Thoughts from Scout Executive, Kevin Nichols
In light of the recent media speculation around the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s (National BSA) financial position, our local Mount Baker Council is sharing the following information and perspective. The BSA is committed to communicating transparently and has stated that there is no imminent action or immediate decision expected by the BSA in light of the ongoing news stories.
The National BSA is looking at many financial options with legal financial restructuring being one of the options. The National BSA has not made any decisions, however bankruptcy protection could be considered as a strategy if future circumstances require it or if the National BSA Board believes it to be the most viable strategy. No matter the decision made, our Mount Baker Council is confident that the decision will be well thought out and made to ensure that local and national programming continues uninterrupted.
In a communication on Thursday, the National BSA reaffirmed its focus on delivering the nation’s premier character development and values-based leadership program. In addition, they will continue their dedication to keeping children safe.
The National BSA continues to feel they have a social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse while part of the Scouting program. At no time has the BSA organization knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and they will always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.
Regarding our Mount Baker Council, we urge you to consider any stories you read while keeping the following information in mind:
- The strength in Scouting originates and is sustained at the local level. For over 100 years, the Mount Baker Council has provided the BSA program to youth within our communities. Each Unit is chartered locally with a supportive community partner.
- The Mount Baker Council is incorporated and functions within the State of Washington. Our funds and properties are owned and managed by the Council. The nature of the relationship between our council and the national BSA organization is that we are the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined area.
- The Mount Baker Council Board and Professional Staff work hard to ensure that the Council is in a strong financial position. We are a debt-free Council and continue to be committed to making the best financial decisions while providing quality programming and services for the long-term. Friends of Scouting (FOS) donations and other financial contributions to our Council stay in our Council. Contributions to our Council go to support delivery of our own Council’s program and services to our own Scouts.
- The Council does not receive any funding from the National BSA, in fact the Council pays the BSA a fee as part of our Charter with the National BSA organization. We receive value items from the National BSA, however the Council is a financially independent not-for-profit organization.
Our Board and professional staff continue to do their jobs and focus on our Council goals. Momentum continues to build for the Family Scouting program, our outdoor education programs provide essential leadership and experiences for participants, and our goals continue to focus on ensuring that we are delivering the best program, training, and leadership opportunities to our participants.
The Mount Baker Council is grateful for the passion and dedication provided by our over 3,000 volunteers. As leaders and volunteers we implore you to continue doing what you do so well – working with the youth in our programs and providing leadership and enthusiasm.
We have faith that the National BSA organization will continue to successfully navigate the financial issues that many organizations face in over a century of existence. The Mount Baker Council will continue to focus on our financial health, our quality programs, and our leadership training.
Yours in Scouting,
Scout Executive, Mount Baker Council, BSA