Boy, cub scouts named top popcorn sellers

Noel Lyn Smith
Andrew Grobler, 12, left, of Boy Scout Troop 325; Joe Paul, 12, of Boy Scout Troop 152; and Dominic Burnham, 10, of Cub Scout Pack 179, pose for a photo on Wednesday after being recognized for achieving the top popcorn sales figures in the region.

FARMINGTON – After selling items like kettle corn microwave popcorn and jalapeño cheddar cheese popcorn, three local members of the Boy Scouts of America claimed top regional spots during the annual sale.

Boy Scouts Andrew Grobler and Joe Paul, and Cub Scout Dominic Burnham were named the top three gourmet popcorn sellers in the Anasazi District of the Great Southwest Council.

Cub Scouting is for boys ages 8 through 10, and Boy Scouting is for boys ages 11 through 17, according to the organization's website.

This year's sale occurred from the middle of August to the middle of October. Grobler led with the way with $10,065 in sales, while Paul sold $5,858 and Burnham finished with $2,600.

Grobler, 12, was also named the state's top seller, the second time he has accomplished that feat. Paul, 12, finished second.

"It feels amazing," Grobler said during an interview this week about claiming the state's top spot.

The boys said they could not have reached their sales totals without the continued support of the community.

"We represent scouting when we go out, we don't represent ourselves. We're going out to support scouting. We're not selling popcorn, we're selling scouting," Grobler said.

Together, the boys contributed to a district sales total of approximately $80,000, according to Catherine Walker Grobler, Andrew's mother.

When asked about how they manage to sell so much popcorn, Paul said, "Devotion," then chuckled.

Grobler is a member of Boy Scouts Troop 325 and started participating in the organization six years ago.

Paul, who is a member of Boy Scouts Troop 152, joined seven years ago. He said his interest stemmed from his father’s Boy Scouts service.

“We learn lots of skills, lots of leadership opportunities. It goes on a permanent record if you’re a Boy Scout,” Paul said.

Burnham, 10, is part of Cub Scouts Pack 179 and followed his brother’s footsteps five years ago by joining the organization.

“He told me about the experience he gets, the camping he does, so I decided to join,” Burnham said.

Dominic Burnham, 10, left, of Cub Scout Pack 179; Joe Paul, 12, of Boy Scout Troop 152; and Andrew Grobler, 12, of Boy Scout Troop 325, were the top sellers in the Anasazi District's annual popcorn fundraiser.

Each one is a veteran popcorn seller, and the boys have developed their skills by selling to local businesses, participating in show and sell, and contacting previous customers.

“Some people have supported me when I was 6 years old until now. I don’t have to say my sales pitch anymore — they just know it,” Grobler said.

“When they see you coming to their door in person, they know,” Paul added.

Burnham recalled waking up early on the weekends to complete show and sell, which is when a pack or troop receives permission to sell outside of a business.

“I went every time because my dad was in charge of it,” Burnham said, adding his pack sold popcorn in front of such businesses as Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Best Buy and Sam’s Club.

This year, local packs and troops received 73 percent of the proceeds from the sales, which can be used to purchase items from the High Desert Scout Shop in Albuquerque or to pay for camping, field trips and adventure outings.

In addition, when scouts sell at least $2,500 in any calendar year, 6 percent of their total sales is invested into a college scholarship account. Once scouts are enrolled, 6 percent of their annual sales is added to the account.

"That's what I did this year," Burnham said with a smile.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636.