- Posted January 22, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
According to a study by Harris Interactive, boys in Scouting are more likely to have higher self-confidence, resist peer pressure, assume leadership roles, and set goals.
It is exactly those types of intangible benefits that helped Alexander Cuthrell become the Atlanta Area Council top popcorn seller for four years in a row - and this year, finally surpass his goal of $10,000.
Alexander was just starting as a Freshman in High School and because school is very important the only days of the week he can focus on selling is on Saturday & Sunday. Toward the end of the sale (it is about 6 weeks long) he did commit to a few Friday & Saturday evenings to make his goal.
Alexander knows about all the Popcorn offered and has sampled all of them. Alexander has had a $10,000 goal for 5 Years and though he has done well each year he never quite made his goal until this year. He sells it all "Face to Face" with very little online sales. He hasn't mastered the Online Selling yet.
This year he REALLY calculated and set his "Season" goal; then broke it down to daily goals; then how many hours in a day he needed to work to achieve his goal.
Alexander likes the recognition and prizes he receives and watching his Trails-End Scholarship grow. As a Boy Scout he also gets to Earn His Way in Scouting by working hard and selling popcorn where all his hard work is deposited into his Scout Account which pays for his scouting activities.
Alexander receives very little credit for his efforts and hard work from his peers but he loves the challenge involved, that is what drives him among other things.
Their entire family makes sacrifices during the season. Mom gives up the time with him on the weekends, as well as the Dining Room and his sisters Karli & Olivia give up their brother and father all weekend as well. However when it comes time to deliver "Everyone" chips in to make sure every customer gets their Delicious Popcorn in a timely fashion.
With $7000 - $8000 - $10,000 worth of popcorn sold each 2 month season that is one huge undertaking.
He has qualified and re-qualified for the Atlanta Area Hall of Fame $2500 Club 7 Times now. He qualified for the $3500 since the beginning and now the $4000 Club.
“Alexander truly loves popcorn and it has made him a better person, has helped him build confidence and he cannot understand why every scout doesn't sell at least one bag, even if it is to themselves.”
Alexander loves all the dogs he meets along the way and all the mini hang-out sessions he gets to have when he meets and sees kids out having fun.
The real amazing part of all of this is that selling doesn't come naturally to Alexander, mainly because he has had to overcome the social barriers of Asperger's Syndrome, which is a mild form of Autism that is characterized by difficulty with language and communications skills as well as repetitive or restrictive patterns of thought and behavior.
His family uses Popcorn as a teaching tool to help Alexander learn and understand Neuro-Typical human behavior & communication styles and his father Brian, goes with him every step of the way to help translate and coach.
At an average of $90 per hour they invest a lot of time to assist Alexander in becoming the amazing man he is growing up to become.
This year's total continues an amazing tradition for the Cuthrell family. He has sold over $52,000 in popcorn for the 8 years. Last year, Alexander's total of $8,618 was enough to rank him the 16th best seller in the entire country. In 2013, he eclipsed that total with $11,965 in sales.
Remember while the popcorn sale teaches Alexander about goal setting and salesmanship, that's not all he gets from it. In 2013, he used a portion of the proceeds to pay his way to the first ever National Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. He has also used the money he raised to help send other Scouts to camp as well.
Alexander and the rest of the 2013 top sellers will be honored this Saturday in a special event at Turner Field.
Everyday, Atlanta Scouts are doing amazing things. We'll be sharing these stories of our local Scouts embracing the adventure of Scouting and making a difference in our community. For a chance to appear in future Campfire Stories, submit your Scouts' successes by emailing Jeff Fulcher at JFulcher@atlantabsa.org.