Troop 226 lost $8,000 in camping gear over the weekend when thieves made off with the troop's trailer for the second time in eight years.
From tents to toilet paper, an Independence Boy Scout troop lost a trailer full of camping gear this weekend.
Troop 226's trailer was stolen late Saturday night or early Sunday morning from the parking lot of Trinity Presbyterian Church on West Sheley Road, which is where the troop meets, scoutmaster David Lyons said. When Jackson County law enforcement recovered the trailer from Lincoln Cemetery, all of the troop’s basic camping needs were gone, including tents, camp kitchens, pots and pans, lanterns, cook stoves, fold-out tables, E-Z UP shelters and a first-aid kit.
Even an unopened package of 36 rolls of toilet paper was taken, Lyons said.
“It appears that they would take anything and everything that they could turn around and resell, I guess,” he said.
But one item was left behind, just as it was left behind eight years ago with Troop 226 experienced a similar trailer theft: The troop still has its Dutch oven. Some tarps also weren’t stolen this time.
No one was ever charged in the first theft, Lyons said.
“When they hit us before, it was during Labor Day weekend, when we were up on the Square during Santa-Cali-Gon Days,” Lyons said. Troop 226 runs the well-known walking taco booth during Santa-Cali-Gon.
The trailer is labeled with Troop 226 and Trinity Presbyterian Church on it. Lyons estimates a loss of more than $8,000, adding that like the first theft, “There is a good chance that we’ll never hear the outcome of this.”
Some of the troop’s Scouts have now experienced the effect of trailer theft twice, Lyons said. They took the theft personally because it’s their Scout troop and their materials, but the boys also are learning real-world lessons about how when bad things happen, good members of the community step forward, Lyons said.
Community and church donations will help replace the stolen goods, Lyons said. He added the troop had planned to replace its tents this year anyway, thanks to funds earned at Santa-Cali-Gon Days.
Following the last theft, a good Samaritan from Sibley who had heard the troop’s story through the media contributed a $1,000 check.
“In all this, it brings the good out in the community for those who help out – it teaches them that not everyone is bad,” Lyons said. “They have a no-quit attitude. They have a ‘We’ve got to rebuild attitude’ that this isn’t going to stop us from being Boy Scouts.”