A project benefiting squirrels is teaching two Sedalia boys how to run a business and work as a team.

Josh Throne and his friend and neighbor Drew Edwards, both 11, decided they wanted to make money this summer. In a nutshell, the idea blossomed into creating handcrafted squirrel picnic tables complete with a dried ear of corn. Both boys are homeschooled and live near Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site; they decided to call their business, “Bothwell Boys.” Josh and Drew began their business last week and to date have sold more than 20 picnic tables.

Drew said they decided on this particular project because they found other people making and selling similar items for squirrels. Both boys enjoy the outdoors and animals and Josh also likes to feed songbirds on his family’s rural property.

“They are big outdoor boys and spend most of their time outside,” Josh’s mom Shannon Throne said. “This is his first time to do something like this, especially the business part.

“We think it’s really good for them to learn how businesses work,” she continued. “You don’t necessarily keep everything you make, you’ve got to pay back expenses. We think it’s been good for them to learn how to work and how to do a job well.”

She said she and Drew’s mother, Tonya Edwards, have stressed to the boys the need to produce a quality product.

“You can’t just plop something on there and sell it to people, you have to do your best,” she added. “They are learning how to work together as a team, and (learning) business management and money management.”

Tonya noted both boys are also learning the art of dealing with people.

“They are learning how to talk to people and answer questions,” she said. “Josh already had a bank account, but Drew’s learning a lot about banking and putting the money back in a savings account.”

Along with the other aspects of running a business, the boys are also learning good customer relationships. With each table purchased, customers receive a handwritten thank you card.

Chad Throne, Josh’s father, cuts most of the wood for the small tables and the boys stain and construct them. Orders came in immediately once they got started.

“The community support really has been amazing,” Shannon said. “People jumped on there right away.”

Tonya added people were “excited to support boys who want to work.”

The families said during the last week, they’ve met “great people” and the messages on Facebook have been positive. 

Shannon said with a smile, the boys are “best buddies,” attend Faith Baptist Church together and are now “business partners.”

Josh and Drew said all money from their sales will go into a “money bag” and at the end of the month, they will pay expenses and split the proceeds.

With the money he earns, Josh said half will go into savings and half will buy a cello. Drew added he plans to place half of his earnings in savings also and plans to pay 10% of his proceeds as tithes. As for the rest, he’s undecided.

Tuesday morning, to the tune of much giggling, the boys said they are getting ready for their next project — a chick-nic table.  

“It’s one of those tables where you put walls on it and put chicken feed on it,” Josh explained.

“And it looks like your chickens are eating at a picnic table,” his mother added. “People like squirrels, so we’re getting ready for the chickens.”

The Bothwell Boys squirrel picnic tables cost $20 each. For more information, visit the Bothwell Boys Facebook page or text Shannon Throne at 816-668-2149.

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Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

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