GENESEE DEPOT — The Boy Scout motto – “Be prepared” – was put to the test for Troop 135 from St. Paul Parish after its trailer was stolen just before the troop was to depart for its an annual camping trip.

The troop last used the trailer during the week before Labor Day, but didn’t realize it was gone until Sept. 4. Filled with equipment, it was taken from the church parking lot.

It was found and returned to the troop on Sept. 6 before its camping trip in Mukwonago County Park.

“It was a very scrambled event,” said scoutmaster Pat Hoppel, adding that trailer or no trailer the troop was going camping that weekend.

“We’ve had a number of area Boy Scout troops offer assistance,” he said.

Hoppel said thieves stole some of their equipment and created thousands of dollars worth of damage.

“A whole list of stuff is missing,” Hoppel said. “The outside is very messed up.”

Troop decals were spray-painted over but it didn’t stop the scouts from having a good time.

“The boys actually did a nice job of quickly reorganizing it,” Hoppel said.

Later that night, around the campfire, Hoppel said he used the events as a teaching lesson for the scouts.

“Through this event you see that there are some less desirable people in the world that really mess your life up,” he said. “But don’t let them get you down … through the response we’ve seen, the forces of good are far greater. So keep going. Don’t let them get you down.”  Ricardo Torres, Catholic Herald Staff