A letter from Bryan Feather, Scout Executive/CEO, Mayflower Council, BSA
To: Mayflower Council, BSA Scouting Community
Re: Update to Wall Street Journal News Article- December 13, 2018
Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal printed a news Article titled:
Boy Scouts of America Considers Bankruptcy Filing Amid Sex-Abuse Lawsuits…. Nonprofit has hired law firm Sidley Austin for assistance in a possible chapter 11 bankruptcy filing
Please note- this article is about the National BSA (BSA) and not the Mayflower Council, Inc.
In a communication released yesterday, BSA reaffirmed its focus on keeping children safe and delivering our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training. For a copy of that statement, click here
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.
In a conference with all Local Council Scout Executives, BSA committed to communicate transparently and stated there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the Wall Street Journal news story. In other words, the BSA has NOT filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The BSA has hired a law firm to advise and work with the BSA on matters related to litigation amid Sex-Abuse Lawsuits.
I have assembled a few items of information from a Mayflower Council perspective that may be helpful while considering the news story.
- The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain. Each Scouting Unit (Troop, Pack, Crew, Post) is owned by its chartered partner which is typically a place of worship, service club, community organization or educational institution. Each local Scout Council is incorporated in the specific state where it operates.
- The Mayflower Council, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our Camps, Volunteer Service Center, bank funds and investments are owned or controlled solely by the Mayflower Council, Inc. Contributions and funds provided to the Mayflower Council, Inc. stay in this area and are used to support program delivery in the 62 cities and towns we serve.
- The nature of the relationship for a local 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.
- The Mayflower Council continues to offer Scouting and Learning for Life programs of the highest caliber to the greatest number of young people possible. We do so in a safe environment with a commitment to background screening of all staff and volunteers as well as a mandatory Youth Protection Training. https://www.scouting.org/training/youth-protection
- Council’s receive no funding from the national organization; in fact, we pay fees to 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 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 Mayflower Council is one of the strongest Councils in the BSA from perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication and staff commitment.
We have great confidence the National BSA can navigate the difficult waters that it, and many other long serving institutions, face with over a century of service to our nation. The Mayflower Council will continue our primary focus of bringing high-quality Boy Scouts of America programs to over 11,000 Scouts in the 62 cities and towns we serve.
Scouting is thriving in this area! This is due in large part to you with your contribution of time, talent and treasure.
You are welcome to call or email with thoughts or questions. Thank you