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Everything posted by Eagle1993

  1. This is what I never realized until my last round of youth protection training. I had always thought the predators were simply scout leaders who had that perversion and acted on it. I never realized that many likely joined scouts with this intent in mind. I still get chills (disgusted) when I realize this. I will say, this knowledge really helped me explain to others why we must rigorously enforce barriers to abuse. I always thought there were two reasons (protecting youth from abuse and protecting adults from false charges). However, there is a 3rd reason … scaring away any sexual predator from even joining scouts as they see they will not have an opportunity and would be quickly discovered. One final point, I will say there are definitely abusers who are parents. I personally know 2 individuals that were sent to prison for child porn. Both were parents. In addition, my nephews ASM's husband, not involved in scouting, was caught sexually abusing two little girls he would baby sit. He was a friend of my father and my dad was clearly in shock. No one had a clue this could be happening. I think these serve as a reminder to me that the barriers to abuse must be enforced as you never really know. My one concern is that we overcorrect. I do not want any child abused; however, I also want youth to have opportunities I believe can mold them into strong adults. I am concerned that over litigation could drive many youth organizations out of business. If there are real gaps that could lead to abuse, they should be addressed. What I would like to avoid is changes that do not necessarily make the program safer, but are simply added to prevent litigation.
  2. I still question if admitting girls was a response to the LDS leaving. The LDS had to be working on their alternate program for years and I expect informed the BSA of their decision well ahead of any public announcements. Giving the timing, it seems like the BSA added girls as they knew they would be losing LDS membership. Would be interesting to hear the details once they all come out. Covid has devastated our Pack. Our Troop shrank by 24% but our Pack will shrink by 80%+. I expect we will recover some next fall when we can return to normal … but it will take 2 - 3 years to get back to our original membership, if at all possible. That said, Covid & the lawsuits while massive impacts, may simply be pulling in the end date of the BSA. If BSA was healthy going in, I'm sure it could survive both. The real issue is that BSA has been in decline for decades. In my area, the groups that seem to be expanding have hired staff. Travel sports have paid coaches. After school programs have paid staff. Non BSA overnight week long summer camps cost $800+ but have well compensated staff, cabins and nice equipment. Their commonality …. no or limited time commitment from parents. Volunteer organizations that thrived in the 1900s are dying in the 2000s. I wonder if this is a symptom of 2 income households. Moms and dads both working and then are expected to both share in household activities after work. Neither have time/energy to spend with volunteer organizations (like Boy Scouts, youth sports, etc.). This isn't true 100%, but finding good volunteers is tough these days. I wonder if it was a model that worked well in the past but doesn't work well going forward and also explains the decline of the fraternal orders. Look at the rise in dual income households since 1960. While BSA membership has other causes & effects, I expect this was a huge headwind.
  3. I do not believe any got Covid from this event. I was getting pressure from some adult leaders to move all online, but left it up to the PLC. In a split vote, we have decided to proceed with an in person Troop meetings for December. Outdoors with masks. Patrols separate & everyone socially distant. If you could do it, outdoor patrol activities sounds like a great idea.
  4. Actually this is not fully true. The plan is that there will be a large pot of $. Once there is agreement on the size of the settlement, there is a panel that will decide what each victim gets. That will vary by the length of time since the action & severity of the incident. There will be vetting of the claims, but given the age of many of these, I'm not sure how much vetting could take place. I'm not arguing against tort reform (I think there should be reform & statue of limitations should be in place).
  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2020/11/19/boy-scouts-bankruptcy-abuse/ Having trouble copying quotes from the article. (Using work computer and copy/paste into websites is difficult). Attorney for insurance company is questioning if the law firms reviewed the claims and is indicating it will take time to go through the 95,000 248 of 253 councils have now provided details regarding their assets & insurance local council attorney indicating that councils will be involved via their insurance companies he also said that plaintiffs will not be happy as many donors & properties have restrictions, preventing disposition he went on saying he thinks they will settle; however, he went on to say if they fail to settle BSA and "scouting" will likely fail and most if not all local councils will cease to exist in current form plaintiff attorney is saying more people continue to call post filing deadline. He said this will cascade for years as they are now planning lawsuits against local councils, churches, fire departments, rotary clubs and other sponsoring organizations. They plan to sue everyone linked to scouting and these cases. Talking with my wife tonight … (she is fairly liberal so would generally lean against large organizations) ... She doesn't buy the number … she expects many are just looking for $ She is questioning why their parents didn't do anything if it was that severe. She believes this could kill many youth organizations … nothing is 100% safe and if that is the expectation, then nothing can exist for kids except hanging out with their parents.
