Monday, December 17, 2018

Boy Scouts Considering Bankruptcy

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According to the Wall Street Journal, Boy Scouts of America has hired a law firm for assistance in a possible chapter 11 filing.

The 108-year-old organization has experienced decline in membership and escalating legal costs in dealing with sex abuse within the organization.

Be informed.

The Wall Street Journal reports that "Leaders of the Boy Scouts, one of the country's largest youth organizations, have hired law firm Sidley Austin LLP for assistance with a possible chapter 11 filing..."

There are a couple of issues that are driving the demise of BSA.

Legal Costs.

The Boy Scouts have been at the center of sexual-abuse scandals in the past, and the organization is facing a number of lawsuits that allege inappropriate conduct by employees or volunteers in incidents dating back to the 1960s.

The WSJ says, "Filing for bankruptcy would stop the litigation and would give the organization a chance to negotiate with those who have sued."

The Journal notes that other organizations facing similar legal pressure, "have filed for chapter 11 protection to negotiate payouts to thousands of victims."

The Boy Scouts released a letter to all their employees Wednesday in anticipation of this news becoming public, that said it plans "to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of Boy Scouts of America continues uninterrupted."

Chief Scouts executive Michael B. Surbaugh noted the group's "financial position" in the letter. People Magazine was already aware and were planning to publish an article about the BSA issue.

Apparently, BSA is also concerned that their insurance may not pay all claims. "Organization leaders said in their annual report that the suits could force the group to pay damages out of its own funds to the extent the claims are not covered by insurance or if the insurance carriers are unable or unwilling to honor the claims."

Most likely BSA board members could be personally impacted by court decisions regarding BSA's ability to pay damages.

Surbaugh also said,
"We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to focus as an organization on keeping children safe, supported and protected, and preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training."

Therein lies the problem. They have neither focused on "keeping children safe" or provided "values-based leadership."

Decades-old cases of alleged sexual abuse were kept under wraps in what came to be known as the "Perversion Files." While the lawsuits are, for the most part, linked to issues back in the 1960s, they are only becoming publicly known now because of the lawsuits that have been filed.

Declining Membership.

Someone tweeted:
"This is what happens when you bow down to the Left wing," while another tweeted: "Sacrificing its historical mission at the altar of political correctness, and weakening core values to appease detractors. As an Eagle Scout and scoutmaster, I weep for the loss of BSA."

Many are weeping.

More than 110 million people have participated in the BSA programs since its founding.

Yes, there really is a "slippery slope."

Scouts began allowing openly gay boys in Scout troops in 2014, creating an environment where discussions could take place, that parents preferred not take place in a tent on a Boy Scout camping trip. Within 12 months, Scout membership declined about 6%, the largest single-year decline in the organization's history.

In 2015, Scouts began accepting openly gay adult leaders. Earlier that year, they also began accepting transgender boys---girls who identify themselves as boys. In May of that year the Mormon, Scout's largest faith-based partner, announced it would pull about 185,000 boys from the program in response to these decisions by Boy Scouts. This was only part of the number of Mormon members involved with the Scouts.

In 2017, BSA announced they would begin allowing girls. That same week the Girl Scouts organization sent a sharply worded letter to the Boy Scouts accusing them of running a "convert campaign" to recruit girls into its programs to boost Boy Scout's falling membership.

In May of this year, the LA Times reported that "The Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts announced they will sever ties next year, the latest move in what's been a slow separation between the two groups as their ideological differences have widened."

The Times said, "A century-long relationship will soon come to an end."

In December 2019, the remaining 425,000 Mormon boys and leaders will leave the Boy Scouts. The church has created their own replacement program for boys.

For the past 100 years, the Times says the Mormons have automatically enrolled all their boys into the program.

The Times reported that the "Boy Scouts currently have 2.3 million members, having decreased by nearly a third since 2000. The Mormon boys leaving next year represent about 18.5% of the organization membership."

Mike Huckabee had this to say on Friday:

The BSA was a terrific organization that’s helped generations of boys grow up into responsible, trustworthy men. It’s a tragedy to see it fall so hard, and to fall for the currently fashionable notion that masculinity is somehow “toxic.” What should be obvious by now is that divisive, intolerant, leftist identity group politics is what’s really toxic. Look at how many great things it’s killed by infecting them.
Fortunately, no matter what happens to the hollowed-out husk of what remains of the once-great Boy Scouts of America (which is so ashamed of doing positive things for boys that it actually changed its name to hide that fact), there are a growing number of alternatives modeled after the original, pre-PC-infected group. The Mormon Church, which had a long affiliation with the Scouts, is launching its own offshoot in 2020... And there are others, including one called Trail Life USA that focuses on “traditional Christian values” and already has attracted over 20,000 members.
There will always be a need for organizations to help boys grow up into good men, so if one fails in its mission, others will arise to take its place. It’s sad that the Boy Scout leadership allowed this to happen to them. There’s an old saying that many Scoutmasters used to quote: “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” They should have realized that when you allow your moral roots to be bent, the tree dies.

Be Informed. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful.