Friday, August 19

Thieves Target Boy Scout Troops’ Camping Gear

Boy Scouts across America aren’t going to be camping much until the summer, but some of them may not even have the equipment to do it. There has been an odd string of thefts of Boy Scout camping gear across the country in the last few weeks.

One of the first thefts took place in North Richland Hills, TX. CBS affiliate DFW reported that Boy Scout Troop 179 discovered that a trailer with all of their camping gear inside had been stolen over New Year’s weekend.

The camping equipment belonging to a Boy Scout troop in Billings, MT has been stolen in a few different instances of theft over the last month, according to the Great Falls Tribune. A trailer with roughly $10,000 worth of camping gear and other equipment was stolen from its storage place at Billings Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Another theft occurred in Bethany, OK, where Boy Scout Troop 553 discovered that two trailers housing their camping gear were stolen. The troop has suffered a loss of about $300,000.

“It’s devastating for the boys. It’s hurting all of them. It’s just a terrible thing,” Scout Master Bob Albauer told Oklahoma news website Koco.com.

“It’s unfortunate that the theft of camping gear can ruin the Boy Scouts camping experience. I hope that the Boy Scouts fundraising is successful and they are able to enjoy their time camping,” says Bruce Aljets, President, Yogi Bear Camp-Resort of Sioux Falls.

That the camping equipment was stolen may not come as a surprise, given the value of it. Camping is about a $15 billion dollar industry in the United States.

The good news is that all of the troops have are planning fundraising efforts to replace the stolen equipment, so they may be able to camp this summer after all. Every year in the United States, more than 11 million people go camping.

Though camping gear may run the risk of being stolen, this is probably less likely to happen at public campgrounds, where the majority of campers go.

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