Flamingo caper riles Girl Scout leader


By Jenna Lawson - Springfield News-Sun, Ohio



SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The leader of Girl Scout Troop 30037 says it’s not about what was taken — it’s about principle.

Scout leader Jessica Husted said someone took 50 plastic flamingos her troop was using to raise money.

Surveillance footage shows a man wearing a striped shirt and a cowboy hat jumping out of a truck and pulling two flamingos out of the ground, throwing them in the back of the truck and riding away.

“We just want to get justice for our girls,” Troop Leader Jessica Husted said. She said she was going to supply police with the surveillance video.

“It may be a $2 plastic flamingo from Home Depot but, ‘What are you doing with it?’ and ‘Why did you feel the need to take it?,’” she said. “If we let people get away with small things like this, then they’ll just become bigger and bigger.”

The troop, which consists of 10-12 year old girls, raised about $200 to purchase about 50 plastic flamingos and accompanying signage.

If a yard is ‘flocked’ — meaning it’s covered with plastic flamingos — the homeowner can donate money to the troop, and the girls will pick up the birds and place them in a person’s yard of their choosing.

The troop has been doing the fundraiser for two months, and the donations are being used to fund a trip to the birthplace of Girl Scouts — Savannah, Georgia — next summer.

Ten girls and five adults are scheduled to go on the trip.

“I can’t imagine with the sign being there saying it was for Girl Scouts that he would take those from them,” said Troop Co-leader Mary Vanbeber.

Vanbeber has twin 11-year-old granddaughters in the troop, and she said she’s raised them to know right from wrong.

“What do you tell your child or your grandchild — your granddaughters — when you have to show them that a grown adult took from them after you taught them that,” she said. “It’s hard to explain to them.”

Anyone with information on the identity of the man in the video is asked to contact either of the troop leaders or the Springfield Police Division.

By Jenna Lawson

Springfield News-Sun, Ohio

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