There is such a thing as too much popcorn, and Cub Scout Pack 341 learned that the hard way: $7,000 worth of the snack packaged up in 360 bags and boxes in one leader's garage.
"This is major, bigtime popcorn," said an astonished Jason Akai, committee chair for Pack 341. Packages of caramel and kettle, chocolate-coated and cheese, popped and microwaveable kernels are stacked nearly 6-feet high in his garage. An ordering snafu nearly doubled the group's annual shipment for the popcorn sales, one of the pack's biggest fundraisers.
All that popcorn has landed them in a pickle—Akai and leaders must find a way to sell it.
To date, the group of first- through fifth-graders have sold $1,500 of the popcorn.
The popcorn sale is a fundraiser for all groups under the Calumet Council umbrella, and 70 percent of proceeds go to scouts, with half of that allotted specifically for Pack 341. Local troop and pack leaders then use the money as needed. Pack 341 typically sets it aside to cover summer camp fees for the group, which includes 50 boys from and Tinley Park. The council was unable to take back any of the shipment and left the pack responsible for covering the cost.
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Each cardboard box contains 18 bags of popcorn, priced at $20 for the box. Larger bags go for $20, with some smaller bags priced at $10.
The scouts swear by their own favorite flavors: for 7-year-old Kyle McLean, it's the chocolate-dipped popcorn. For 7-year-old Peter Akai, it's toffee-flavored. Josh Slaviero, 7, swears by the caramel.
Akai hopes local families or businesses will be interested in taking the extra popcorn off their hands. If businesses would like to donate to the pack instead of purchasing popcorn, the donation is tax-deductible.
Anyone interested in purchasing popcorn or helping out the pack can contact Akai via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.