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Per WSJ -BSA may declare bankruptcy

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3 hours ago, TuckahoeJoe said:

So, who are the insurance companies that happily billed and collected premiums and are now refusing to pay?  It is quite a kick to the gut for the BSA to institute all these reforms since the 70's and 80's to provide a safer program that we enjoy today and be ripped off by the insurance companies when it come time to compensate victims for the heinous acts of others.

Unless one reads the policy no one  knows if insurance companies are right or wrong

such policies are usually very clear on litigatoon liability clauses

 

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On 12/13/2018 at 4:43 PM, Jameson76 said:

Interesting message from the Atlanta Area Council today.....

 

Parents, Volunteers and Donors:
 
The purpose of this communication is to help you understand the position of the Atlanta Area Council, BSA and how it relates to National BSA's story in the recent Wall Street Journal article.
Below are some fast facts we would like to share with you:
  • We operate as a financially separate not-for-profit organization and our Council receives no funding from the National organization.
  • The Atlanta Area Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Georgia. Our Camps, Volunteer Service Center and finances are owned and controlled by the Atlanta Area Council.
  • Local Scouting programs, camps and the Volunteer Service Center will not be directly affected by National BSA's consideration of their options.
  • All funds contributed to the Atlanta Area Council stay in Metro-Atlanta this includes Friends of Scouting donations, popcorn and camp card sales.
Our Council is strong, in fact the Atlanta Area Council is among the strongest in the nation from perspectives of fiscal health, quality programs, volunteer dedication, safety and staff quality.
 
It is our hope that the National organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence; we will help the National organization as called upon. In Atlanta our primary focus is on bringing high-quality programs for over 31,000 Scouts in each neighborhood we serve. 
 
Thank you for continuing your role and providing leadership and support to the youth in Metro-Atlanta.
 
Yours in Scouting, 
 
Tracy Techau
Scout Executive/CEO
Atlanta Area Council, BSA

Here is the response from Circle 10 Council.  I know its been a few days since this was posted, but I didnt know about "123 Not It" before I volunteered to organize our Christmas Lock-In so I have been busy the past several days. :)

 

 

 

Yesterday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal published an article stating that National BSA has hired a bankruptcy attorney in light of the costs of defending sexual abuse lawsuits. I wanted to share with you some information to help you with any questions you have so you can continue to do what you do for Circle Ten Council and the nearly 59,000 youth we serve.

 

In a communication released yesterday, National BSA reaffirmed its focus on keeping children safe and delivering our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.

 

BSA stated its commitment to the social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and the deep care and concern for all victims of child sex abuse and the proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse. BSA stresses that at no time in BSA history has the organization knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and will always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.   

 

BSA is committed to communicate transparently and stated there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the WSJ news story. They are in an exploratory phase of a possible financial restructure.

 

We have assembled a few items of information from a Dallas perspective that may be helpful considering the news story. 

 

  • The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain. Each troop is owned by its charter partner which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution. Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates. 
  • The Circle Ten Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Texas. Our camps, our Scouting Centers, our bank funds and investments are owned and controlled by the Circle Ten Council.
  • The Circle Ten Council does have an investment in the BSAAM Endowment Fund managed by the National Council. All Circle Ten Council dollars invested in that fund belong to Circle Ten Council and are not a part of the National Council.
  • The nature of the relationship for a council with the national BSA organization is that our council is the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined territory.
  • Councils receive no funding from the national organization; in fact, we pay fees to National BSA as a part of our charter agreement and for specific services. We receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a significantly financially independent not-for-profit organization.
  • All local donations to the Circle Ten Council stay local to support the nearly 59,000 youth served in our 24 counties and do not go to the National office.
  • Areas where we partner with National BSA, for business purposes, include several insurance programs, services for IT and expertise related to camping, Youth Protection and so on. Also important to note is employee benefits such as healthcare and retirement are funded by each council but through programs controlled and operated by National BSA.
  • The Circle Ten Council is one of the strongest councils in the BSA from perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication and staff commitment and talent.  

 

It is our hope that the national organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence. Locally, we will stand ready to help - and we will continue our primary focus on bringing high-quality Boy Scouts of America programs for nearly 59,000 Scouts in each neighborhood we serve

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

IMHO, these Council letters raise more questions about  how much and where local money goes. 

Agreed.  The Circle 10 letter, in successive bullets, says they pay fees to National, then all money stays local.  It can't be both.  My council issued substantially the same statement.  Nobody cares about the legal structure, BSA is BSA.  Going to be an interesting FOS season.

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2 hours ago, RememberSchiff said:

IMHO, these Council letters raise more questions about  how much and where local money goes. 

