Steeped in Tradition, 33rd Annual Boy Scout Troop 40 Chili Feed Scheduled for Feb. 10 at Civic Center

By Julie Perine on February 05, 2018 via

Jason Hosaflook has memories of being in the basement of the Benedum Civic Center, stirring massive amounts of chili with three-foot wooden paddles. That was back in the 1990s when he was a member of Boy Scout Troop 40 and he and his fellow scouts were working the annual Chili Feed fundraiser.
Hosaflook is now assistant scoutmaster of Troop 40, to which his son Brady belongs. His life has changed, but the chili feed has stayed pretty much the same for the last 33 years.
This year’s event is Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Benedum Civic Center, where more than 25 gallons of chili – spicy and mild, with and without beans – will be simmering and awaiting the town’s people.
For $7 and $5, respectively, adults and children can eat in or carry out chili, salad and Italian bread with purchases of baked goods available, too. Proceeds will enable Troop 40 – to which about 45 boys ages 11 to 18 belong – to continue to run a high-quality program.
“This helps us maintain our equipment, trailers and other things we have to have to run the type of high-quality scout troop we’re running here in Bridgeport,” Hosaflook said. “We’re very lucky to have such good community support. That enables us to give those boys a better scouting experience. As active as Troop 40 is, we have nice equipment: Tents, stoves and other things we need to take them out camping – away from computers and other distractions.”
The chili feed is sponsored by Troop 40 and Friends of Troop 40.
“It’s a fundraising organization that helps us raise funds. They act as guardians of that money,” Hosaflook said. “We apply to them by making requests for new tents or backpacks or sometimes certain boys want sponsored to go on more expensive trips – super trips we call them – like the National Jamboree.”
The more scouts participate in events, such as the upcoming chili feed, the more compensation they can personally receive.
“Years back, money was in a lump sum and everything was divvied out of it, but now boys have an incentive to work an event as they can get more money in their individual accounts,” Hosaflook said. “They help serve and cook and do other things for service hours and then they get a percentage of funds raised. It goes directly into their scout funds. It’s a bank account and they don’t have access to it, but if they want a new pair of hiking boots or a sleeping bag, etc., they can save up money in their accounts by working the chili feed or helping with other fundraising. They have that resource available to them.”
Alan Smith is scoutmaster of Troop 40, which meets Monday evenings at Simpson Creek Baptist Church Youth/Family Life Center. The boys are active in community service for their city. Included is the Wreaths Across America program at Bridgeport Cemetery and other events honoring veterans, as well as organized clean-up events and some they do quietly, such as a trash pick-up the troop initiated in the area between Kohl’s parking lot and the adjoining farmland.
“All kinds of trash blows and accumulates there and sticks into the fence, so a couple years ago, one of our boys said we needed to clean that up and we continue to do that,” Hosaflook said.
The scouts also perform their own community service work, such as volunteering at Shepherd’s Corner, the Clarksburg Mission and individual churches.
In existence for more than 50 years, the scout troop is rooted in tradition, as is the chili feed. The recipe, Hosaflook said, has remained the same. Event founder and former scout master, Vaughn Ritter, found the award-winning recipe when the fundraiser started back in 1985.
Hosaflook won’t disclose the ingredients, but he does extend a heartfelt invitation to community members to come eat chili on Feb. 10. He’s also hoping for some seasonal wintry weather – putting folks in the mood for some nice, hot chili.
The chili feed runs from 11 a.m. through 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10. Group orders are available by calling 304-838-3906. Call the same number to inquire about membership into Troop 40. All boys in sixth grade through high school seniors are invited to join with no prerequisites necessary. 

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