So, I've enrolled my son, Tiger (aka Tig-Tig) in Cub Scouts. We've purchased the handsome little uniform, and he's even earned his first couple of badges.
I'm doing this for him because I never really had a chance to do so, back when I was a kid.... my own father was in the Air Force, and as a result, he was not home very often. Even worse, we moved our household frequently, sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. So, there was never much time for clubs, sports, or hobbies.
I would like for my son to enjoy these opportunities that I never had.
We participated in our first fundraiser drive during the last few weekends, standing outside a home improvement store and offering bags of flavored popcorn at exorbitant prices.
Tiger's job was to engage the customers, and ask, "Would you like to support Cub Scouts?" There were a few rude responses, but most folks responded positively.
I was amused to note that Tiger does not have good public social skills... we have a tendency to think that these behaviors are innate, that they don't need to be learned, that we are all born with the ability to engage with total strangers in a professional setting. Apparently, not so.
Tiger would rather fight invisible zombies (or any one of his other imaginary enemies, such as Bad Robots). I had to remind him to "stay on task." Like Calvin (from the newspaper strip, Calvin & Hobbes), Tiger finds his imaginary world more compelling than reality. He has to brought down to Earth, occasionally.
At first, he would try to shout his sales pitch from our popcorn table toward the folks coming out the door, "WOULD YOU LIKE TO SUPPORT CUB SCOUTS???" I had to explain to him that he needed to approach these people, and deliver his message in a professional manner.
So, then he would then run to the door, stand in front of it, and block people inside while he delivered his sales line. "Would you like to support Cub Scouts?" I had to explain to him that blocking the exit would not win any friends, and was very likely to annoy the potential buyers.
He would then stand at the door, look at his feet, and deliver his sales line to the ground, "Would you like to support Cub Scouts?" I explained to him that he needed to make eye contact, make people understand that he was addressing them, and make himself approachable this way. Otherwise, they would breeze on by without stopping.
By the end of the day, we were both doing very well. Tiger was making eye contact, and making his sales pitch in a friendly, engaging, and professional manner. I could hardly keep up with the sales at our table. I was very pleased with him, and with our sales volume.
Tiger is now one of the top sellers in his troop, and popcorn sales has been his only fundraiser so far.
Way to go, Tig-Tig!