The young men from Boy Scout Troop 220 and its associated Cub Pack 222 mount an energetic fundraising effort each year to ensure the costs of their activities are manageable. Among their objectives: deny no young fellow the pleasure, knowledge, creativity and experience of scouting because of a lack of funds.
This major fundraiser involves sales of a very large variety of packaged popcorn. Some of it is themed, as in Seattle Seahawks’ packaging, just right for tailgate parties. Some is downright fancy. All is delicious.
I met a couple cubs on duty at the Food Market in Key Center, where, accompanied by adults, they’d been permitted to set up shop. The group was satisfied with its sales.
“I enjoy Cub Scouts because we learn how to be safe,” said Matthew Winn, who has been with the Pack 222 Webelos for four years. “We go camping, and we support each other. Cub Scouts is like a big family.”
Winn’s companion was Timmie Calhoun, who has achieved the rank of Star in Troop 220. Calhoun’s dad, Tim, was Pack 222’s cubmaster before he became Troop 220’s assistant scout master when Timmie advanced.
“Selling popcorn to help raise money for Pack 222 is an opportunity for a scout to earn his way into summer camp and to learn how to sell products,” Timmie said.
This is a big deal. In addition to Key Center, sales were conducted at Lake Kathryn Village with the blessing of Cost Less Pharmacy and the Peninsula Market. They also were at Albertsons in Port Orchard and at QFC in Belfair.
“Boy Scouts of America receives 70 percent of the proceeds from this fundraiser,” Pack 222 Cubmaster Spencer Wiklund said. “Of that, Key Peninsula scouts receive 40 percent. Both Pack 222 and Troop 220 have goals of $20,000 in sales this year. For the pack, this provides about 90 percent of its funding. For boys of Troop 220, it is all based on productivity and willingness to put in the time.
“Being a boy-led organization, popcorn provides 100 percent of the funding for some scouts while almost nothing for those that choose to raise money elsewhere,” Wiklund said. “Last year, between the scouts and cub scouts, we sold $35,000 in popcorn, which generated $15,000 for the two groups to use over the last year.”
Wiklund said all sales are in cash, and they deal directly with the Boy Scouts of America’s Pacific Harbors Council. No middle man involved.
An email from Wiklund early in this year’s sales effort sort of said it all: “Wow ... I think our boys have gone above and beyond this weekend,” he wrote.
At the time, the scouts had raised $8,683.53, of which Pack 222 had raised $4,029.52 and Troop 220 $4,654.01.
“There is still time for more sales, more opportunities to make sure kids who want to be scouts will be able to reach that goal, and that the costs of the scouts’ many, very rewarding, activities can be kept accessible to all who wish to participate,” Wiklund wrote.
For more information, call Wiklund at 360-536-7232.Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for The Peninsula Gateway. He can be reached at 253-884-3319 or by email at hmcmnp1000@ centurytel.net.