As the Boy Scouts of America start the bankruptcy process in Delaware, Scouts from across the United States gather in Washington, D.C. to present the youth organization’s annual Report to the Nation to the country’s top officials. The report highlights the impact the Scouts and Scouting volunteers have made throughout 2019, a document mandated by the BSA’s congressional charter.
Report to the Nation delegates—BSA youths selected for their outstanding work in displaying BSA values—represent their communities and the over 130 million youth members currently in the BSA. The delegation of 13 young Scouts will deliver the report to member of U.S. federal government leadership this week. PR Newswire states that highlights from the Report to the Nation include:
- Nearly 900,000 Scouts attended BSA high-adventure camps in West Virginia, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Florida, as well as thousands of Scout day and summer camps.
- In all, Scouts across all programs camped a total of more than 5 million nights during 2019.
- A record 61,353 Scouts earned the Eagle Scout Award, beating the 2012 record.
"The accomplishments and milestones achieved in 2019 reinforce the important role that Scouting plays in the lives of young people and our communities," said Roger C. Mosby, President and CEO of the Boy Scouts of America.
However, these comments fall short and hurt the ears of the thousands of former Boy Scouts who claim they were sexually abused while in Scouting programs. Notably, the mention of sexual abuse cover-ups and allegations are left out of the BSA’s Report to the Nation.
Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy and Child Abuse Lawsuits
Currently the BSA faces a massive litigation for claims of sexual abuse. Across the United States, men ranging decades in ages claim that while they were in Scouting programs, leaders in the BSA took advantage of their trust and molested them in the cruelest ways including rape, masturbation, and fondling. For some boys the abuse even lasted years, and for many the abuse was never reported to the police. Often, abuse reports were blatantly covered up through quiet dismissals and transfers.
With the growing lawsuits and declining membership rates, the BSA filed for bankruptcy February 18, 2020. Now, the fallen youth organization is engaging in the chapter 11 bankruptcy process, which involves setting up a creditors committee.
“Today in Delaware, the U.S. bankruptcy trustee is interviewing abuse survivors today to form a creditors committee of abuse survivors at the hands of the Boy Scouts,” said Andrew Van Arsdale, an attorney with the legal movement Abused in Scouting (AIS). “This committee will service the bankruptcy court and help guide what the overall compensation will be for individual victims.”
AIS currently represents over 2,300 men who claim they were sexually abused by scoutmasters and Scouting volunteers while in Scouting programs. AIS has 14 members in Delaware participating in that process. Through the Bankruptcy process, the BSA says they intend to create a Victims Compensation Trust to settle the child sex abuse lawsuits pending against them.
"The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting,” the BSA reported in a statement.