On my recent trip to Lake Chelan we did a side trip to Liberty Orchards in Cashmere. The candy factory makes Aplets and Cotlets, but we weren’t able to see the candy being made that day. Instead we sampled a wide variety of sweet creations at the Country Store . It reminded me of the days of selling these boxes of candy during my years in Camp Fire Girls. This is a picture of me in 1964 when I was “flying up” from Bluebirds to Camp Fire Girls. It was a big moment in my Camp Fire life. Bluebirds and Camp Fire Girls were both important parts of my growing up years in Kellogg, Idaho. I loved the after school and Saturday gatherings our troop would have with our leader B.W. doing crafts, cooking, and learning about nature and citizenship. Each year as spring found its way to Kellogg, so did the boxes of Camp Fire Mints and Aplets and Cotlets for our annual candy sale. We sold these to earn our way to day camp or a stay at Camp Neewahlu on Coeur d’Alene Lake. As soon as our handled cardboard boxes were delivered after school on a Friday the Bluebirds and Camp Fire Girls went door to door selling candy. People in Kellogg loved the candy sale. We never had a problem selling them. My dad would take boxes to the Sunshine Inn and help me with sales while he worked behind the bar on week-end evenings. Some people loved them so much they would buy boxes to stick in the freezer for another time. There was competition with other girls, especially the Queen of Sales G. S. She always managed to sell more boxes than any other girl in our whole Shoshone Council. Two Washington state candy companies made the candy. Brown and Haley produced the mints while Liberty Orchards made the Aplets and Cotlets. I took pictures of a display of older boxes while on the tour that day in Cashmere, trying to remember which box design I carried around to sell. The hostess at the factory was a member of the family that started the business and Aplets and Cotlets had been a part of her whole life. She shared stories with me about her candy selling days as a Camp Fire Girl in Cashmere. I didn’t favor the Aplets and Cotlets as much as the creamy mints, but there were certain people that loved to buy them. My Grandma Woolum would always buy a box. I just remember the white tray and the powdered sugar that stuck to your fingers and lips as you took a bite.
It was fun to remember the Camp Fire days that afternoon in Cashmere. Our family had made another trip there when I was younger and it was fun to talk to our hostess about Tiny's Fruit Stand and other Cashmere landmarks. Along with picking up some gifts and treats for the road, I met a Camp Fire kindred spirit that day.I sold enough of both kinds of candy to attend Camp Neewahlu numerous summers while growing up. We left the dock at Coeur d’ Alene and rode the Dancewanna across the lake to Kid Island Bay. (See the boat above.) Another time I will share memories of Camp Neewahlu.
A bit of trivia: Aplets and Cotlets were highlighted at the Seattle World’s Fair, thus making them famous outside of the state. Later Liberty Orchards introduced the Graplets which were the “official candy of Expo ’74” in Spokane.