OVERTON — Seven-year-old Camden Blythe was looking through the World Vision magazine in December when he read about raising money to build a ger in Mongolia.
The cost to build the round, tent-like home for a Mongolian family is $1,862.
"He saw this little blurb, and he goes, ‘Well, I could do that. Will you help me?’ And that’s how it began," said Jocelyn Blythe, Camden’s mom.
Camden’s family traditionally donates money to the organization’s causes instead of giving gifts during Christmas. It’s in Camden’s nature to help people in need, Jocelyn said.
"He’s very protective of people. If anybody is getting bullied at school, he stands up for the person who is getting bullied," she said.
Camden’s family immediately jumped on board to help him with his endeavor. In order to start raising money for the ger, the Loomis first-grader began selling eggs from the family’s chickens to neighbors and friends. His next venture was to raise and sell fainting goats. Camden and his dad, Lance, went to an auction in Lexington where he saw a goat he couldn’t resist. That goat, Garby, was the first of the herd of goats that would take up residence at the Blythe home.
"The first goat we got, he thought he was a dog," Jocelyn said.
"He’d run next to the golf cart. He’d sit on the front step," added Lance.
After Camden had the idea to raise money for the ger, Lance bought five nanny goats who were expecting babies. Camden’s parents created a Facebook page for his business that he dubbed Fainting Creators. People can go to the page to see photos of the goats and more information about each one.
Camden didn’t stop there. With the help of his parents and little sister, Aria, 4, he began making candles to sell.
"We made the candles first because you didn’t really have to have any other equipment. I thought that would be something easy. On the same website we were ordering candle wax, there is all this soap making stuff, and I thought it’s kind of the same thing. So we started doing that," Lance explained.
"It just kind of spiraled. Then I was like, "Ooh, we should make sugar scrubs. Ooh, we should make bath bombs,’" Jocelyn said with a laugh.
Camden’s inventory of products includes candles, soaps, sugar scrubs, bath bombs, bubble bombs and lotion bars. He sells his products to family and friends, and he will be one of the vendors May 5 at an outdoor festival for his parents’ business, Patriot Gardens in Overton. Camden has raised $743, and he hopes to reach his goal of $1,862 by Christmas.
Creating the different products has been a bonding experience for the family. They have encountered some hiccups that give them all a laugh.
"One time I unpacked all the stuff, and we made the wrong thing. It was wax (for candles), and we were trying to make soap," Camden said. Camden’s parents say he is a natural-born salesman, and he even was able to convince his grandpa to buy a bag of reject soaps for $12.
"He will peddle (his products), and he peddled it to all of our family at Christmas," Jocelyn said. "He’s pretty confident to start with. He gets along well with adults."
His parents have noticed that working on his business has helped Camden to excel in math, and he works hard to care for his animals.
"I started with pets because I wanted to teach them like a little bit of responsibility and some chores. He’s done really good," Lance said. "For his age, he has been very good help. He will help clean out the shed. He will help feed and water and pick eggs."
When he is older, Camden wants to be a geologist or structural engineer, and he hopes to go on a mission trip to Jamaica or the rain forest. He’d also like to scuba dive in Japan. When asked what he wants to do next after raising money for the ger, his immediate response is: "Raise money for another one of these."