To: Scouting Volunteers and Families, Greater Alabama Council.
From: J.T.Dabbs, Scout Executive
RE: Finances of the BSA
On Wednesday, December 12th a Wall Street Journal article stated that National BSA has hired a bankruptcy attorney in light of the costs of defending sexual abuse lawsuits.
I wanted to share with you the facts.
- The BSA has not declared bankruptcy they are working with internal and external experts to explore all options available. All potential paths under consideration will ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted. This engagement of a law firm to help explore options is what triggered the WSJ story.
- If the BSA were to go into bankruptcy Our Scouts and leaders will not be impacted by this decision.
- The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain. Each unit (Troop, Pack, Crew) 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 Greater Alabama Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Alabama. Our Camps, our Service Centers, our bank funds and investments are owned and controlled by the Greater Alabama 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.
- 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.
It is our hope that the national organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence. In Alabama, we will stand ready to help – and we will continue our primary focus on bringing high-quality Boy Scouts of America programs for the youth in each neighborhood we serve.
We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to focus as an organization on keeping children safe, supported and protected, while preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.
To ensure our ability to continue preparing youth for their future through the Scouting, we are working with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scouts of America continues uninterrupted.
Our motto is ‘Be Prepared,’ and we are doing just that. We are working with internal and external experts to explore all options available and will share information when we are able to do so.
All potential paths under consideration will ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted.
Greater Alabama Council