Update on National BSA Chapter 11 from Scout Executive/CEO
Dan Beard Council Families, Leaders & Supporters,
I’m writing today to provide an update on the BSA National Office Chapter 11 filing, but before I do, I’d like to share a few updates on how local Scouting remains vibrant and strong in the Greater Cincinnati region. I am constantly impressed by the dedication of our Scouting Movement and the way we band together as an organization in challenging circumstances. Amid these great difficulties, Scouting has continued to build character, confidence, leadership, and hope in families and communities across the country, and your efforts have helped make some incredible things possible:
New and relevant virtual programs for youth, including virtual merit badge clinics, to ensure Scouting programs continue in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scouting’s continued commitment to community service throughout southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky, including projects to support our local emergency and health responders.
Now more than ever, families are looking for what Scouting offers. When asked what they want from youth-serving organizations this fall, parents overwhelmingly said they want to give their children a sense of normalcy, as well as something to do as a group, even if socially distant, or something productive to do with peers, even if it’s online. Scouting delivers what parents are asking for. Together, we need to stand ready to bring Scouting to even more youth and families this year.
As we promote Scouting in our community, some people may have questions about our youth protection policies and how we keep kids safe. As we shared with you in the materials from our Fireside Chat Programs last summer, each question is an opportunity to shed light on the important policies and procedures we’ve put in place that make Scouting safer than ever before.
It is important to emphasize that the safety of children in our programs is our absolute top priority. That’s precisely why, over many years, the BSA has developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization.
If you are a volunteer, you’ve taken youth protection training, undergone a criminal background check, and play an integral role in the BSA’s commitment to keep kids safe. At Dan Beard Council, and at all councils across America, adhering to and upholding these policies is a duty we take very seriously. I encourage you to view and share video and info-graphic about the BSA’s youth protection measures and resources that make Scouting safer than ever before.
Conversations about safety will be especially relevant over the next several weeks when those in Scouting and other members of the public will likely see and hear print, TV, social media, digital and radio advertising from the BSA National Office’s Chapter 11 noticing campaign. Although only the national organization has filed for Chapter 11, you will likely come across these ads in the coming weeks, so I wanted to make sure you knew their purpose and had the necessary information to address questions or concerns they may raise for you or others.
These noticing ads are different than those many people have seen so far that have been sponsored by plaintiffs’ attorneys trying to solicit clients. The BSA National Office’s ads are instead designed and sponsored by national BSA to ensure that victims have the opportunity to come forward and apply for compensation from a proposed Trust by filing a claim by the November 16, 2020 deadline set by the court. This advertising effort underscores the BSA’s commitment to the dual objectives of its bankruptcy proceeding: equitably compensate victims of past abuse and continue the mission of Scouting.
If you would like additional information about the national BSA’s outreach to victims of past abuse, see this FAQ.
For questions about local Scouting, our response to these issues, or the materials provided during our local Fireside Chat Programs, please visit www.danbeard.org/youth-safety or contact the Scout Achievement Center at (513) 577-7700.
Yours in Scouting,
Andrew V. Zahn
Scout Executive & CEO