From the Chairman
April 2020 – By now you have probably heard about the national BSA filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The news reports given on this subject in the mass media have not always been complete and accurate. Given the close relationship between the American Legion and the Boy Scouts of America, it is important that the information regarding this action is made clear and understandable. We want to ensure that the American Legion, through its Posts, continues to be an active supporter of the Scouting movement. Here is the most accurate info currently published by BSA.
BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 18, 2020, 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.
It is important to remember that Scouting continues and its programs are safer than ever. Additionally, only the national organization is included in the filing. 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.
I want to highlight important points that are most relevant:
- No BSA Councils in Florida have filed for bankruptcy. Councils are 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.
- Scouting is safer now than ever before. Over many years, BSA developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.
- Restricted donations – past, present or future – can only be used for their designated purpose. In addition, Friends of Scouting, United Way and any other annual donations made to our Council will continue to fund necessary day-to-day expenses that are critical to local Scouting programs.
It is not anticipated the national organization’s bankruptcy filing will have any direct impact on the local Scouting experience or your Post’s involvement with your Council. Understanding you may still have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news, 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 your local Council.
Through the American Legion’s engagement and dedication to Scouting, local BSA Councils 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 service,