Boy Scout troops struggling to sell popcorn without door-to-door sales

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Normally, at this time of year, Boy Scouts would be going door to door selling the popcorn that funds so many of their activities throughout the year. But because the Scouts are practicing social distancing, they can’t.

They’re having to do their sales all online, which isn’t bringing in enough sales.

“The challenge is being able to get in front of people,” John Sumner, scout executive for the Cornhusker Council said.

Sixteen counties in southeast Nebraska make up the Cornhusker Council and normally between all of them they’d sell nearly one million dollars worth of popcorn. This year, Sumner said they’re looking at selling about $450,000 worth.

“We put a third of our budget together just based on popcorn sales,” Sumner said. “So if you cut a third in half, that’s a huge part of our budget.”

He said cuts will be necessary. Scouts may not have the same materials or resources they’d normally have, they may not be able to fill vacant positions and campers could notice their facilities are up to the same quality they normally would be, Sumner said.

“That’s basically the consequence of our popcorn sales being down,” Sumner said.

He said the good news is the Cornhusker Council is doing a lot better than other councils across the country.

“We’re going to do the best we can with what we have,” Sumner said. “Our recruiting numbers are still at the top of the country, our budget is still healthy, our cash flow is still healthy.”

He said most councils are only selling 15% of the popcorn they would on a good year, while the Cornhusker Council is expecting to sell 50%.

“We’re doing a lot better than a lot of other places,” he said.

Popcorn sales go until Sunday night at midnight, go to to to find a local troop to support.

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