Here is a council charter renewal form.  filestore.scouting.org/filestore/mission/pdf/523-027_WEB.pdf

In short a council pays an annual National Service Fee of 3.5% of the total of the salaries of the professional and office staff, though some councils could pay closer to 4%.

There is also a national charter fee of $1,000.  This fee is waived if the form is submitted on time.

Edited by robert12
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Wow...amazing how fast the councils are trying to separate themselves from National.  All the notices are almost identical as if "someone" had prepared a boilerplate for each council.  We hope National can get out of their mess but it's not our problem.

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47 minutes ago, PACAN said:

Wow...amazing how fast the councils are trying to separate themselves from National.  All the notices are almost identical as if "someone" had prepared a boilerplate for each council.  We hope National can get out of their mess but it's not our problem.

I’m sure they are thinking FOS impact... and I don’t blame them.  People will not want to give to FOS if they think the money will simply to to Nationals and be part of a bankruptcy fund.  I was already asked by multiple parents if they should stop buying popcorn or contribute to FOS until after the bankruptcy....  Councils need to get their message out quickly or they will see major losses in donations.

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1 hour ago, PACAN said:

Wow...amazing how fast the councils are trying to separate themselves from National.  All the notices are almost identical as if "someone" had prepared a boilerplate for each council.  We hope National can get out of their mess but it's not our problem.

The message in our council was basically identical to Circle 10, so yes, it is a boilerplate.

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Here is a letter that has come from Mid American Council.  It looks like they were given a form letter and updated to each region.  Just sharing.

 

Good evening,

 

I am sharing yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article stating that National BSA has hired a bankruptcy attorney in light of the costs of defending sexual abuse lawsuits.  

 

In a communication released yesterday, National BSA reaffirmed its focus on keeping children safe and delivering our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.

 

BSA stated its commitment to the social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and the deep care and concern for all victims of child sex abuse and the proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse.  BSA stresses that at no time in BSA history has the organization knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and will always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.  

 

From a conference call with national leadership today, BSA is committed to communicate transparently. Its been stated there is no direct action being taken in the near future or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the Wall Street Journal’s news story. The organization is truly in an exploratory phase and doing due diligence in an effort to be prepared and make informed decisions as it relates to the next 100 years of the BSA. 

 

I have assembled a few items of information from a Mid-America Council perspective that may be helpful considering the news story: 

 

  • The strength of Scouting for over the last 100+ years has been its local domain. Each scouting unit is owned by its local charter partner which typically is a place of worship, service club or educational institution.  Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates.

 

  • The Mid-America Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Nebraska, Southwest Iowa and Union County South Dakota.  Our camps, volunteer service centers, bank funds and investments are owned and controlled by the Mid-America Council Executive Board of Leadership and Trustees.

 

  • The nature of the relationship for a council with the national BSA organization is that our council is the holder of a charter to conduct the BSA programs in our defined territory, throughout our 58 counties.

 

  • Our council receives no funding from the national organization. In fact, we pay fees to National BSA as a part of our charter agreement and for specific services. We receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a financially independent not-for-profit organization.

 

  • Areas where we partner with National BSA, for business purposes, include several insurance programs, services for IT and expertise related to camping, Youth Protection and so on.  Also important to note is employee benefits such as healthcare and retirement are funded by each council but through programs controlled and operated by National BSA.

 

  • In the BSA, the Mid-America Council is a strong council from the perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication, staff commitment and talent. 

 

I am positive that our national council can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence.  As a council, we will stand ready to help. We will continue our primary focus on bringing high-quality BSA programs for over 18,000 youth in each of the communities we serve.

 

In closing, we must as a local council inspire confidence and show the utmost leadership within all of our ranks. We will maintain the quality scouting program that we have become accustomed to. We have embarked on many new things locally and nationally, foremost the introduction of girls into our programs. Our success this year with the introduction of girls into Cub Scouts and the ensuing addition of girls into our “Scouts BSA,” reinforces the quality of programs that we deliver and the interest to participate by the families we serve. Locally we have inspired 500 new families through the addition of girls and nationally that number is 70,000+. We must continue this momentum and stay steadfast to our strategic direction.

 

Lastly, it is now more important than ever with the recent success of our 2nd Annual Governor’s Luncheon for Scouting that we maintain community and donor confidence. The dollars that have been pledged and paid are more important now than ever, but most importantly these dollars have been given for local programs and they will always stay local. No local donor dollars go to fund any litigation on a national prospective. We will continue to stay true to our core mission and that is that we stay focused on youth by building character, developing strong leadership skills and guaranteeing that the BSA will be here for the next 100 years and beyond.

