Top Scout And Local Troop Set Record Sales

by Nina Li Scout And Local Troop Set Record Sales
sc.100• Local Scout troop earns title of top Boy Scout troop in Los Angeles area after raising more than $31,000.

Founded in 1910,  Boy Scouts of America has more than two million members, including many in the South Bay. From elementary school to high school, hundreds of boys join troops from an early age and work toward Eagle Scout.
Besides learning about the wilderness and partaking in different hands-on experiences, the Scouts contribute to funding the program through selling popcorn.
This year, Palos Verdes Peninsula Boy Scout Troop 378 raised more than $31,000, earning them the title of top Boy Scout troop in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
In particular, one Scout, 13-year-old Gregory Monzon, sold more than $6,550 worth of popcorn. Named the top Boy Scout in the Greater Los Angeles Area, Monzon has sold popcorn for the past three years, but this year his sales were off the charts. In his first year of selling, he raised about $1,500 and the next year he raised about $4,200.
“I feel extremely {proud of my} accomplishment in selling a lot of popcorn,” Monzon said. “When the last popcorn-selling season started, I thought for sure I could not top my own amount the year before. So, I was elated about selling significantly more than last year.”
sc.250Every year, the Greater Los Angeles Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America holds a popcorn fundraiser. About 70 percent of the money raised from the sales goes back to support Scouting, and 30 percent of the profits fund the activities chosen by the Scouts.
When applying to be an Eagle Scout, the Board of Review notes how the fund was distributed and exactly what the Scout used his money for.
“I think popcorn-selling really helps the Scouts,” said Monzon. “It teaches them about interacting with others and how to be more social with new people. It also teaches them about being assertive and how to speak in arguments, debates and meetings.”
To sell the Trail’s End popcorn, Monzon went door-to-door and stood in front of local grocery stores such as Ralphs and Bristol Farms. For seven weekends, he stood for two hours every Saturday and Sunday selling his popcorn. Popcorn prices range from $10 to $25, depending on the size of the bag.
As the sales pile up, the Scouts earn prizes and have different incentives that motivate them to sell more. Once the Scout has sold $2,500 worth of popcorn, a percentage of the money goes into a scholarship fund for the Scout’s college education.
There are also other incentives, such as recognition by the Council, a special party, drones, toys, and more. Monzon’s father, Franklin Monzon, attributes some of his son’s success to the greater incentives given to the Scouts this year.
The adult leader of the troop, Philip Chung, recognizes Franklin Monzon, nicknamed “the Popcorn Kernel”, for spearheading the boys’ efforts. Each year, the troop leaders meet at the Los Angeles Council and discuss ways to motivate the boys to sell.
“I have to give Franklin a lot of credit because I think he has done an amazing job inspiring the boys to sell popcorn,” Chung said.
“That is really all we need: adults inspiring the kids to sell because, otherwise, they just think of it as standing outside supermarkets for hours and being a waste of time. But if you tell them there is a bigger purpose to it, they get motivated and they see the results. They realize the popcorn literally sells itself because people want to give to the organization.”
Besides the financial aspect of selling popcorn, there is a deeper , underlying meaning behind the sales, Chung said.
“We realize that most of the people are not trying to buy popcorn, “We are not trying to sell popcorn. We are trying to sell the Scouting program by having people buy popcorn from us, which keeps the program alive and gets Scouts interested. It is a way for them to give back to the Scouting organization.”
“Boy Scouts teaches young boys different social skills as well as physical skills that they may not learn elsewhere. As they participate in the program throughout the years, their efforts and adventures shape them into the people they are now,” said Chung.
“I have never actually been a Scout myself,” said Chung. “I think for me, Boy Scouts was a way for my sons to get involved in something that had wonderful activities where they also got to learn things such as citizenship and leadership. Those lessons were part of the reason I got my kids involved.”
“Whether a Scout is outgoing or reserved, once they put on the uniform, they are all a part of the same family who share the same goals as one another. The boys created a community of opportunity and growth, allowing themselves to learn while having fun,” said Chung.
“Gregory is kind of quiet and reserved in school, and he is not that into sports so Boy Scouts gives him a group where he has confidence and can come out of his shell,” said Franklin Monzon, Gregory’s father.
“He has learned good skills in terms of camping and first aid. However, I think most importantly he has gained confidence by working with other boys his age and can function well in a group. Sometimes he takes leadership roles, sometimes he does not, but he learns how to work well with other boys and that is the main thing, said Franklin Mason.

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