It started on Easter weekend, when an 8x10 Fort McPherson tent disappeared from the grounds of the Children First Centre in Inuvik.

Then, over the weekend, a section of the railing on the deck was also damaged.

Remnants from the tent

Pieces of the tent frame are all that's left behind of a much-loved Fort McPherson tent that was the only play structure at the Children First Society. (David Thurton/CBC)

“Sometimes people don’t realize the impact it can have on others and particularly the children,” says Patricia Davison, executive director of the Children First Society, which runs the centre. “The children were quite sad and surprised that this would happen to their space.”

The centre, which officially opened for the first time last fall after nearly a decade of fundraising, runs a daycare and afterschool programs in the community.

Now Davison says the kids have lots of questions.

“So we talk about how somebody really needed a tent, and they hopefully will make good use of it and will be able to treat our tent safely. We talk about that with them.”

The tent was the only structure in the play yard at the time and was used daily by children of all ages. Davison says they were fortunate to inherit it from another group in town.

“The chance of us replacing it at any time soon is pretty slim. It’s just not in our budget.”