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Missing Popcorn Sale Money

Rebecca sent in this question:

I’m looking for information on how units have handled when popcorn money doesn’t reconcile. We had a new popcorn chair this year and money is way off. Sadly our local Council pretty much said it was our problem not theirs. We’re meeting with our chartered organization¬†tonight. I would like to give the volunteer the benefit of doubt, however our cubmaster disagrees. Any input would be much appreciated.

Thanks for the question Rebecca.

I certainly wouldn’t assume that the popcorn chair deliberately did something wrong, but if the numbers don’t add up, then they don’t add up. So somebody needs to look at the numbers and figure out why you are short.¬† Maybe some of the Cub Scouts didn’t get all of their money turned in and they just need to be reminded. A lot of it depends on how the sale was conducted. Was it individual Scouts taking orders or was it some sort of unit show and sell event? Perhaps your popcorn chair is just not the sort of person who keeps detailed records.

In the end, I’d be careful about putting too much blame on the volunteer, especially if it was some sort of honest mistake. It will make it that much more difficult to find a volunteer next time.

Without knowing the specifics it is difficult to say what to do. Each unit and the people involved are unique and have their own dynamic.

Readers, what do you think? Feel free to comment below.

4 Responses to Missing Popcorn Sale Money

  1. April Eldridge December 11, 2017 at 5:23 PM #

    Has anyone taken a look at the scouts online accounts? Maybe some sales were written on the take order form and they were actually conducted online. It would account for the money discrepancy.

  2. Brian December 22, 2017 at 9:12 PM #

    I agree, don’t necessarily blame the popcorn chair. Approach the unit kernel and see what they say. Work together to find the error and find a solution so it doesn’t happen again in the future. Your attitude to the entire situation will set the tone for future assistance with the parents in your unit.

    Everyone has their own way of tracking sales, but our council provides a tracking spreadsheet (a basic version and an extended version) which I think helps tremendously.

  3. Julinda September 19, 2018 at 1:14 PM #

    It could easily be an honest mistake, but as others said, it has to be figured out. If scouts turned their money in, the correct amount of money should be there, and if not, the chair should (voluntarily) make it up!

    As far as the Council goes, they are correct in saying it’s not their problem. All they know is how much popcorn was charged to your pack. They don’t know what happened after it was picked up.

    And yes, good record-keeping is important! To often in volunteer roles we take whoever is willing, but especially where money is involved, it needs to be a detail-oriented person and of course a trustworthy one.

  4. Popcorn Allergy October 9, 2018 at 4:22 PM #

    Our pack had a multi-thousand dollar order put in at the END of the sale beyond the orders turned in by the scouts. The chair points fingers, claiming they were told to, and their Scouts sell WAY after the cutoff. The multi-thousand dollar still sits, expired. But hey, their kid was the top seller, and the maths are fuzzy from there…

    “it needs to be a detail-oriented person and of course a trustworthy one. ” Or, the cubmaster’s headaches will be never-ending.

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