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Chapter 11 announced

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Dear Scouting Family,

Today, the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to achieve two key objectives: equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come.

While the word “bankruptcy” can be intimidating, it is important to know that Scouting programs will continue. Your regular unit meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects will take place as usual.

We took this action today amid increasing financial pressure on the BSA from litigation involving past abuse in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We believe victims, we support them, we provide counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward. Our plan is to use this Chapter 11 process to create a Trust that would provide equitable compensation to these individuals.

As we go through this process, we want to make certain that all Scouting parents and volunteers know the following:

  • Scouting is safer now than ever before. Approximately 90% of the pending and asserted claims against the BSA relate to abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago. As someone close to Scouting, you know the safety of children in our programs is the BSA’s absolute top priority and that one instance of abuse is one too many. That’s precisely why over many years we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.

    From mandatory youth protection training and background checks for all volunteers and staff, to policies that prohibit one-on-one interaction between youth and adults and require that any suspected abuse is reported to law enforcement, our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe. You can read more about the BSA’s multi-layered safeguards and our efforts to be part of the broader solution to child abuse at www.scouting.org/youth-safety. In fact, this is a resource that you can share with friends and family who are interested in understanding what the BSA is doing to keep kids safe.
  • Scouting continues. Scouting programs will continue to serve youth, families and local communities throughout this process and for many years to come. Just last year, communities across the country benefited from more than 13 million Scouting service hours, and young men and women earned more than 1.7 million merit badges that represent skills that will help them succeed throughout their lives. Studies prove and parents agree that Scouting helps young people become more kind, helpful and prepared for life, and as long as those values remain important to our society, Scouting will continue to be invaluable to our nation’s youth.
  • Local councils have not filed for bankruptcy. Local councils – which provide programming, financial, facility and administrative support to Scouting units in their communities – are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.

We know you will likely have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news. We have posted information about our restructuring on a dedicated website, www.BSArestructuring.org.

This site includes a helpful Resources page, where you will find a short video explaining what Chapter 11 means for Scouting, as well as a FAQ and a reference document that will help you discuss this announcement with youth in our programs. The site also includes a Milestones page, which will be your best source for the latest updates throughout this process.

If these resources don’t answer your questions, please feel free to reach out to us through Member Care at 972-580-2489 or MyScouting@Scouting.org. We will do everything we can to provide helpful, transparent responses and ensure your Scouting experience continues to be a great one.

Yours in Scouting,

Jim Turley
National Chair

Ellie Morrison
National Commissioner

Roger Mosby
President & CEO

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What is legally right is not always morally right.

I would encourage everyone to not ask @ThenNow to rehash particular circumstances. They can be found by patiently browsing his posts. From what I read, they were far from legal. His claim would have b

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Scouting is safer now than ever before. Approximately 90% of the pending and asserted claims against the BSA relate to abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago.

This stat is small comfort. There were more than twice as many scouts more than thirty years ago, maybe more than 4x as many. All of these measures, and we've reduced the probability of actionable abuse by 1/2?

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Among other matters to be addressed in bankruptcy court:  the fate of the Boy Scouts’ assets; the extent to which the organization’s insurance will help cover compensation; and whether assets of the Scouts’ 261 local councils will be added to the fund (Recall some Councils are also litigants in current lawsuits) and whether a U.S. Trustee will be appointed.

Ahead of the Chapter 11 filing, lawyers said that because of the organization’s 50-state presence, as well as its ties to churches and civic groups that sponsor scout troops, a bankruptcy by the Boy Scouts would be unprecedented in its complexity. It would be national in scope, unlike the various Catholic Church bankruptcy cases, which have unfolded diocese by diocese.

Source: (many others )



Edited by RememberSchiff
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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

This stat is small comfort. There were more than twice as many scouts more than thirty years ago, maybe more than 4x as many. All of these measures, and we've reduced the probability of actionable abuse by 1/2?

