UPDATE: The Cub Scout Pack 614, a camping trip in early October was cut early after thieves ransacked their camp. Their lanterns, coolers, and cooking equipment were all taken. However, that is not stopping them from getting back outside. Thanks to Rock Creek in Cleveland, they will be enjoying the outdoors sooner than expected.
They are ready to get back to their favorite activity, spending the weekends under the stars. These boys are eager to be out camping once again, especially after last month. “They are doing great, the first meeting they had a lot of questions, asking why? Why would someone come through this and do this to us,” said Pack Leader, Nicole Merriot.
In early October, the cubs were out camping at Athens Park and Rec when they were robbed of their camping supplies. Saturday, they received new equipment thanks to Rock Creek. “You can't be prepared for theft that is just wrong. So our plan of action was just replenish as much as we possibly we could. Get them camping gear so next time is just as fun,” said Sara Lewis.
The boys received a back pack full of cooking supplies, tent gear, and lanterns to help them on their camping trips. “I am thrilled, very happy for the kids. I am excited for them it just makes me feel great the community and the folks out there are good people willing to help us out,” said Merriot.
For Rock Creek it’s something they felt like they had to do. They believe cub scouting is more than something to do. It's all about teaching the boys about the person they will become and they hope this small gesture will bring back the smiles to the cubs in Pack 614. “We are trying to make something so negative a positive experience. It is just warming, what a local business can do and it's what we do. I just love it—heartwarming,” said Lewis.
Pack 614 is hoping to use their new cooking supplies sometime soon. They will be having their "cooking lesson" within the next few weeks. Then they will be taking that knowledge outside with them for the spring camping trip in April.
When Nicole Merriot heard yelling Saturday night she thought it was coming from a few teenagers playing a prank.
“Around 6 am there was horns and a car combined, people were yelling out profanity to the scouters as they drove by and they blew the horn and woke us all up,” said Nicole Merriot, Cub master, Pack 614.
When she and other cub masters woke up the next morning, it was no laughing matter, they had been robbed.
“We lost our Coleman lantern, coolers, camping cooking equipment,” said Merriot.
Six packs, made up of about 30 elementary school kids, were camping at Athens Regional Park over the weekend. Thieves took everything from camping equipment to food. It is the item that can't be replaced that has the cubs most upset.
“And our pack flag which was $225,” said Merriot.
Pack 614 if hoping someone will recognize the flag and help return it.
“That pack flag represents us, and represents those kids, and what we do in scouting,” said Merriot.
Austin Fesmire, Director of Athens Parks and Recreation says his team is looking at 12 hours of surveillance video to see if they can spot anything that would help investigators.
“This isn't a prank, this is just disgusting that they would do what they are doing,” said Austin Fesmire, Director, Athens Parks & Recreation.
Fesmire says the park is patrolled, but officers can't be everywhere at once.
“It’s almost like you can't stand in front of the convenience store, and wait on the robber. We are in and out of there all the time. And it could have been they are in there while we are driving through,” said Fesmire.
While investigators hope the cameras spotted the bad guys, the cub masters are left trying to replace $1,000 worth of stolen items.
“It's going to take time. i had this pack for three years as cub master, and it's taken that long for us to build our camp kitchen up,” said Merriott.
Parks and recreation employees recovered a coffee pot belonging to one of the packs. They say the thieves probably dropped it in the park while trying to get away.
Athens Police were not available for comment today, but tell us the case is being investigated. If you have any information that can help police call 423-744-2730