RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Popcorn is a favorite snack synonymous with boy scouting and the great outdoors, but it’s more than just fundraising for one local scout.
It’s a way to help others, one sale at a time.
From pitching tents to rock climbing, it’s all about learning leadership, life skills and becoming a better person. For Beck Garnett, it’s about making sure other kids get that chance as well.
He’s doing it in a truly Boy Scout way by selling “a lot of popcorn,” laughed Garnett. "A lot of popcorn” to help others.
He’s selling tens of thousands of dollars worth of it every year.
"I’ll load up the car with all the popcorn and I’ll go to Lowes and set up a table out front. Probably at about 9:30 a.m. and then go until 5 p.m.”
He’s raised $11,000 to start Cub Scout Pack 445 at Sacred Heart in Richmond and another $6,000 to another troop to buy gear. Garnett also sent five scouts to camp ... all from selling popcorn.
The money comes from his fundraising efforts selling popcorn for the Boy Scouts. Last year, he was a top national fundraiser, bringing in over $51,000.
“It feels very good to see other people being able to enjoy it,” said Beck.
The real treat though is all the joy he brings to other young boys who are experiencing this world of Boy Scouts because of Beck and his killer sales.
“You can’t do a trip without gear,” said Tom Hayes, a scout master beneficiary of Garnett’s generosity. “For years we’ve been using gear that other groups decided was not good enough to use, so they’d donate it to us and so we’ve been using that gear for like 10 years. So, gear that’s 20 years old and has been torn to pieces.”
“You can’t set up the tent and you gotta bunk with somebody else in a tent in like a three person tent,” said scout Joseph Martin.
Not anymore, thanks to Garnett. Gone are the days of bugs crawling through holes, too. He paid for new gear with the money he raised.
“It really tells us a lot about Garnett as a person and his respect for scouting and accountability that he holds within himself,” said Isaiah James, who has been a Boy Scouts for 5-6 years.
“It’s amazing,” said Pablo Gomez, who has been in Scouts almost a year. He’s enjoying learning rock climbing and going camping.
“I was like wow!" said Joseph Martin. "Like a kid did it. I thought we got like a donation from an organization or something but it was just like a fellow scout.”
Garnett has been number two in the nation for two years for selling popcorn.
“Anything’s possible!” said a confident Scout.
Garnett estimates he’ll need to sell more than $60,000 worth of popcorn to lead the nation. He is about to begin the 2018-19 fundraising campaign and plans to donate the proceeds to the Boy Scouts in need of scholarships. Beck feels it is his duty to help those less fortunate than him.