DELMARVA – The Boy Scouts of America have filed for bankruptcy, and now local chapters on Delmarva are saying they won’t really be impacted. They’re reassuring scouts, parents, and community members that they’ll continue to operate as normal despite the bankruptcy claim.
“I don’t know that I had much reaction, I think it’s what the national organization seems necessary to move forward,” Robert Nakagawa, Scout Executive, said.
And that seems to be the reaction of most local boy scouts of america chapters, as they say this decision by the national body won’t affect them.
“I don’t see any repercussions from national, we’re going to continue being boy scouts, we’re going to continue to help the youth in the area and continue to give back to the community,” Paul Curtis, Assistant Scout Master, said.
We’re told local boy scout chapters are self-funded, so the bankruptcy move won’t mean they’ll have to shut down.
“We’ve been assured with our local council that everything will continue as normal from boy scout camps to local activities that go on,” Curtis said.
The move to file for bankruptcy is in response to the hundreds of claims of sexual abuse from between 1960 and 1980. But even though that doesn’t reflect on local chapters, local leaders understand it tarnished the public’s trust. They tell 47 ABC they’re hopeful for second chances.
“I think there is that perception, but ultimately I believe that if they took the time to understand and see what scouting is, yes we go camping, we teach first aid, we do those activities, but that’s not our objective,” Nakagawa said.
They also tell 47 ABC that there are several policies in place to make sure scouts are safe.
“We have several things, we all have to fill out our leadership forms, which do an extensive background check for us now, we also have our youth protection that we go through every year,” Curtis said.
“We can’t even email, text, or phone call a youth individually, so A parent or somebody else always has to be engaged in that,” Nakagawa added.
The national organization says that by filing for bankruptcy, they’ll be able to create a victim’s compensation fund.
The Boy Scouts of America released a statement on their website saying in part, “We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children.”
Local chapters tell 47 ABC there are also policies in place now that mandate where scouts can sleep.
Those policies say scouts cannot sleep in a tent with a person that is two years or more older than them.