I suspect that the 90% is those over 30 years.  Theres a big gap of 30 years following that which could be part of the reason.  

Would be interesting for the BSA to publicize annually how many cases were in the last 5 or 10 years.

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Indeed a sad day, but one that was unavoidable. 

Being a non-profit the BSA had limited funds to draw upon.  Revenue in the BSA is largely dues and fees which in turn enable the programming to happen.  Other revenue is used to offset losses in other areas or to fund programming to try to address membership losses.  Similarly, most assets are program supporting items - Philmont, Sea Base, etc. - yes, they have value, but they are also key to providing the program.  Yes, there were insurance policies, but those are merely a buffer. 

Of course we want to see every victim compensated.  But, at some point money was bound to run out.   You can only belt tighten and leverage insurance for so long.  I can fully appreciate that many victims would like to see even program assets sold to make amends.  But, at some point choices like that degrade the very mission that the organization was chartered by the federal government to provide.  In an effort to remain financially solvent and to preserve the ability for the organization to provide our basic service, the BSA really had little choice.

It would have been preferable for federal law to provide another legal mechanism to better handle this case - perhaps a mechanism to establish legal funds to pay out in cases like this where the offense happened well before the time of the current leadership.  But no such mechanism exists like that and so here we are.

Here's hoping for the best. 

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The optics are going to be the hard part.  The group that BSA needs to sell (and continue to sell) is the new families that traditionally join as Cubs.  Those of us in units that are functioning, this is sort of a non-event

How do we (BSA as a whole) bring in new Scouts (Cubs / Scouts BSA / Etc) when the families not invested in the BSA see the Bankruptcy of the Boy Scouts and the driving reason for Chapter 11 is sex abuse cases.  That is going to be a hard sell....just saying

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I don't think this is a good day.  A good day would have been a settlement out of court.  Significant resources, financial and personal, will be focused on this bankruptcy at National, Regional and Council level.  Perhaps in 2+ years, after we emerge, it will be a good day.


 Thanks to a poster from reddit who reviewed this document.  Those who think Councils are out of the woods should read below.  (All comments below reposted from reddit)


Page 4

Sometimes predators used the BSA organization to gain access to children, and volunteers or employees of the BSA or Local Councils did not effectively act on allegations and transgressions as the BSA would have wanted them to and as the organization’s policies mandate today.

Page 6

The strategic options that the BSA explored throughout 2019 included efforts to reach a settlement with a substantial number of abuse victims that could be implemented through a prearranged chapter 11 proceeding. Those efforts involved several meetings with attorneys representing many abuse victims, including a two-day mediation in early November 2019. The mediation was attended by a prepetition future claims representative and some of the BSA’s insurers. Unfortunately, the mediation was unsuccessful. It became apparent that attorneys for abuse victims believed that certain Local Councils with significant abuse liabilities have significant assets that could be used to compensate victims. Further, it became clear that attorneys for abuse victims would only accept information about the nature and extent of the BSA’s available assets if provided through a court-supervised process. Accordingly, the BSA recognized in late 2019 that there were no meaningful prospects for a prearranged global resolution.

Some local councils will be turning over financial data as part of the bankruptcy. See page 7

This data room includes, among other things, balance sheets and asset-level information for the BSA and numerous Local Councils, including details regarding donor restrictions on such assets, as well as information on the BSA’s liabilities and organizational structure


This document goes deep into chartering organizations & ineligible volunteer files.

Pages 220 to 230 list the various kinds of sponsoring organizations, and break down how many of each type of group (church, Elks, zoo, National Guard units. etc.) are chartering organizations, which is interesting.

Pages (approx.) 237-256 cover the historical Ineligible Volunteer files, with a breakdown of how many crimes of each type were recorded each year. It's just chilling. The whole middle section of the document covers this review by UVA, and while it's good that there was a close examination of the data, the findings are horrifying.



Edited by Eagle1993
Added where my comments end.
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