Man About Menifee: Value of Fundraising is a Good Lesson

By David Baker

When we moved into the first house we bought here in Menifee in April of 2012, I was in a mixed mood.

Anyone who has gone through a home purchase knows the process is filled with a series of "hurry up and wait" moments. I was going through boxes and a few fell over and the contents spilled. While I was silently cursing at myself for being so clumsy, something caught my eye.

It was a book cover I hadn’t seen in at least two decades. I saw my very first Scout Handbook.

I attribute a lot of who I am to the things I learned from the Boy Scouts of America. I learned more than just skills related to camping and knot tying -- important values and lessons as well. One of those values was self reliance.

In the first part of this book, it talks about how a Webelos Den is organized and what is expected of a scout. In this section it talks about a uniform and how a scout might earn the cost of his uniform by doing odd jobs such as lawn mowing around the neighborhood or collecting and redeeming recycling. I realize now as an adult what an important lesson that was.

One big way the scouts fund themselves is through fundraisers. The most common form of fundraising for the boys is Trails End Popcorn.

Trails End is gourmet popcorn that rivals Redenbacher in quality and is a good deal for consumers as well as the boys. Like most fundraisers, it is not a "bargain" until you remind yourself that you’re donating to the boys, and you’re getting some really tasty popcorn in return. The prices range greatly, from $10 to $75, and include options to send popcorn to our Military men and women overseas, and 70 percent of your money stays with the local scout.

My favorite value is the 2-pound bag of popping corn for $10. We like to make it in my cast iron dutch oven over the fire or over the stove. Just enough oil and popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan, and five minutes over a medium heat seems to be just about right. Two bags can last us for most of the year.

We had the district popcorn kickoff recently where they covered proper salesmanship and politeness, how to behave and ask for the sale, and how not to. Starting Labor Day weekend, you will see those boys in tan or blue knocking on doors and selling in front of the grocery stores.

Make sure you stop by and reward their attempt at self reliance. You’ll do some good, feel good about yourself, and have a tasty treat to boot.

David Baker, our Man About Menifee, writes about his adventures in and around town every Friday in this space. You may leave comments for him here or email him at


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