Thieves took 150m of copper cable from a Crawley District Scouts campsite near Pease Pottage.
A statement from Crawley District Scouts chair Barry Jones and District Commissioner Wendy Keeley said: “The young people of Crawley have lost the use of a magical outdoor place after the theft of the main electrical cable into the local Scout campsite.
“At some point during the last week of September metal thieves disconnected and stole 150m of high voltage copper cable from the Pease Pottage location, disabling the security measures that were in place. Consequently our campsite no longer has power for lighting, heating, hot water or cooking affecting all the buildings at the location.
“Until power can be reinstated the local Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers from Crawley, which comprises some 900 boys and girls aged from six to 18 years, cannot safely use the site for their weekend and evening activities. In addition the site is regularly used by Scout Groups from neighbouring Districts as well as Air Cadet, Schools, Guides, Church Groups and other Youth Organisations.
“It is estimated that the cost of replacing the cable and the necessary groundwork will be several tens of thousands of pounds. At this time it is unclear whether our insurance will cover the essential work but we are committed to fixing it as soon as possible.
“Scouting in the UK is self-funded through membership subscriptions and other fundraising activities. Whilst the adult members do their best to maintain the site the replacement work required is beyond these volunteers’ skills.”