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Scouts showing off their cooking talents with Iron Scout competition

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

A troop of young Scouts from Strathmore are going to try their hand at cooking meals during the Iron Scout competition, which is being offered at Hope Mission Camp Gardner this month.


The Strathmore Scouts will be one out of many Scout groups from across southern Alberta in the competition.

The idea behind the competition is for the scouts to take all of the cooking knowledge they’ve learned in scouts and create a meal. During the competition participants are given a theme and a special ingredient that must be part of their meal.

Once the scouts have the information about the meal they spend a few hours in the afternoon on the weekend cooking their meals using scout camping equipment.

That equipment can sometimes include portable stoves, barbecues, or portable ovens.

“They can use any of the skills that we are teaching them as part of scouts,” explained Strathmore Scouts’ Ken Rachynski.

“The judges are Rover Scouts, scouts 19 to 26 who are running the camp,” he said.

This year’s theme is the Old West. In prior years themes have ranged from Knights of the Round Table to Superheroes.

Iron Scout will take place from April 21 to 23 at Hope Mission Camp Gardner, a Scouts camp located west of Calgary.

There scouts will have to prepare a full meal under the supervision of a team of Rover scouts.

Iron Scout is generally pitched at Scouts aged 11 to 14.

Rachynshi explained that taking part in the competition is up to the individual Scout troops who can decide if they feel their scouts have enough preparation for the event.

“We want to get our scouts used to the idea that ‘hey you can go out and do stuff,’” he said.

“We are a fairly small troop this year, but we feel we can, we’ve managed to get them doing enough cooking so far that we feel fairly confident that they will be able to manage a meal on their own,” he said.

Learning how to cook is an important life skill.

“The goal here is that we want to get them to learn skills that can be useful throughout life, because for Scouts, our goal is to give the youth the opportunity to learn these skills in an outdoor nature oriented environment,” said Rachynski.

“Our focus for this camp and the skills we are teaching them, are directly related to doing cooking in and around a campsite. Whether it would be directly on a campfire, whether it be on a propane barbecue, but regardless of which specific tool we use, the skills that they get out of it, can be applied to any part of their life down the road,” he said.

This year’s Iron Scout will be the 13th year of the competition and the competition will have an Old West theme. Throughout the day there will be fun activities, night games and campfire activities. The cooking competition will take place on Saturday April 22.

The Strathmore Scouts are part of the Chinook Division of Scouts Canada.

Four years ago the Strathmore Scouts took home first prize in the Iron Scout competition.

Next on the Strathmore Scouts agenda is their upcoming bottle drive on April 29. 

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