In four separate transactions with Saudi Arabian Airlines, someone siphoned off about $1,400 from a the troop's bank account.
The money, which the Scouts earned through popcorn sales, had been earmarked for the boys' summer camp fees, said Gacek. After the funds were swiped electronically through fraudulent debits, one generous leader stepped up and dipped into his own money to cover the cost.
"All the money that's in there is money they worked for," Gacek said. "I guess the boys just don't realize what happened. We're going to make sure it doesn't affect them."
Boy Scout Troop 341 includes members from Oak Forest, Tinley Park, Midlothian and Mokena.
Many costs will have to be covered out of scout leaders' pockets, Gacek said. In addition to paying for camp, the money would have purchased supplies for the group's pancake breakfast in April.
Treasurer Lisa Gries first noticed the money missing when the scoutmaster contacted her with a balance inquiry. She checked the statement and noticed the deficit. The group's Klondike Derby is approaching, and the leader wanted to begin purchasing supplies for the Feb. 25 through Feb. 27 event. The boys will build sleds at Gaelic Park, Gacek said, and leaders will personally purchase the supplies.
Troop leaders will try to keep all events scheduled as planned.
"You hate to see it happen to the boys," Gacek said.
There could have been more money in the account, Gacek said, but with slow popcorn sales this year, fundraising has been light.
Troop leaders and other adults plan to check with their bank, as there is a possiblity they will restore the funds.