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So Good Scouts

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PREGAME PEP TALKS:From left: Greg Ostapa and Rick Ploss of So Good Candies talk to the scouts of Pack 3501 before taking them back to the candy-making area.
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PATIENTLY WAITING:Cub Scouts wait in line for their turn at the chocolate machine.
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SETTING UP:Cub Scout Pack 3501 member 6-year-old Bailey Spradlin places her custom candy bar down to settle before she can eat it.
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SWEET LESSONS:So Good Candies Co-Owner Rick Ploss (back, facing camera) helps local Cub Scouts with the fillings of their custom candy bars.
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DETERMINED DIPPER:A Scout with Pack 3501 dips milk chocolate out onto his tray while So Good Candies Chocolatier Greg Ostapa provides guidance.

Brian Powers - bpowers@perutribune.com

Kids from local Cub Scout Pack 3501 had the chance to create their own sweet tooth satisfier Thursday evening when they took a trip to So Good Candies to make their own candy bars.

Store Co-owner Rick Ploss and Head Chocolatier Greg Ostapa stood behind the counter and told the youngsters some of their behind-the-scene secrets before helping them make their own custom candy bars.

“We’re going to go back there and we’re going to be careful, safe and as clean as we can,” Ostapa said.

Tiger Den Leader Josh Maller said he reached out to Ploss because he thought the kids would enjoy the experience.

“We’re always trying to come up with good ideas,” Maller said. “I’m sure we can find some badge or something this could fit in with, but it was just something fun for them to do.”

Ploss said this was the store’s first behind-the-scenes tour experience, but he thought it would have been a perfect fit for the kids.

“What better place to bring kids than a candy store,” he said. “How many kids can say they have done something like this?”

Ploss said the store did something similar during a Second Saturday event about a year ago, but had never done something so in-depth. He said they also included local history in their presentation.

“This will be something these kids will remember,” Ploss said. “But we also talked about Cole Porter (who loved the original store Arnold’s so much, he’d have it shipped to him), and these kids need to know the history.”

The Scouts could choose either a milk or dark chocolate base as well as including smaller pieces such as Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms, chocolate chips or nuts to put inside their bar.

Cub Scout Aiden Love said he filled the inside of his chocolate bar with a variety of goodies.

“I put some Reese’s Pieces and some M&MS— just a bunch of chocolate things,” Love said.

Six-year-old Bailey Spradlin enjoyed herself, but her visit wasn’t without hiccups.

“It was a lot of fun, but I lost my bag,” she said.

Elaine McPhearson, another 6-year-old Scout, said she put M&Ms inside her dark chocolate bar. When asked what her favorite part was, she said “putting the chocolate in,” but she was most looking forward to eating her creation.

Eleven-year-old Haley Wyatt said she’d made “Nutty Buddy bars” before, but making her own candy bar was a new experience.

“I’ve never formed candy before,” Wyatt said.

Up next for the Pack 3501 is the Scouting tradition of the Pinewood Derby, which will take place around March, Maller said.