While many of us were ringing in the New Year with loved ones, ball drops, and new resolutions, Troop 604 of The Boy Scouts of America were forced to add to their wish list. Sometime in the past week, approximately 1,500 dollars in camping supplies were stolen from a locked storage shed at the Felton Bible Church. Matthew Bond, the troop leader, and Janeen Bond, the troop committee chair, were about to leave on a trip for their 19th anniversary when they heard the news. They only had the time to scan the shed and resecure it before they left town to try and celebrate. Both Bonds had difficulty taking their minds away from the theft while away. Janeen lamented, “It is very dark when someone steels, worse is when it is from our youth who work so hard for every piece of equipment they have.”
In Matthew’s cursory glance of the equipment shed he found, “8 new Colman Darkroom 6 person Tents from Costco, one Dutch Oven, 2 20# propane tanks, a solar light that had just been donated and installed, and at least 4 new REI backpacking tents,” had gone missing. With encouragement from Boulder Creek native, Kevin Foster, the troop quickly set up a GoFundMe to cover the costs of the theft and, thanks to a highly supportive community, reached their 2,000-dollar goal in just two days, on January 7th. Donations came from all places, including individual community members, local businesses, like Graniterock Company, and alumnus Boy Scouts.
Matthew, a Boulder Creek native and alumni from Troop 623 in San Lorenzo Valley, couldn’t be more grateful for his community’s help. The troop will be using the new funds to buy equipment for a trip to Yosemite in March and improve security of the storage shed. Janeen explained the importance of the lost supplies, “We have our winter camp coming up… The boys really need to recoup the outdoor cold and winter gear. We take backpacking tents that are extremely light and extremely expensive. You can’t go those fifty miles without it.” It’s nice to see Troop 604 receive help from the community, especially after all their contributions to our valleys, like their annual beach and river cleanup, can drive, park restoration, and efforts at the Salvation Army. Although it’s a shame someone preyed on Troop 604 for, as Janeen put it, “things that were expensive and things they could sell,” the 45 scouts are so thankful for their community’s help.
Visit Troop604.org to learn more and support the troop.