Boy Scout chaperone accused of placing hidden cameras in bathrooms at summer camp


St. FRANCOIS COUNTY, Mo. – A Washington state man has been jailed amid accusations he secretly hid cameras in bathrooms and showers during a recent trip to a summer camp for Boy Scouts.

According to the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department, David Nelson arrived at the S Bar F Scout Ranch at Camp Gamble on Sunday, July 18, as a chaperone for a scout troop from St. Louis County. On Friday, July 23, cameras were discovered in two of the bathroom/shower areas with the camp.

Detectives with the sheriff’s department launched an immediate investigation and determined Nelson was the person responsible for placing the cameras there.

Only six juvenile males have been identified as victims in the case. However, detectives suspect there could be more.

Anyone who attended Camp Gamble at the S Bar F Scout Ranch between July 18 and July 23 and believes they may be a victim is encouraged to contact Det. Sgt. Greg Adams at 573-756-3252 (ext. 213) or Det. Lt. Matt Wampler at 573-756-3252 (ext. 209).

The sheriff’s department says the following Greater St. Louis Area Council Boy Scout Troops were present at Camp Gamble during that time frame:

  • 661 Boy and Girl Troop
  • 281 Boy Troop
  • 51 Boy Troop
  • 66 Boy Troop
  • 680 Boy Troop
  • 371 Boy Troop
  • 11 Boy Troop
  • 407 Boy Troop
  • 434 Boy Troop
  • 150 Boy Troop
  • 352 Boy and Girl Troop
  • 662 Boy Troop
  • 8216 Boy and Girl Troop
  • 8357 Boy Troop
  • 8002 Boy and Girl Troop
  • 8001 Boy Troop
  • 98 Boy Troop
  • 179 Boy Troop

The St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Nelson with nine counts of invasion of privacy, two counts of first-degree promoting child pornography, and four counts of second-degree promoting child pornography. He remains jailed on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

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