By Sarah Shurge – Sunday, September 25th, Boy Scouts of America Troop 735made a devastating discovery. Over $6,000 in camping equipment was stolen from their trailer, along with personal medical forms and more.
On Sunday, the scoutmaster had sent a scout to grab a grill from the troop’s trailer so they could grill hot dogs and that’s when the scout discovered their trailer had been broken into. The trailer had been parked behind Planet Fitness with permission to do so. The thief tried to steal the entire trailer, but it was properly locked, so they were unable to move it and broke the hinges instead.
“This is just devastating,” said Cherie Elmore. “I kind of feel bad for the person that stole everything because what kind of mindset do you have to be in to steal from children?”
Elmore is mother to Jayce Elmore, an Eagle Scout from Troop 735. Jayce has been a scout for 11 years since he was in 1st grade, and a Life Scout for about three years.
Troop 735 currently has 11 scouts, most of whom have grown up together in the troop for 10-11 years. In 2005, the troop originally started at UAW Local 735 in Canton, and then in 2010, moved to St. Mary, where it has been located since.
From around April through October (depending on the weather), the troop goes camping once a month in tents. In November, the troop has their annual campout at St. Mary’s where they go through inventory and pack up everything for the season.
The troop had a campout coming up in October, but with all of their gear stolen, they are not sure what the next steps will be.
“The kids have to fundraise by selling popcorn to get this stuff and someone stole it,” said Elmore. “With COVID they weren’t able to sell popcorn as fundraisers and the troop has been struggling.”
Items that were stolen are as follows: ten tents and tarps, one propane tank, two propane lanterns, four Dutch ovens, two small camp stoves, one large Camp Chef grill top, four cast iron frying pans along with storage bags, one 5-gallon water cooler, one large garbage can, multiple buckets (1-gallon and 5-gallon), tiki torches, two flag stands, one wagon without handle, one new rolling chuck box along with its contents, two charcoal starter chimneys with the charcoal, one lock and broken latch, knife sets, cooking utensils, spices, a custom branding iron, and an unknown amount of totes along with the contents inside.
Articles about the troop’s camping equipment being stolen have been posted on fox2detroit.com, mlive.com, and audacy.com, including the troop’s GoFundMe link.
Donors have begun reaching out in an effort to help. The troop has had four tents donated so far. On Friday, September 28th, a $6,000 check was donated to Troop 735 by a staffing company in Dearborn.
“We are so grateful for the people that have reached out, all the donations, or people sharing our link or our story,” said Elmore.
If you are interested in donating, you can reach out in the GoFundMe, you can find them on Facebook by searching “BSA Troop 735 Wayne, MI” and contact them through Facebook messenger, or by email at email@example.com.
The troop is actively searching and in need of a new location to safely store their trailer, as they do not have the money to pay. The troop is still trying to sell popcorn as well.
“I don’t know what we would do without our community. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a village to raise an Eagle Scout as well,” said Elmore.
Troop 735 is looking to add more families to the troop in order to keep the troop alive. The troop is recruiting boys and girls ages 11-17. Troop 735 meets every Sunday from 5pm-7pm at St. Mary’s in Wayne.
If you are interested in joining Troop 735, contact: Amy Farris at (313)418-2664 or Terri Hall at (734)664-3968.