Things are really popping in Philipsburg.
On Tuesday, 60 boys from Cub Scout Pack 44 gathered at Philipsburg Elementary with their moms and dads, the odd older sibling and a lot of little brothers and sisters, and even a grandparent or two, to celebrate Christmas, and mark an accomplishment.
Last year, the boys hit a high point with their annual popcorn sale, topping $21,000.
For 2015, the leaders gave the Cubs something to shoot for. Sell more than that goal, they said, and you get to hit us with pies.
“Every one of them was excited about it,” said Webelos assistant leader Perry Walk.
They went more than a little over their goal, pulling in $23,000 in sales throughout October.
According to Cubmaster Noel Meyers, part of that money goes to keep the pack running. Pack 44 has boys from Tiger Cubs in first grade through Webelos in third to fifth grade.
The rest of the money goes to the boys themselves, to pay for things such as uniforms, summer camps and parties like the one they shared with their families Tuesday.
“We want to emphasize the potential of earning your own way,” said Meyers.
Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District has a student body marked by low incomes. According to district figures, about half of its students qualify for free or reduced school lunches, based on household income.
But Meyers said that the popcorn sale, and the hard work the boys put into it, makes all things possible.
“The goal is, parents can bring a boy here and hopefully not have to pay anything,” he said.
For the boys, the currency Tuesday was pizza and games and Santa Claus, and the promise of a white Christmassy end to the festivities as their 17 leaders prepared to get up close and personal with a bushel of so of whipped cream pies.
“That’s going to have to wait until the end,” said Meyers. “That’s going to be messy. Really messy.”