Protect your popcorn sales – and your customers

popcorn+cards_250It’s that time of year again – popcorn season! And soon, our Scouts will be knocking on doors, standing on street corners and in front of grocery stores offering the tasty treats of popcorn and other goodies as a thank-you gift to our friends and neighbors for their financial support of Scouting in our communities, making it possible for our young people to enjoy fun and adventure while the values of Scouting are instilled.. (And you thought they were just selling popcorn!)

And just as much as our Scouts struggle to make the sale, we struggle with the finances. We guesstimate how much of each product to order, find some place to store it when it arrives, allocate it by den or patrol, and take back the unsold inventory. We also have to deal with the money, which could be the most daunting aspect of all.

In the past, most people paid cash or wrote a check, but it has become more of a cashless world, and Scouting needs to keep up with the times. Continue reading “Protect your popcorn sales – and your customers”

Summer topics to think about now

checklist_200Although Scouting is a year-round activity, many troop and pack committees don’t hold regular meetings during the summer months. There’s either just not enough business to make holding a meeting worthwhile, or there aren’t enough committee members around to be able to get anything done.

If your unit committee follows this pattern, there are a few things you should consider before you adjourn for the summer. Now is a good time to think about putting them on the agenda for your next committee meeting. Continue reading “Summer topics to think about now”

The dreaded data dump

dumptruck_250You know the routine. It happens every month.

The committee gets together for the monthly committee meeting. The meeting gets off to a late start because the chairman waits for stragglers (not a good idea, and the subject of another article). The treasurer goes into great detail about who has paid for camp and who hasn’t, how much last month’s groceries cost for each patrol, and who owes what.

The advancement coordinator goes down the list of each advancement item that was signed off, who earned merit badges last month and how many Scouts haven’t advanced in the last six, nine, or twelve months. (Or in a Cub Scout pack: Johnny earned a belt loop. Jorge earned a belt loop. Rajiv earned a belt loop….)

Then, someone joins the meeting late and everything gets repeated. Continue reading “The dreaded data dump”

Course correction for your journey

JTE-White_250A few weeks ago I answered a question about whether a unit should rearrange its adult roster to take advantage of points available on the Journey to Excellence. By registering a den leader as an assistant Cubmaster instead, the pack would qualify for additional JTE points and possibly a higher level.

It’s not a good idea to fudge the numbers this way, because it doesn’t accurately reflect where your unit stands, and takes away an opportunity to realize where you can improve your service to your youth members.

While you shouldn’t try to optimize your JTE score this way, you can certainly use it to suggest a course correction for your Journey in the coming year. Continue reading “Course correction for your journey”

Financial practices for units: New-Age financial products

generic_creditcardsThe way we handle and manage money has changed significantly with the information age. Cash will always be with us, and checks are still in use, but electronic funds transfer is becoming the way we move money around.

Should a smallish enterprise like a Scouting unit take advantage of these innovations? Let’s look at some situations, and see if they make sense for you. Continue reading “Financial practices for units: New-Age financial products”