Vandals caused thousands of dollars in damage this week at a Birch Bay summer camp for adults with special needs – the suspects sprayed fire extinguisher in a dining hall, the second case of vandalism there in 1 ½ months.
Over the weekend about 50 volunteers finished scrubbing the newly remodeled kitchen at Lions Camp Horizon, a nonprofit that hosts about 250 adults with disabilities each summer at 7506 Gemini Way.
A worker showed up at noon Tuesday to calibrate the new appliances, but found the building had broken into. The worker also discovered the kitchen and dining hall had been sprayed with chemical powder from a fire extinguisher.
Considering how the chemicals can corrode electronics, repairs will top $10,000, said Don Webster, vice president of facilities at Lions Camp Horizon.
A similar incident happened the first week of April, when vandals sprayed fire extinguisher in the kitchen, around the time the remodel was beginning. A witness saw several “skinny teenagers with skateboards” exiting the building that day, Webster said.
The camp has insurance, but considering the cleanup and the deductible, that’s time and money that could have gone toward campers, Webster said.
Lions Club members founded Camp Horizon for adults with special needs in 1975. This is the first time Webster is aware of the camp having a vandalism problem. He’s not necessarily hoping the vandals will turn themselves in.
“I’m not looking for that,” he said. “Just try to understand that you did a lot of damage, so stop it.”
Nevertheless, tips can be directed to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office by calling 360-676-6911.