“Oh boy oh boy oh boy!” a small voice says running to the phone.
Henry Krieger, a second-grader at Swigert Elementary, gets on the phone. He is one of the top three popcorn sellers in the Stapleton Cub Scout Pack 34.
“I feel like I’m really good at it,” he says.
For three months the 35-boy pack has traveled the neighborhood selling cheddar, caramel, chocolate-drizzle and butter-light popcorn. Krieger’s personal favorites are caramel and chocolate-drizzle. “I’ve had a lot of popcorn in my life, you know,” he says.
In 2011, the first year selling, the Cub Scouts had $3,000 in popcorn sales. Last year it was $10,000, and this year they expect more than $20,000 in sales by the end of the selling season, December 1.
Seventy percent of the money goes to Colorado Cub Scouts, and 30 percent goes to product development, marketing and sales materials, manufacturers, packaging and shipping.
Last year the money paid for the pack to camp overnight at Cherry Creek Reservoir. The funds also go toward pins and badges, transportation to events, equipment for neighborhood cleanups and other activities.
Most boys do not sell for the full three months, but Krieger has stuck with it. He averages $150 a day, two or three times a week. He hopes to ultimately reach his goal of $2,750.
His personal technique involves loading popcorn boxes into an unwanted family stroller with two broken wheels. Tipping it onto its two good back wheels, he pulls it like “a popcorn semi-trailer.”
“Popcorn Kernel” Signe Martin organizes the popcorn sales each year. She says, “The boys go from hiding behind order sheets to giving high fives and knuckles to customers.”
Krieger says, “Well, you know, when you start selling stuff you become a little nervous. It just happens. It’s the first time I’ve ever sold anything.” He feels like he can sell popcorn to almost anyone now.
Once, a few scouts were selling in the neighborhood at the same time as a woman was selling solar panels. They kept running into each other until eventually the woman stopped them and purchased the largest, most expensive box of popcorn. Unfortunately, the boys could not afford a solar panel in return.
Because of colder and shorter days, the Cub Scouts are winding down their season.
Krieger plans to continue on to be a Boy Scout as a teen but isn’t sure about Eagle Scout, the highest level of Scouts. “That’s, you know, quite a long way away. I’m at least going to be a bear. I’m a wolf right now. In third grade I’ll be a bear.”