Boy Scouts in ‘disbelief’ after trailer, camping equipment stolen

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GALESBURG, Mich. — When Scoutmaster Ralph Guitar arrived home Tuesday afternoon he noticed something was missing from his driveway: his Boy Scouts utility trailer. It had been stolen, he quickly learned. And he immediately  dialed 9-1-1.

“Pathetic” is how he described the act during a brief phone interview. The next step was for he and the other scout leaders to tell his boys, Troop 265 of Galesburg.

“There was a lot of disbelief,” said scout leader Kevin Linders during an interview at his office. “There was a lot of kids who wanted to put out a mass search right then to start driving the roads, the county roads to go search for it.”

Linders said it happened some time between 8:30am and 3:30pm that day at the scoutmasters home on N Avenue. They usually keep it locked up but someone broke through  and drove off with it.

“It was parked in his driveway,” said Linders who’s been with the scouts since the ‘70s. “The neighbor noticed a white truck [or] light-colored pick-up truck hauling it away.”

And driving away all the camping equipment inside. He said there’s an assortment of tents and other gear worth $10,000.

“We have cooking equipment,” said Linders. “We have stoves. We have dutch ovens. We have canopies, axes, hatchets, all the things to run our outdoor program.”

The troop is scheduled to campout again on February 10th at the Klondike Derby. But their next high-adventure excursion is in early March. He’s hoping to have it back by then.

“We camp once a month,” said Linders about the group that consists of 20 boys ages 11-18. “It’s going to be a little challenging for the next weeks and months to figure out where we go from here. But we have a great community and we hope to recover the trailer with all the equipment so.”

Deputies at the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department are looking for the light-gray box trailer. Anyone with information regarding the situation is asked to call them at 269-383-8821 or the scoutmaster Ralph Guitar at 616-813-9248, or email him at rmguitar@att.net. He hopes to get their trailer back soon and wants to turn this into a life lesson for his boys.

“As youth leaders, we’re trying to build character through mentoring and development,” said Guitar. “I’m willing to bet if someone took the time out to love him [the criminal], he wouldn’t be doing what he did.”

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