HELENA — With the holiday season fast approaching, Helena-area Boy Scouts are getting ready for their annual Christmas tree sale.
Local troops from the Prickly Pear District have been organizing a Christmas tree lot in Helena for more than 50 years. The proceeds support their activities.
On Saturday morning, about 15 Scouts and their troop leaders went out early to cut down about 180 trees. Local landowners donated the trees, allowing the Scouts to cut them from certain areas on their property.
14-year-old Isaac Penner and 11-year-old Nicholes McRae, both from Helena’s Troop 207, said they enjoyed going out to get the trees.
“I have been in the troop for three years, so I have sold for a while at the tree lot, but it’s my first time being out cutting trees,” Isaac said. “It’s actually pretty fun, so for my first time, I’d say it’s fun.”
“When you just look out with no trees in the way, it’s just a beautiful sight,” Nicholes said.
After the trees were cut, the troops brought them to the Helena Indian Alliance, where they will set up their tree lot. It took less than 30 minutes to unpack the trees from four trucks and two small trailers. The Scouts measured each tree and organized them by size.
Nicholes, who does not have the use of a left hand, said he was proud that he was able to improvise ways to carry the trees.
“There was a tree that was tall, and I couldn’t move it with my other hand, so I just kicked it with my right foot, and it actually worked,” he said.
The tree lot’s first day of operation will be Saturday, Nov. 23. It will likely stay open through the last Sunday before Christmas.
“It’s just helping out the people and seeing what they want to have for their Christmas tree,” said Isaac.
LeRoy Wosoba, chairman of the Prickly Pear District, said about 40 Scouts between the ages of 11 and 16 will take part in the program this year. They will help out with delivering the trees, putting together stands and even “flocking” the trees to make them appear snow-covered.
“What we really try to stress is customer service,” he said.
Wosoba said the Scouts will keep going out to cut down donated trees for the next several weekends.
This year, the Scouts also cut down three larger trees, which Wosoba said they will place at Helena's Anchor Park, as part of a new agreement with the Helena Business Improvement District.