A 22-foot canvas tipi has disappeared and is suspected stolen from the Foster Family Coalition’s (FFC) Camp Connection site.
The tipi served as a visual marker for FFC’s camp off of the Ingraham Trail “so kids know where camp is and can get excited,” said FFC executive director Tammy Roberts.
Roberts said the tipi disappeared sometime between Sept. 26 and Oct. 1. She hasn’t reported the theft to police, but said she intends to.
When staff went to the site Thursday evening to set up for their upcoming camp session, only the tipi’s poles remained.
“The fact that someone would do something like that is beyond my thought,” Roberts said. “It’s the lowest blow ever to take from people, and little children especially who have already been through trauma.”
Camp Connections, a program FFC has run since 2003, is a culture camp where youth involved with social services can enroll for one week per summer. The youngest participants can enroll is seven years-old. Roberts said many begin at seven and continue every summer into adulthood.
On why someone might have taken it, Roberts said she has “no idea” what anyone would want with the tipi. “There is a small tear that we were going to repair this year, so it’s not like it’s in perfect shape.”
She said if not returned, FFC will and try to pull money together from other programs.
Though Roberts said the coalition’s frustration is not about the money, the tipi cost more than $2,300.
Following a Facebook post on Friday, Roberts has already heard from the community that they would support the fundraiser, with one person committing to donate as much as $100 and others offering to donate canvas if the coalition would like to build a new tipi.
On the community’s support, Roberts said “people know about camp and know about its value.” With the exception of a few reports of canvas laying around, she said they have yet to hear anything about the crime.
To the culprits, Roberts said “just bring me back the tipi.”