Scouts Canada volunteer David Gardner could not believe his eyes when he surveyed the damage Sunday at a local campsite.
“It’s probably not going to be repaired. It’s definitely going to be torn down now.”
Gardner was with another volunteer at the time to check in on MacDonald Drive Scouts Cabin, located near the Foxtrap Access Road turnoff from the Trans-Canada Highway. He was previously there in early June and witnessed nothing out of the ordinary.
Sunday’s visit was another story. Every window at the campsite was smashed, two doors were kicked in, a large deck was torn down, furniture was destroyed, a woodstove was taken apart and thrown outside and its chimney destroyed, and a kitchen table was burned outside.
“There’s garbage and glass all over the front and backyard, all that kind of stuff,” said Gardner. “It’s to the point that it’s not going to be feasible to fix.”
Although disappointed, Gardner was not entirely caught off guard by the vandalism. Last May, windows were smashed in the main buildings at Scouts Canada’s Camp Morristown, located in the same area.
“It’s happened before, but not to this extent,” said Gardner. “We’ve had a few break-ins before, and people leave a mess and smash a couple of beer bottles. Nothing too major.”
After one break-in, a volunteer who is a welder installed grates over the windows and front door of the cabin. The site had few problems over the next three years.
“It lasted for a little bit, but I guess nothing’s permanent,” said Gardner. “There’s no point behind it. They could’ve used (the site), and as long as they cleaned up after themselves, we’d turn a blind eye to it.”
Officers with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary visited the campsite Monday and Tuesday. Gardner said he is also aware of cabin owners in the area having trouble with break-ins, theft and vandalism.
“It’s a bit too prevalent. There should be something done about it.”