Whenever a card refers to the "next"/"first"/etc. of something, it refers to that even occurring, not the object of that event. For example, Chum gives the piece of ice in the next encounter +2 strength; it doesn't give the next piece of ice +2 strength for the rest of the run.


what about a solitary chum over a twins. If I have two chum in hand, does the third encounter have 8 str or 6?


Tybb-sly "Next" just means the next time, so it would have 6 strength each time.