Steps to a Successful Popcorn Sale

Our units that have the most success selling popcorn typically follow our step-by-step guide below. Read this guide to learn all about how to run your Popcorn Sale! Remember, you can always contact our Popcorn Team with any questions or if you need help!

  1. Identify and recruit your unit’s Popcorn Kernel. This is the adult volunteer who will be in charge of your unit’s sale. It is best to recruit this person in the spring before everyone breaks for summer. They should be enthusiastic about the sale and share this excitement with your unit! Ideally, this adult should not already be a key leader in your unit; you do not want to overwhelm an existing leader (having trouble recruiting a kernel? Contact our Popcorn Team).
  2. Have your Kernel register your unit to sell popcorn at For the 2019 Popcorn Season units should still register in Popcorn Manager. We are transitioning to the Trail’s End Popcorn System for the 2019 sale but sign up will still continue in Popcorn Manager for this year. We will transfer your unit and main unit kernel to the Trail’s End System. This is the online interface where your Kernel will review your initial popcorn order, set unit and Scout goals and site sales and view and/or enter Scouts’ individual sales. Your Kernel can still use Popcorn Manager to review last year’s order and make a plan for what quantity to order this year in the Trail’s End System. Units will be able to trade unsold popcorn or fill additional popcorn needs with other units by using our Facebook Group NEIC Popcorn Trade Board and Kernel Support Group.
  3. See where popcorn fits into your unit’s annual budget and establish goals. Do you want to raise a certain dollar amount to fund your activities for the year? Do you want your Scouts to raise money for camp? A high adventure trip? Scouts should also set their own personal goals. Popcorn can be a great motivator for Scouts to “pay their own way” towards activities and outings they want to attend. The Trail’s End Virtual Sales Planner is another great resource to help plan your sale.
  4. Review the 2019 Popcorn Calendar and plan your unit events accordingly. Make sure that your Kernel or another volunteer can attend the Council Popcorn Kickoff, Distribution, Super Sunday, and Final Distribution.
  5. Have your Kernel or another volunteer attend the Council’s Popcorn Kickoff on August 7, 2019. They will get to sample popcorn products, learn about the new prize and incentive programs, sign up for popcorn distribution, and receive the unit’s sales materials.
  6. Help your Kernel plan a Popcorn Kickoff for your Scouts and parents. Many of our units do this at the first meeting of the year to get everyone pumped about popcorn! At the kickoff, your Kernel will introduce your families to the Popcorn Sale, showcase the product lineupdistribute sales materials, and review safety and proper sales techniques. Show Scouts all the cool prizes and incentives they can earn. Show the parents how popcorn benefits their Scout and the unit. Scouts learn salesmanship and the Scouting value of “paying their own way.” They are also eligible for Trail’s End Scholarships. Selling Popcorn is the lowest-risk, highest return fundraiser in Scouting.
  7. Pick up your popcorn or have it delivered. You can sign up for delivery or a pick up time at Popcorn Kickoff on August 7, 2019. If you are having your popcorn delivered, please make sure that you are available during the delivery window and have a check ready and payable to Shur-way Moving & Cartage. Delivery rates are generally between $225 and $275, but prices vary based on size of order and distance.
  8. Get out there and sell! Scouts can: sell online any time during the year, do “take-order sales” (selling using just the order form) starting August 7, 2019, and can take part in unit “site sales” (selling at or in front of a local business or event) or individual “show and sells” (going door-to-door with the product) beginning September 6, 2019. Remember that the sale ends October 27, 2019.
  9. Keep Accurate Records. Have Scouts download and use the Trail’s End App for sales. Collect money when popcorn is purchased and have any checks made payable to your unit. Keep track of each Scout’s sales in the Trail’s End Leader Portal. Schedule a time at end of the sale to collect outstanding orders and money from the Scouts. Set a time after you receive your popcorn for your Scouts to deliver any take-orders.
  10. Settle up with the Council on November 3, 2019 Super Sunday at Shur-Way in Libertyville. You will need: one check payable to the Northeast Illinois Council, your final popcorn order if needed, your final patch/incentive order, and any unsold popcorn (excluding any chocolate products) that needs to be returned.
  11. Have a VICTORY Celebration! Recognize your Kernel, Scouts, and volunteers for all of their hard work!