If he were a customer, 8-year-old cub scout Holden Smith knows which item he’d buy at the Cub Scouts Pack 133 bake sale at Big Creek Crossing.
To indicate his favorite on the table filled with goodies, Holden tapped his finger on the tin lid of a bow-tied quart jar filled with powdered sugar-covered puppy chow.
“This is the one that looks the best to me,” said Smith, one of a handful of scouts manning the bake sale Saturday morning.
An annual event, the sale will hopefully bring in enough money to send several dozen Pack 133 boys to a variety of scout camps through next fall.
On Saturday, lots of mothers were on hand as well, loading tables with everything from nut breads for $4 a loaf and chocolate cake for $8, to carrot cake with cream cheese icing for $8, brownies for $6 and gingerbread cake for $6.
“We’re the strong parent support,” said Heather French, Ellis, as she helped with set up. “It definitely takes a lot of active parents.”
Her sons, Dalton Reed, 11, and Dakota Reed, soon to be 10 on Dec. 31, were pulling shifts at the table.
“We’re selling baked goods for us to go to camp. We baked it last night,” said Dakota, pointing out the puppy chow and mentioning that his little sister, Cheyenne, 7, had helped too. “I helped seal it.”
But that’s not all, added Dakota. “My dad made the pretzels,” chocolate-covered, in off-hours from his jobs with the city of Ellis and as a volunteer firefighter. And still at home baking cookies was his sister, Sierra, 13.
“With Dakota on the autism spectrum, it really helps for him to be with his peers out in the community, because socializing is difficult for him,” explained Heather. She attends a lot of scout events to help.
“When there’s one leader and 14 children, it can get hard and overwhelming,” she said.
Pack 133 is sponsored by First Presbyterian Church, Hays. Meetings are 6:30 p.m. Monday, except for the first Monday of the month, said pack mom Jeanna Wellbrock, Victoria. There are about 40 boys in the pack, one of three packs in Hays, and any boy from first through fifth grades can join.
The camps, three different ones spread throughout the year, are open to cub scouts in Hays and to packs in surrounding communities.
“One hundred percent of the money from the bake sale goes directly to the kids who are working to pay for their camps,” Wellbrock said. “We never want any child to not go to camp because they can’t afford it.”
About 32 kids will work the bake sale, which ran all day Saturday in the mall atrium and continues all-day today, as well as Dec. 15 and 16. Besides baked goods, also on sale are a limited number of McDonald’s coupon books. For $5, customers get coupons for free cookies, drinks, ice cream cones and sandwiches, with the purchase of specified items.
Wellbrock has worked the bake sale for nine years, starting with her oldest son Christian, now 14 and in Boy Scout Troop 101. Saturday it was her son, Lucas, 7, working the bake sale.
She remembers one pack mom last year who sold her homemade artisan bread as fast as she could make it, with customers waiting for her to return with more.
“We couldn’t get them on the table,” Wellbrock said. “Customers were waiting every time she’d go home and make more. She’ll be here next weekend.”
Cotton candy is another popular item, said Cubmaster Robert Custer, Hays. He has a machine he bought 30 years ago and makes bags of the sugary favorite for the sale.
“What kid doesn’t like cotton candy?” Custer said, noting there’s blueberry, orange and silly nilly. “Last year we sold 60 bags the first day.”
Custer has been the pack’s leader for 28 years, starting when his four boys went through. His oldest is 34 now.
“I love doing it,” Custer said, after he and the boys loaded cotton candy bags on a stand. “They’re so ambitious. They’re like sponges. They want to absorb everything you’re teaching them. You have to know how to funnel their energy, and you have to keep things moving all the time.”
Anyone interested in joining the pack may call Custer at (785) 650-2372.