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Scouts Halloween Haunted House fundraiser

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

Candy, treats and a special Halloween fundraiser haunted house are going to be part of how the 1st Strathmore Scouts troop will be celebrating Halloween. On October 30, the scouts will be hosting a haunted house from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Hob’s Hobbies in downtown Strathmore. Hobs Hobbies will be donating the space for the event.


“We are going to redecorate the store so that it looks like a haunted house, and offer tours through the store to try and see who we can scare and I believe we are looking at selling some of our scout popcorn,” said 1st Strathmore Scouts Ken Rachynski.

“We are looking at a little bit of fun for the scouts to take a hand at doing some decoration, run a haunted house and invite the town in. We’ve got some scouts here. We’d like to have fun and when Halloween comes around we lie to share some of the stuff that we like to do,” he said.

“We use any of the funds raised to help run our programs. One of the aspects is going to camp the other is we go out and do hikes. Our goal with scouting in general is just to get the kids outdoors, doing things outside. Camp figure into a large part of that,” said Rachynski.

“They just got off a couple of camps which are partly skills training camps,” said John Hilton- O’Brien a member of Scouts and the owner of Hob’s Hobbies. There members of the group learn outdoor skills.

“One of the camps we did early in October was a dedicated skills camp that let our newest scouting members make sure they learned basic skills enough to earn their permit so they can work with some of the tools that we are typically working with at camp,” said Rachynski.

“What we are trying to do is to provide an opportunity for the youth in our community to become members of Scouts Canada, learn how to use the tools that they would need to enjoy the outdoors as best as they can,” he said.

One very unique camp for local scouts was The Great Escape, an overnight event where scouts learn about the First World War, how to reach checkpoints and having fun outdoors at night.

The Great Escape is a camp that occurs very early in the fall season for our scouts and venture scouts to attend. Scouts are generally 11 to 14 years old and venture scouts are 14 to 17 years old.

“The Great Escape does help us learn a little bit of history about events that happened in World War 2,” said Rachynski. He spoke of a daring escape by allied forces in a German prisoner of war camp.

“It shows a little bit of the history of the daring and resolve of soldiers in war,” he said.

The experience allows the scouts to play the game, as the prisoners of war and the venture scouts as the guards.

“They have escaped from the camp, and they have to find a number of League of Nations checkpoints that are trying to help the prisoners escape,” he said. The playing field is a large area of a few miles.

“It teaches them some teamwork. It teaches them how to pay attention to their surroundings. It teaches them a little bit about what all of the roles are,” he said.

The Great Escape is run overnight. The prisoners escape at about 8 p.m. and have until about 3 p.m. to get back to camp and get ready for bed.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Rachynski.

Some scouts dress up in camouflaged suits and lie in wait for the ‘prisoners’ in order to catch them and return them to camp.

Throughout the year there are a number of camps offered to scouts, like a winter challenge camp for winter skills, Iron Scout cooking challenge camp, and another skills camp in June where scouts can show off the skills they have learned over the year.

Hob’s Hobbies is typically closed on Mondays.

“We are turning the whole shop over to the Scouts. We are going to completely redecorate it,” Hilton-O’Brien said. The Haunted House will be a great place for kids in the community to visit when it’s still a little light outside, and have some fun around Halloween. The event will be tailored to multiple age groups. The scouts may also have items for sale like treats and bags of popcorn.

Follow the 1st Strathmore Scouts online on their Facebook Page at 

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