  6. I plan to carry on. I still believe in the BSA program and enjoy working with my Troop. I know there were sins in the past and we must atone for them, but if I think the work we do today is important and impactful. I grew up in scouting in the 80s and early 90s and it provided some of the best experiences in my youth. I want to provide that to today's youth. I hope BSA survives, especially with council camps, but will find another way if it doesn't.
  7. For me, its not panic, but more of a sad realization. I thought the numbers would be closer to 7 - 10K and believed BSA could survive. I have a hard time seeing a path forward with the numbers we are seeing now. I agree much of scouting can be done without council owned camps … but summer camp, typically the activity that our scouts enjoy the most will be difficult to do. If BSA folds, I'll likely get a group started with BPSA or another organization. If BSA survives we will continue as is. In the end, we will move on … but it will sting. As SM, I have two immediate concerns. One concern is about the two crews we have going to Philmont and if they would get refunds if Philmont is sold. They got bumped this summer due to Covid, it would be tough to see them lose out on this. Most know the risk, I just hope they get in before the end. The other concern was raised by a parent yesterday. Their kids (Life scouts) were listening to the news about the BSA and have now lost some of that pride they have at being members of the BSA. He talked them up … but this is tough to hear. I'll talk with the scouts … they already get some garbage from classmates about being in Boy Scouts, this won't help. BSA was in court today and it was not good news. Perhaps they are playing hardball to scare the plaintiffs. Summary per Bloomberg: BSA says they need to settle by Summer or they will fail (they are running out of liquid assets to survive). Insurance company attorneys essentially said nope, its going to take them a long time to figure this out. Victim attorneys said probably not, but if BSA & councils sell everything and give them all of their money and they will settle. Attorneys for the local councils stated that if BSA fails, they will take most of the funds and victims will be left with $0.
  8. If councils go down, will this change come into play? Would all Troops/Packs/Crews essentially go "bankrupt" and their funds go over to the council (unless proof exists that it was raised by registered members of the CO)? https://www.scouter.com/topic/32361-troop-assets/?tab=comments#comment-518054
  9. That will be terrible if/when it comes. I'm still hopeful that councils are mostly spared … I think BSA has a good case they are separate. Just thought of another issue … I hope the lawyers don't find out about scout accounts. Little Billy's wreath sales fund will end up helping some New York lawyer buy a 3rd boat.
  10. @Eagledad You may be right and as a 3rd generation Scoutmaster, I hope you are correct. I did take a look at GM's bankruptcy and the new GM purchased the trademark of GM from the old GM. So essentially, BSA would pay the bankruptcy settlement the rights to use their trademarks going forward. Interesting interview on PBS. https://www.pbs.org/video/abuse-in-the-scouts-1605649565/ PBS NewsHour interview with Timothy Kosnoff, plantiff attorney. He is saying that BSA will liquidate very soon (within a few months). Given their revenue streams have dried up due to Covid, and 100,000 claims, they will not have a path back as a viable business and will have to liquidate. He also stated this includes liquidation of all council assets as well. I don't see this … but … I guess that is probably the worst case scenario. He did not request all current volunteers be jailed, so I have that going for me.
  11. https://time.com/5912452/boy-scouts-sexual-abuse-bankruptcy/ This would not be a shock if we leave BSA and Boy Scouts of America names/brand. It is completely damaged. If you look at our camps, many were from wealthy donors (private & corporate). I doubt any corporation will want their name associated with BSA or Boy Scouts of America going forward (even after bankruptcy). Even private donors may hesitate. We will continue to need donations to maintain what remaining camps we have and that may need a new brand. My only concern here is some comments by child abuse "experts" is that he Boy Scout model of a few adults taking groups of kids in the woods is not safe. If those groups win, and we essentially move to family camping, the true benefits of Boy Scouts are lost. Unfortunately, I think they win by requiring high numbers of adult to youth ratios.
  12. Agreed, but no one is going to back the BSA now. Expect the exact opposite. I think everyone (lawyers, politicians, etc ) will extract their pound of flesh. I wonder if our national charter survives.
  13. It seems like the big, big question is if the court sees the councils as completely independent organizations OR part of the overall Boy Scouts of America. At this point, I think National will have to sell off all assets including the HA camps … nothing will be left other than the structure/program. I see no way they keep anything given the # of claims. The battle line will move to council assets. I wonder if this is a way to protect councils post bankruptcy without including council properties as part of the payout. Curious as it seems like nearly all councils have filed claims now.