 

As always, I welcome your call or email with any thoughts or questions.

 

-CSM

BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

Mid-America Council

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Just a thought to the top tier camping locations (Philmont, Summit, Sea Base and Northern Teir),  Why not open these locations to the public?  This could ease monetary considerations with the scouts.  Plus it would expand our presence with those not in scouting.  It can be good marketing and service.  I look at what Spirit of Adventure Council (Boston MA area) has done with Camp Sayer.  They have made it a place open to all organizations to visit and attend.  I have been at woodbadge the same time a YMCA youth group was camping in a cabin.  A great way to reach out to those not in scouts.

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6 minutes ago, Laxplr21 said:

Just a thought to the top tier camping locations (Philmont, Summit, Sea Base and Northern Teir),  Why not open these locations to the public?  This could ease monetary considerations with the scouts.  Plus it would expand our presence with those not in scouting.  It can be good marketing and service.  I look at what Spirit of Adventure Council (Boston MA area) has done with Camp Sayer.  They have made it a place open to all organizations to visit and attend.  I have been at woodbadge the same time a YMCA youth group was camping in a cabin.  A great way to reach out to those not in scouts.

As for the Summit, it has booked outside events, e.g. the Spartan Race, since it has not been financially sustainable as promised.  Before booking outside groups, the BSA had to lobby for a referendum to  West Virgina constitution to exclusively not tax the  BSA (a non-profit) for renting to commercial groups. Also, the BSA dropped the alcohol prohibition on BSA property. 

 

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7 hours ago, PACAN said:

Wow...amazing how fast the councils are trying to separate themselves from National.  All the notices are almost identical as if "someone" had prepared a boilerplate for each council.  We hope National can get out of their mess but it's not our problem.

The boilerplate is clearly damage control, but I disagree about separating from National. All the boilerplate releases say the local council is financially strong and "stands ready to help" National.

Compare that to our councils statement.

Quote

As has been widely reported, the National Council, BSA is considering options regarding financial reorganization if future circumstances should require it.

No such decisions have been made, and no actions have been taken. These considerations are merely due diligence and part of good governance.

The National Council, BSA is a separate and distinct corporation from any local BSA Council. Northern Star Scouting is incorporated in Minnesota and our assets are not affected should the National Council restructure and reorganize its own assets. Our funds and properties are under our board’s ownership and governance.

Children count on us for fun and adventure, for character-building life skills, for a safe haven, and for their preparation as our future community leaders. We’re keeping our focus on them. Northern Star Scouting is strong and vital, and we will find the services and resources we need, locally as well as in concert with other Scout Councils, to serve our families for decades to come.

  Clearly off the same boilerplate document. But the last sentence I bolded is less open ended in its support for National.

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On 12/15/2018 at 2:22 PM, TuckahoeJoe said:

So, who are the insurance companies that happily billed and collected premiums and are now refusing to pay?  It is quite a kick to the gut for the BSA to institute all these reforms since the 70's and 80's to provide a safer program that we enjoy today and be ripped off by the insurance companies when it come time to compensate victims for the heinous acts of others.

The Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. and First State Insurance Co. in Texas have both turned their back on the BSA, arguing that the “ineligible volunteer files” show the organization hasn’t done enough to protect children against sexual abuse and misconduct, and hasn’t done enough to warn parents of the risks.

Both insurers are arguing in court that they shouldn’t have to pay claims related to abuse that the BSA could have reasonably prevented. The BSA and several councils sued both insurers for $13.5 million in June. In a separate legal battle, insurers are refusing to cover sex-abuse settlements and legal defense fees for the BSA, arguing that the events were not accidents and could have been prevented.

https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/breaking-news/boy-scouts-of-america-battle-insurers-over-coverage-for-sex-abuse-scandal-119599.aspx

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1 hour ago, RememberSchiff said:

The Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co. and First State Insurance Co. in Texas have both turned their back on the BSA, arguing that the “ineligible volunteer files” show the organization hasn’t done enough to protect children against sexual abuse and misconduct, and hasn’t done enough to warn parents of the risks.

Both insurers are arguing in court that they shouldn’t have to pay claims related to abuse that the BSA could have reasonably prevented. The BSA and several councils sued both insurers for $13.5 million in June. In a separate legal battle, insurers are refusing to cover sex-abuse settlements and legal defense fees for the BSA, arguing that the events were not accidents and could have been prevented.

https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/breaking-news/boy-scouts-of-america-battle-insurers-over-coverage-for-sex-abuse-scandal-119599.aspx

RS, perhaps I need another cup of coffee.  But when I read the post, the only word I could think of is "grim." 

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