Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy: Local Update
As of February 18, 2020
TO: Local Stakeholders (Council Volunteers, Council Parents, Friends of Scouting)
FROM: Terry Whitaker, Scout Executive
SUBJECT: An Important Update from the Suwannee River Area Council
As a valued member of the Scouting family, our goal is to help you understand recent media coverage about National Boy Scouts of America.
Please know that Scouting is strong in area, with more than 1,700 youth and over 800 volunteer leaders. All local Scouting programs are continuing as usual. We remain as committed as ever to delivering a safe and impactful Scouting program in north Florida and south Georgia.
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.
I want to highlight important points that are most relevant to the Suwannee River Area Council:
- The Suwannee River Area Council has not filed for bankruptcy. Our Council is legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
- Scouting programs will continue. This means that unit meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects will take place as usual. In short, we expect no changes to the local Scouting experience in our area.
- Scouting is safer now than ever before. Over many years, we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization. I can also assure you that our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe.
- Restricted donations – past, present or future – can only be used for their designated purpose. In addition, Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other annual donations made to our Council will continue to fund necessary day-to-day expenses that are critical to local Scouting programs.
While we do not anticipate the national organization’s bankruptcy filing will have any direct impact on the local Scouting experience or your involvement with our Council, I understand you may still 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.
If you have any questions about local Scouting, you can always feel free to reach out directly to me or your usual contact within our Council.
Through your engagement and dedication to Scouting, the Suwannee River Area Council will continue to bring adventures, values and lifelong benefits to youth and our communities for generations to come. Thank you for your trust and support as we continue this important mission.
Yours in Scouting,