BSA National Financial Reorganization
February 18, 2020
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.
We understand you may have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news. To that end, the national organization has established a dedicated restructuring 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. The site’s Milestones page will be your best source for the latest updates throughout this process.
Scouting is safer now than ever before. BSA has worked for decades to develop 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. If you visit this page, you will find links to:
Our safeguards and standards to prevent potential abuse
Scouting.org, where you can create an account and take Scouting’s mandatory Youth Protection Training for all volunteers and employees (the training is free, and you do not have to be a member of Scouting to take the training)
Our policies and procedures for reporting suspected abuse
Our counseling resources for anyone abused in Scouting, available for free and as long as the victim wants it
Does this action impact local Scouting in our council? No. Our council and National BSA are different entities with separate finances. Through years of good financial stewardship and governance, we, the Pacific Harbors Council, have built a sound balance sheet, a strong endowment, and has no debt.
Here are some additional facts to remember:
The Pacific Harbors Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Washington. Our camp, our Scout Center, our bank funds and endowment are owned and controlled locally by the Pacific Harbors Council.
Councils receive no funding from the National BSA 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.
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.
Areas where we partner with National BSA for business purposes includes things such as several insurance programs, services for IT, and expertise related to camping and Youth Protection. Also, important to note is local council employee benefits, such as healthcare and retirement, are funded by each council through programs controlled and operated by National BSA. By law, the retirement assets for employees are the assets of the employees, not National BSA. Therefore, any financial restructuring of National BSA will have no impact on those retirement assets.
The strength of Scouting for more than 100 years has been its local domain. Each pack, troop, crew, ship, and post are owned by its chartered organization, which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution. Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates.
Dollars given locally to the Pacific Harbors Council stay with the Pacific Harbors Council, whether they are donations from Friends of Scouting, the Friends of Scouting Dinner and Auction, James E West Fellowship, grants and foundations, or any other fundraising event or program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does this bankruptcy mean the national Boy Scouts of America is going out of business?
A. No. This action achieves the duel imperatives of equitably compensating victims of abuse and continuing to carry out Scouting’s mission to serve youth, families, and local communities throughout the country.
Q. What is the BSA doing to protect Scouts from abuse?
A. Several years ago, BSA adopted some of the strongest barriers to child abuse found anywhere and have continued to improve upon them. Today, these barriers are considered by most experts in the field to be the gold standard for youth-serving organizations. Locally, we all have a role in youth protection through keeping training current and enforcing a culture within our units of two-deep leadership and following state-mandated reporting guidelines for any suspicion of abuse. The BSA is committed to helping abuse victims heal through fair compensation and unlimited counseling for victims and their families by a provider of their choice.
Q. Is our local council filing for bankruptcy?
A. No. Our council is an independent nonprofit organization. We own and control our camps, council service center, bank funds, and investments. We receive no funding from the national BSA organization.
Q. Is local Scouting programming continuing?
A. Absolutely, all programming is continuing as scheduled. This includes your regular unit meetings and activities, as well as district and council events. All National policies, like Youth Protection and the Guide to Safe Scouting, are in still in place.
Q. How does this impact our donors/fundraising?
A. Your continued support is critical to our mission of delivering Scouting locally. Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other annual donations to our council will stay local and 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 many communities across Central Texas. Additionally, any restricted donation to our council that has been made or is being considered by a prospective donor can only be used for its designated purpose.