Sep 29, 2010


A couple dozen Cub Scouts in DeKalb County were facing a bleak camping season after someone stole their gear from a church parking lot.

But when Atlanta filmmaker Tyler Perry heard the news about the theft of Cub Scout Pack 103's belongings, he gave the scouts a check for $10,000 to cover the loss.

The pack's plans for an October camping trip were ruined by the disappearance of its gear-packed trailer.

Early this month, someone stole it -- and an empty Boy Scout trailer that was parked next to it -- from the parking lot of Clairmont Hills Baptist Church in Toco Hill.

The pack''s trailer was filled with tents, coolers, propane tanks and "industrial-sized" stoves that could feed 50, pack administrator Emily Skuban said.

Police told Skuban that the bad guys probably wanted the heavy equipment so they could scrap it for money.

"The police guessed the thief didn't care about the camping equipment," Skuban said.

But the loss of the gear ruined plans for a two-day rugged adventure in October. Skuban's 7-year-old Will and about two dozen other kids were going to have to make do with a car-camping trip, instead.

"The trailer is a big loss," Skuban said, "but we can't camp without the camping equipment."

Then Perry entered the picture. He heard about the loss in media reports and someone from his studio contacted Skuban soon after she spoke with the AJC.

"He just gave us a $10,000 check," she said in a follow-up interview Tuesday.

Skuban said the trailer and its contents were probably worth around $4,000. She said she has been overwhelmed by the generosity of Perry and other Atlantans, who have been contacting her pack through its website offering help.

She urged other scouting troops and packs who've suffered a similar loss to contact her group, so she can put victims in touch with donors.

There have been other victims.



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