  14. NPR now reporting that over 88,500 have filed claims. Deadline in 1 hour. Sounds like the next step is a 3rd party will review all of these claims to see which are valid. A plaintiff lawyer is warning other youth organizations they better get ready and use the BSA as a warning message.
  15. I was talking with several ASMs recently. We were attempting to think of a youth organization, today, that has a better youth protection policy than BSA. We couldn't think of one. Sports teams, schools, churches, etc. typically have less restrictive policies than BSA. We remarked the number of times we saw 1 on 1 contact, no 2 deep leadership, no YPT training, etc. So, the lawyers, are essentially destroying the organization that probably has one of the best youth protection polices in place today due to sins of 20+ years ago.
  16. I wish you the best of luck. Follow your council and local rules regarding meeting sizes and locations. Don't feel bad if you can't meet in person for a while. We are currently operating a Troop in Wisconsin, whose Covid #s are off the chart (my town is now at over 1,000 cases per 100,000 and all schools are switching to virtual). We were doing "ok" until one of our scouts had Covid-19 and exposed 20 others during a hike. As our local contact tracers are overrun, I ended up emailing & texting parents informing them of the exposure. Not fun, but for the most part parents understood. However, our participation dropped given the scare. Then, at an outdoor Troop meeting, another scout told some others that he was supposed to be in quarantine but decided to attend our event. I need to follow up with the scout's parent (who is also a ASM). Wisconsin is simply a mess. Some hospitals in northern Wisconsin are now medevacking severe patients to hospitals in southern Wisconsin. (My wife's aunts brother was one … 65 years old, vented and airlifted out). Our Council has now banned all indoor meetings and said Troops/Packs are essentially on their own for outdoor meetings. We plan to restart zoom/online meetings. I expect to lose >25% of our registered scouts. I hope other states are doing better … use masks, follow social distancing guidelines, don't get into the mess Wisconsin is in. Whatever you do, do not violate local/state laws, CO or council guidelines. When I called parents, my only saving grace was that we followed all laws & rules. I couldn't imagine calling parents if we had violated any of these rules.
  17. How did it grow to 82,000? I thought this was always in the 10,000 range (max). The best "win" for the plaintiffs I have seen is the Milwaukee Archdiocese. It took 4 years in court. They were able to reduce the claims by 43% and hold payments down to $64K each. With 82,000 claims, the equivalent for the BSA would be a $3.0B settlement. I think we are on the edge of liquidation. BSA will need to make an offer just short of liquidation … keep enough so they can survive but provide so much that pursuing further legal action on the plaintiff side wouldn't be worth it. That probably means selling off most if not all HA bases and the artwork. It will also probably mean selling off a large portion of council properties (or councils will be the next target). Incredibly sad as the youth today will pay the price for something that occurred decades ago by people no longer involved in scouting. Given that the lawyers will probably take 40%, the individual victims will be walking away with very little.
  18. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee took 4 years to settle. The benefit is that they only paid out $21M to 330 individuals. If BSA wants this quick, they will pay more. If they want to minimize damages, be prepared for years of litigation. I tend to agree, now that lawyers have victims names, they will proceed to councils and COs that have $$. Even individuals if they think they have any funds. When talking with a lawyer friend recently, I asked him who we would sue. He said everyone. Let the courts figure out who pays.
  19. As the BSA lawsuit grows, I fear the fall out with other organizations' youth outreach programs. Not sure if this was already mentioned, but NMRA is dropping its youth outreach programs. My son has loved and continues to love model railroading. There were locally sponsored youth groups plus fun events at our local model railroading convention (kits to build for youth, junior engineering program). That is now all ending due to litigation risk. If the BSA, with all of their overhead in terms of background checks & training cannot prevent lawsuits and bankruptcy, what youth serving organization can? Is it just a matter of time as lawyers work through the whales to find small and smaller prey until the suck the blood out of all youth serving organizations? So, my son will now see the youth created model railroad layouts go up for sale/donation. Their hard work will no longer be displayed and a bit of joy out of their lives will be squashed due to litigation risk. I guess at least they are safer as more and more opportunities for fun/engaging off screen activities are removed. https://nmra.org/nmra-risk-persons-policy "In society today we see lawsuits against various individuals who are in positions of trust who abuse that trust and abuse the vulnerable among us. These have been teachers, clergy, and volunteers in other organizations. In November 2019 the Boy Scouts had to mortgage Philmont Scout Ranch for $446 million dollars for payment of abuse judgments and settlements, and most recently the Boy Scouts declared bankruptcy. This happened despite the Boy Scouts’ comprehensive – and expensive – program used to screen and prohibit abuse. The NMRA is not equipped to enforce the necessary protection policies for our members to follow. We do not have the money for the insurance or the company that provides training, or the staff to make sure the regions and divisions are complying with the necessary requirements to prevent abuse. Simply put, one instance of an abuse lawsuit by someone against the NMRA would bankrupt the NMRA and the organization would cease to exist. Statistically, based on the population at-large, we know that some of our members would abuse an at-risk person. NMRA insurance does not provide coverage for any accusations of abuse."
