decide in advance if customers are required to pay for product prior to ordering it.  When collecting payment from customers, checks should be made payable to the unit (Pack 1234) and then deposited into the unit’s checking account.  Checks should not be made payable to an individual or the council. Leaving a receipt with customers is also a good practice. Make sure receipts include the Scout's first name, unit and expected delivery date.

Monetary Gifts

Money may be accepted in lieu of a purchase and should be consolidated with other monetary gifts into military donations.  This ensures gifts are being used as the donor had intended and both Scouts and our military troops benefit. Any gifts collected can be credited as sales to individual Scouts for Scout Rewards purposes.  Military gifts can be ordered for pick up at both the initial and final distributions (due September 3 and November 3, respectively) in denominations of $30 and $50.

Commissions, Payments, and Returns

Units keep commission earned and pay Crossroads of America Council for product ordered. Invoices are sent to the unit popcorn kernel. Unit Kernels may view unit invoices online any time through the "Popcorn System" at trails-end.com.

Payments may be submitted to any Crossroads of America Council Service Center between September 23 and December 6. An initial payment of 15% of your initial order is due to council by October 15, 2013. To minimize mistakes, please pay with one check from the unit's checking account each time a payment is submitted. Checks should be made payable to "Crossroads of America Council, BSA" Do not turn in multiple checks at a time to pay for your unit's popcorn balance.

Final payment is due no later than December 6, 2013 by the close of business to any Crossroads of America Council Service Center. IF mailing payment, envelop must be postmarked by December 6, 2013.

Returns will be accepted from the start of the sale through November 5, 2013. ONLY FULL CASES OF UNDAMAGED PRODUCT in excellent condition may be returned. See more under Product Returns in the Unit Leader Guide.

Sales Methods

Scouts can participate in the sale through several methods.  Face-to-face sales methods including, “Show and Sell”, “Show and Deliver”, and “Take Order”, are tried and true. Selling online through the Online Sales System shows significant promise to reach customers out of town. For units with the right connections, corporate sales have been shown to be a good way to sell a significant amount of product to one customer.  Whatever method Scouts choose, they have the brand recognition of Scouting to help sell product and support the unit’s year-round programs.

“Show and Sell” – Sometimes referred to as storefront sales, this method involves coordinating booths at high foot traffic locations throughout your community.  Trail's End research shows about 1 in 10 contacts will result in a sale.  The method averages $28 per Scout per hour.  Begin the reservation process in the summer for access to the best locations. Product needed for this part of the sale must be ordered by September 9.  Scouts may begin selling on Saturday, September 21.

“Show and Deliver”– This is the most effective sales method (averaging $99 per hour per Scout) and involves the Scout soliciting orders at the customer’s home.  This method is preferred for neighbors close to home, parent’s coworkers, close friends and family.  Trail's End research shows about 3 in every 5 contacts will result in a sale.  This is an area of great opportunity as 80% of homeowners are not contacted about buying popcorn.  Through this method, the order is immediately fulfilled as product is brought along (in wagon or vehicle).  If the desired product is not on hand, an order can be taken with the product being delivered when the order can be fulfilled, whether out of unit’s inventory or after the final product distribution the week of November 12. If an order is taken, leaving a receipt with the customer is good practice. Make sure receipts include the Scout's first name, unit and expected delivery date. Product needed for this part of the sale must be ordered by September 3.  Scouts may begin selling on Saturday, September 21.

“Take Order” – This method entails Scouts collecting orders and writing them on their order form. A Scout turns in the order form to a member of the unit’s popcorn team. Product is ordered for the final product distribution after November 12. Orders are delivered by the Scout’s family. It is at unit’s discretion whether money is collected up front or upon delivery. Many parents/guardians assist their Scout with this process by soliciting orders at places of employment. Leaving a receipt with customers is good practice. Make sure receipts include the Scout's first name, unit and expected delivery date. Scouts may begin selling on Saturday, September 21. Products needed to fulfill these orders must be ordered through the “Popcorn System” no later than November 3.

Online Sales - This computer-based method works well for Scouts to sell to out-of-town friends and family.  It also works well for tech-savvy older Scouts and Venturers who are familiar with social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.  Scouts set up their account on the Trails End Website (with parental approval if under the age of 13). Perhaps best of all, the customer pays securely online and the product is shipped directly to the consumer.  Commission earned from online sales is 35%.  Online sales between August 1 and November 3 are also eligible for the fall rewards promotional period.

Corporate Sales – Focus on companies who give out year-end or holiday gifts to employees or customers.  Banks, insurance agents, car dealers, doctors, dentists and Realtors are all good examples.  If a company is interested and needs assistance with special ordering, please contact the District Kernel. Scouts may begin selling on Saturday, September 21.