Cub Scout popcorn

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2432 days ago

Picture this…

It’s 6am on a Saturday in September, somewhere in Kansas. The sun is coming up, and it promises to be a 90-degree day. Thousands of boys (6-12 years old) from across the country are arriving – by truck, by bicycle, by parachute, by hitchhiking – and gathering together in a warehouse on a giant corn farm. They’re all in Cub Scout uniforms – perfectly pressed and starched – and carrying water bottles and giant backpacks.

A thousand or so of the boys – the ones who are tall enough – go out into the corn fields, and start picking corn. They carry baskets of it back to the warehouse, and shuck it. They cut off the kernels, and put them in giant ovens to dry.

A few hundred or so boys start boiling giant kettles of sugar, reducing it down to caramel. They stir and stir and test and taste, until it is just right.

The smaller boys, the ones with artistic talent, get out sheets of cardboard and start cutting it and coloring it, to make boxes.

A dozen older boys – trusted, reliable, experienced – take a bunch of cash from last year’s sale into town. There they invite the local OSHA inspectors and politicians out to a lavish lunch… so they don’t notice the child labor right down the road.

They spend their day this way, toiling in the hot sun, and over hot ovens, until finally the sun goes down. Then they all come back to the warehouse, and start putting it all together.

They bag the kernels, for microwaves. They pop literal tons of corn, and dip it in caramel, and bag it up. They pour butter, and cheddar, and nuts, and make some of the tastiest popcorn anyone has ever known.

The spend the rest of the night packaging it up.

In the morning, they all walk away, carrying giant backpacks full of fresh popcorn, in all sorts of flavors and styles. They make their way home, across the United States, and begin the process of selling the popcorn to raise money for their Packs.

And now that popcorn is available to you… and when you see the prices on the popcorn, and you question whether any sane person would really spend that much – just remember that it’s American made, with American values, with American labor – and it’s worth it!*

*This popcorn was not actually made this way

Oh hi! Thanks for reading this far! By the way, my 7-year-old is selling popcorn for Cub Scouts this year. If you’d like some, you can order popcorn from his web store and it will ship straight to you, via Amazon.

(And thank you!)

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