  20. I'm Scoutmaster of my Troop, Committee Chair & Den Leader in a Pack. I find the Troop situation 1000% easier with Covid than the Pack. Very few scouts (or leaders or parents) are motivated by the advancements in Cub Scouts (at least based on what I have seen). So, I think they struggle with the point of remote Pack/Den meetings. The best Pack/Den meetings were active (songs, skits, games, etc.). Camping, hiking, PWD would then round out the year. We had very little enthusiasm for zoom meetings with Cub Scouts. We cancelled 3 campouts, several hikes and other activities … and now we are supposed to go and ask for higher fees this fall … UGH! On top of that, our council cash situation is bad and they are pushing FOS & fundraisers. I have a hard time selling Cub Scouts at this point in time. We will do our best, but I expect a rough fall/spring. My Troop has faired better, though it has been rough. We were able to go to Summer Camp, several are headed to BWCA and we have held 4 Eagle Scout projects since the outbreak. Remote MB clinics are helpful and we can keep the scouts engaged. Plus, you don't need to sell scouting to the youth … they know what scouts will be when we return to normal (perhaps some risk with recent crossovers). I know council is pushing us to keep 75% of our existing scouts then add recruitment on top. My goal is to prevent our Pack from folding.
  21. The other option BSA is to fight in court for several years. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee did that (4 years) and was able to settle 330 cases for $21M ($64K per). 575 actually filed (so that $36.5K per filing). For BSA that would be close to $365M for 10,000. Sell of the paintings and cut staff … they can get there. FYI ... the attorney against MKE Archdiocese was the same one suing BSA. So he will know that organizations can and are willing to fight back hard. Given that, hopefully he is more reasonable in settlement talks. https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-archdiocese-settlement-20150805-story.html
  22. Just returned from Camp Freeland Leslie. They kept our Troop together for the entire week as went through the weekly schedule (no mixing with other Troops/campers). Scouts had 6 - 7 merit badges with 2-3 complete on average (so a lot of partials this year … but who cares). We had 1 visit to shooting sports (a 2nd was cancelled due to storms). 3 trips to the water front. Scouts were able to eat their fair share of ice cream. Plus, CFL is a patrol cooking camp, so not much changed there. The week was hot and rainy, but the scouts had fun. Overall, a great experience given the circumstances. It will be even better if my test comes back negative (I plan to take a Covid-19 test later today and should get the results back in 3 to 4 … so hopefully that goes well). I signed my son up for testing tomorrow. Very minor symptoms that is typical of any time I go to camp (likely allergies). I doubt I have it, but National Guard is offering tests in my area and encouraging proactive testing so I thought I should go ahead.
  23. When I heard 10,000 plaintiffs I begin to wonder if this goes Chapter 7 vs 11. If Chapter 11 results in a settlement that is too low, I wonder if the judge is able to push this into Chapter 7 and liquidate everything. I hope not … but that number was large and scary. Perhaps that was the point to push for a large settlement.
  24. I've seen this comment repeated by many (especially on Facebook). You may be talking about the Antifa protestors, which could be true, but this does not apply to the Black lives protestors. Who is ignoring the other homicides? Many of the protestors are from inner city churches who also march after murders. Others run or work with non profits who are working with youth in the inner city (from Boys & Girls clubs to many others). I question people who think that few in the community are not attempting to help. I have personally donated time and money to organizations in the inner city near me and see that people are not ignoring the problem. I think anyone in this thread who are against the police reform and would rather help community organizations helping to reduce civilian-on-civilian homicides could donate their time/money to many worthy causes. You could also help a Troop or Cub Scout pack start up (or Trail Life unit). For example, here is a list of organizations out of Chicago. Most cities have many different organizations working on violence prevention. https://abc7chicago.com/stop-the-violence-resources-chicago-in/3894299/ I would ask … when you look at this list, how could you claim that they are "... ignoring the several orders of magnitude greater rates of civilian-on-civilian homicides...". Most if not all of those organizations' primary focus has nothing to do with police violence. When I see this type of comment, it is as ignorant as saying all NASCAR fans are racist since a noose was found in Bubba Wallace's garage.
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