For over 30 years, Boy Scout Troop 125 families put in hundreds of man-hours annually into the ‘Mile High’ sweet apple and tart cherry pies for the annual Art & Apples Festival, a program of Paint Creek Center for the Arts, at Rochester Municipal Park. The September 12 Sunday sale is the primary fundraiser for troop activities.
‘We have worked on pies for the past 4 years and personally, I love it,’ said Deb Sheldon, a teacher and parent of ninth grade scout Dallas Sheldon. ‘Every year I have to shuffle to get my 5 shifts in, and it’s always a combination of extended family that makes it happen for us.’
Scout parents Diane Howard and Diane Iglesias began planning the scout fundraiser began months ago with registration, health department inspections, sales permits and pie supplies. Then, for three days, scouts and their families gathered apples from local growers, traveled to Traverse City for its famous tart cherries, combined pies from scratch, baked, loaded, unloaded and sold over 1,000 pies.
‘Selling is a blast, from dodging the bees, to selling to the art vendors that specifically wait for the boy scout pies, to seeing literally everyone in Rochester line up for their pie,’ laughed Dr. Debi Hibbeln, a Rochester dentist whose sons Victor and Henry are scouts in Troop 125.
With three days and counting beginning last Thursday, scouts, parents, grandparents and other family members put in a minimum of 15 hours (5 shifts) per family of baking, hauling and selling– working days, nights and all weekend to raise money for their scouts’ activities and high adventure experiences that turn boys to responsible, respectable young men who can earn the Eagle rank (over 120 and counting), then graduate high school to attend technical schools, colleges and military careers.
Ruth and Kent McCormick worked the first pie-baking shift Thursday even though their son, Eric, earned the rank of Eagle Scout with T125 in May 2000, graduated from Michigan Technological University and is now a lieutenant leading a transportation unit in the U.S. Army Reserves.
The scouts pull multiple duties hustling cars into the handicap parking lot during the festival, toting dough, carrying boxes, unloading pies and doing whatever it takes — all for those amazing adventures at Philmont, sailing in the Bahamas, learning to work effectively as a team and hiking in some of the most beautiful places in the United States.
BSA Troop 125 wished to thank all of their patrons who purchased pies this weekend as well as their families who worked so many hours to pull it all together. Scouts look forward to another year of life-rewarding experiences.