Thieves steal scouts' camping equipment days before excursion

Thieves steal scouts' camping equipment days before excursion

Thieves steal scouts' camping equipment days before excursion

First published in News by , Reporter

A SCOUT group has been left "heartbroken" after callous thieves stole their trailer and camping equipment just days before they were due to set off for camp.

First Marlow Bottom Scouts were all set for their weekend trip to Braid Wood near Chesham when they discovered the trailer was missing from their hut on Sheepbridge Lane in Flackwell Heath.

The young explorers flipped burgers and helped shoppers pack bags in Sainsbury’s to raise money to buy the container a year ago.

The white trailer, which is used by over 120 scouts, beavers and cubs to ferry equipment to and from camp, also contained a marquee, tents and other camping essentials worth several hundred pounds.

And leader Nikki Stanton-Ketley said though parents have rallied round to save the weekend trip, the theft has thrown the group’s future excursions into doubt.

She said: "We arrived on Friday and went outside to look for the trailer but it had gone. They sawed through the gates and through the lock on the trailer.

"Now there is a big question mark over the group camp in May and whether we will be able to do it. It makes organising camps much more difficult.

"It’s not just the money, there’s a lot of sentimental value in it. It took the the young people a long time to raise the money.

"They are quite down about it, we try not to worry them but it’s hard. It’s devastating to turn round and tell them it is all gone and it’s all been for nothing.

"You just wonder what would drive these people to steal from a charity, and a children’s charity at that. It’s heartbreaking, there’s no other word for it."

Police confirmed thieves cut through gate locks and took the trailer from the Vulcan scout building on Sheepridge Lane between Tuesday, January 28 and Friday, January 31.

Sgt Kevin Read of Thames Valley Police said item stolen was a White Conway trailer, which can be identified by the wording ‘Bonne Neige Ski Holidays’ very faintly still imprinted on the rear doors.

He said: "We are continuing to make local enquiries and have circulated details of the stolen trailer across the area.

"We ask that anybody who may have seen anything suspicious around the area of the scout hut during the week of January 27 contact us so we can follow up any information."

First Marlow Bottom Scouts are using the Vulcan building on a temporary basis while the Burford School Hall extension project is completed.

District Commissioner Rachel Robinson, a former scout leader for Marlow Bottom, said though the group is thriving in terms of young people signing up.

But the thriving pack is calling for more volunteers to come forward to help the group grow.

She said: "People don’t have to become scout leaders, they can just come to help us out. A lot of people have really useful skills they can give which they don’t even realise can benefit us.

"It’s amazing what different people can bring to the group, even being good with young people is a massive help."

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