The members of Boy Scout Troop 008 were in for a big surprise on Tuesday when they arrived at East Cobb's Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church for a meeting.
They were to go over final preparations for a big camping trip this weekend in the North Georgia mountains, but found themselves staring at a particular spot in the church parking lot, almost in a daze.
That's where a 12-foot-long trailer containing all their camping gear had been located.
The trailer, and everything in it, had been stolen, and now they're scrambling to collect enough cooking and sleeping gear and other items for the Fall Camporall, the biggest event of the year on the troop's very busy camping schedule.
"We're kind of in a bind here," said Jim Srock, the scout master for Troop 008, which includes around 60 scouts and leaders who are planning to make the camping trip.
"We teach our boys to be trustworthy and honest and to be good citizens of the community, and this happens," he said. "We had some long faces at our meeting last night. We're still in a state of shock."
Srock said the trailer likely was stolen within the last week. It contained stoves, pots and pans, cooking utensils, satchels, tents, water jugs, lanterns and other camping equipment the troop has accumulated in its 12 years based at Wesley Chapel.
The Fall Camporall is an event of the Foothills District of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which includes a number of troops in the East Cobb area.
Srock said scout families and other troops have been donating some items for Troop 008 take to the Camporall, which begins on Friday night at the Woodruff Scout Reservation in Blairsville.
Ironically enough, the theme of the Camporall weekend is "Heroes and Villains."
Another troop also has offered the use of its trailer items for the weekend, he said.
Most of the boys have sleeping bags and other sleeping gear, but the troop needs propane lanterns, wash basins and cooking gear most of all.
If you're interested in helping out Troop 008, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.