What the BSA News Means for Local Scouting
Dear Scouting Family,
We wanted to reach out to provide some information on a few things that have recently been in the news about the Boy Scouts of America and explain what it all means for Scouting in the Mayflower Council. As you may have heard, the national organization is exploring a potential Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The national organization is a separate and distinct organization from Mayflower Council and so, Mayflower Council would not be included in the bankruptcy. Nevertheless, the national organization has asked local councils to consider assisting in related negotiations and planning.
A filing by the national organization of Chapter 11 bankruptcy would have two key objectives: to equitably compensate victims who were harmed as a result of their time in Scouting and to continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come.
It is important for you to know that nothing is changing at this time, and no decisions have been made regarding a potential filing. We remain as committed as ever to delivering the Scouting program in our area, and to supporting the dedicated volunteers and Scouting families in our communities.
Your regular unit meetings and activities, district and council events, and all other Scouting adventures will continue as usual. Please be assured that all options under consideration by the national organization, including a potential Chapter 11 filing, will ensure that Scouting continues at all levels. Also be assured that there is no scenario under consideration in which Mayflower Council would file for a Chapter 11 financial restructuring.
Our Council President and Scout Executive have been briefed on national’s situation and have designated an attorney who will work with the newly created National Ad Hoc Committee to represent Mayflower Council in those discussions.
Our participation in the Ad Hoc Committee does not obligate us to contribute funds to this effort. As stated above, our Council remains an independent nonprofit organization separate from the national organization.
Please be assured that your Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other annual donations to the Council will continue to be used to pay for necessary day-to-day expenses that are critical to our ability to provide quality Scouting programs in our communities. Additionally, any restricted donation you have made or plan to make to our council can and will be used only for its designated purpose.
You may also be wondering why the national organization is considering these financial options now. The national organization is facing mounting financial strain from a significant increase in litigation related to past instances of abuse. One instance of abuse is one too many, and we are heartbroken that any child was ever harmed during their time in Scouting. It is important to note that the vast majority of these cases date back decades, some as far back as the 1940s, but they are surfacing now due to recent changes in numerous states’ statute of limitations laws.
As members of the Scouting family, you know that the safety of children in our programs is our absolute top priority. Over many years, we have developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization. From mandatory youth protection training to policies like two-deep leadership, no one-on-one interaction between youth and adults, and mandatory reporting of any suspected abuse, our volunteers and employees take youth protection policies and procedures extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe.
In addition to our council staff, the 24/7 Scouts First Helpline (1-844-SCOUTS1) and email address (email@example.com) are also available to assist in reporting suspected abuse or inappropriate behavior. You can view all our safeguards and watch the youth protection training course that is mandatoryfor all volunteers and employees 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.
We know you may have additional questions about these issues and stories you see in the news. We created an FAQ to address as many of those questions as possible. If your question has not been answered in this letter or in the attached document, please feel free to reach out to us by clicking here. We will do everything we can to provide helpful, transparent responses and ensure your Scouting experience continues to be a great one.
Thank you for your ongoing support and participation in our Scouting programs.
Yours in Scouting,
Scout Executive / CEO