Thieves steal more than $10K in camping gear from Boy Scouts in Port Charlotte

Boy Scouts puts kids in the middle of the action, preparing them for life with lessons and skills.

But nothing prepared these scouts or his troop leader for this.

“I had asked two of the boys and go out and put some stuff in the trailer,” said Christopher White, scoutmaster of Troop 351. “They came back in and were like Mr. Chris, where’s the trailer?”

An estimated $10,000 to $15,000 of camping gear was stolen right from a church parking lot.

Even worse, the thought of what could have happened. “That upsets me more than anything because they were casing the place. I mean, they could have easily been looking to take one of the kids versus the trailer,” White added.

In security camera footage they found the thieves were parked there the night before – yards away from the young boys – all the while they were meeting inside.

White let out his frustration, “It made me angry. I was angry. It made me angry because they waited only an hour after we left tuesday night to take it.”

The troop leader is thankful they didn’t take one of the scouts who constantly gather gear from the trailer.

Boy Scout Nathaniel Othon said, “We always use the buddy system which is a scout has to go with another scout.”

All of their camping trips are now in jeopardy.

“I was looking forward to the trip to get some merit badges,” Othon said.

But these are scouts to the core. Even in extreme situations they work to find the enduring lessons.

The troop doesn’t want to cancel all of their trips — they’re meeting tonight and tomorrow to find a solution.

If you have spare camping gear, you can donate it at the Pilgrim United Church in Charlotte County or make a donation to the attention of the Boy Scouts Troop 351 at Charlotte State Bank and Trust.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Derrick Shaw