Update for Circle Ten Council Members – WSJ News Story on National BSA
Yesterday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal published an article stating that National BSA has hired a bankruptcy attorney in light of the costs of defending sexual abuse lawsuits. I wanted to share with you some information to help you with any questions you have so you can continue to do what you do for Circle Ten Council and the nearly 59,000 youth we serve.
In a communication released yesterday, National BSA reaffirmed its focus on keeping children safe and delivering our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.
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.
BSA is committed to communicate transparently and stated there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the WSJ news story. They are in an exploratory phase of a possible financial restructure.
I have assembled a few items of information from a Dallas perspective that may be helpful considering the news story.
- The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain. Each troop is owned by its charter partner which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution. Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates.
- The Circle Ten Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Texas. Our camps, our Scouting Centers, our bank funds and investments are owned and controlled by the Circle Ten Council.
- The Circle Ten Council does have an investment in the BSAAM Endowment Fund managed by the National Council. All Circle Ten Council dollars invested in that fund belong to Circle Ten Council and are not a part of the National Council.
- 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.
- Councils receive no funding from the national 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 significantly financially independent not-for-profit organization.
- All local donations to the Circle Ten Council stay local to support the nearly 59,000 youth served in our 24 counties and do not go to the National office.
- Areas where we partner with National 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 Circle Ten Council is one of the strongest councils in the BSA from perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication and staff commitment and talent.
It is our hope that the national organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence. Locally, we will stand ready to help - and we will continue our primary focus on bringing high-quality Boy Scouts of America programs for nearly 59,000 Scouts in each neighborhood we serve.
You are welcome to call or email with thoughts or questions.