The annual chili cook-off is a tradition our scouts have participated in for years. When we moved in 10 years ago it was already a long-standing tradition and something our congregation anticipated every March. This annual event served as the fundraiser for the year so that our scout troop could raise money for Boy Scout camp. After a long run this tradition has come to a close. Last Wednesday it was announced that this would be the final chili cook-off.
It was with a mix of emotions that we absorbed the news. While there was a part of me that felt relief at being freed from the huge task of helping multiple kids prepare dishes and baked goods for the auction, another part of me was saddened by the news as I reminisced on the many years we had been coming.
Despite the mix of emotions the night couldn’t have gone any better. Talk about going out with a bang!!
The turn out was incredible and as a result of many hands donating food items and many generous families supporting the troop, our scouts raised over $2000 that evening!
The night began with judging.
We arrived early, as Rusty had to help set up for the event. As crock pots of chili and pans of cornbread poured in, the missionaries were assigned the task of tasting and judging each dish, picking a first, second, and third place winner for chili and for cornbread.
Once the judging was completed tabled were called to the front to help themselves to dinner.
The hardest part of the night is always choosing which of the yummy looking chili’s to try. A few creative families came up with the awesome idea of bringing muffin pans to use for their dinner plate, allowing them to scoop a little of each flavor in each tin and try them all.
At the end of the meal the winners were announced. This year Rusty decided to enter the judging with his own pan of cornbread. The secret to his delicious bread was mixing yellow cake mix with corn bread mix to create a sweet fluffy corn bread that was amazing. His efforts earned him third place.
Following dinner was the dessert auction. While the dinner part of the night is a free-for-all, if you want to end your meal with a sweet treat you have to battle for it.
The scouts and ward families all bake desserts to contribute to the auction.
This year Rusty made Mickey Mouse Rice Krispy treats dipped in chocolate:
And Molly made cups of “Dirt”:
The dessert table was filled to capacity…
Families took their time perusing and whispering their top choices to each other, making a game plan of what desserts they wanted to battle for.
There were so many delicious looking treats it was hard to choose!
The second half of the evening was the auction where friends went up against friends for the sake of a sugar high and gloating rights.
The auction was a smashing success with some cakes and desserts being sold for $50-75 dollars.
Our scout troop was certainly blessed by the generosity of their ward family and the financial end of this event will allow a lot of young boys a week of learning, skill-building, and man-producing experiences that they will carry with them for life.
It is the end of an era…
But what a way to go out!