- Aug 8, 2019 at 10:20 am #3605209
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
According to the press, BSA are considering applying for bankruptcy protection because of the risk over a huge number of impending pedophilia claims AND their internal suppression of them.
To be sure, BSA’s action in suppressing the claims is actionable, but surely the actual pedophilia claims should be against the adults involved.
Anyhow, my question is what will happen to Philmont if BSA does go bankrupt? Sold off to cover debts?
Cheers, or otherwiseAug 8, 2019 at 1:08 pm #3605216
plus, BSA had a lot of funding from LDS church but didn’t they have a falling out over gay leaders and scouts?
I had a good experience in the scouts, a long time ago. Too bad if that ends.Aug 8, 2019 at 1:53 pm #3605224
David YBPL Member
@moonshineLocale: Mid Tenn
I fear we may be witnessing the end of the BSA as well as with a lot of other American values and culture. The Greatest Generation’s Baby Boomers have betrayed them.Aug 8, 2019 at 2:18 pm #3605228
David PBPL Member
This is so sad… a few bad apples really did spoil the barrel. Is nothing sacred? My brother is very involved with his 2 boys in Boy Scouts I am not looking forward to this conversation… My deepest sympathies to all who are affected by this…
i have absolutely no qualms about the sexual orientation of leaders or anybody ftm, just leave the children ALONE!Aug 8, 2019 at 2:22 pm #3605229
@mhrLocale: San Juan Mtns.
Depending upon the type of bankruptcy protection the BSA seeks, the Court may authorize reorganization, or alternatively, liquidation. Reorganization may not result in a sale of significant assets. Liquidation will.
Everything evolves. Some species, organizations, values, and aspects of culture don’t survive the unrelenting process.Aug 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm #3605230
Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Unlike a number of other organizations that work with children, the BSA did not want to do background checks on their leaders. This was well known and went on for many years. Sexual orientation isn’t the issue, pepople who prey upon children is the problem.Aug 8, 2019 at 2:44 pm #3605231
Ben CBPL Member
Sounds like they may have been actively covering up criminal activity. I’m amazed they were doing no background checks. It’s sounding a bit like the Catholic church scandal. If this pans out as I suspect, I have no problem with them going down.Aug 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm #3605233
Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
This story was in the news months ago. The BSA’s own Youth Protection training talks about how youth organizations can become havens for predators and this clearly had been the case for decades in the past. That being said, I think the current youth protection policies and practices of the BSA far exceed what I have seen in local high school sports and clubs and such national organizations as USA Swimming and USA Gymnastics.
But back to the question of liability. Some BSA councils increased the amount of legal exposure to liability claims by maintaining in the past internal lists of bad actors against whom complaints were made. But such lists were not disclosed to law enforcement. Also such lists did not really prevent predators from moving to a new unit and starting over.
In reference to bankruptcy, when the story first came out, I looked at the BSA annual report. In the report you can see that the BSA took on a lot of debt to build the National Jamboree venue. The drop in revenue from declining membership also has impacted adversely cash flow. The claims from the victims of sexual abuse for which the BSA is indeed legally liable led to the insurance rates going up. Any past or future settlements not covered by insurance also impact cash. So you have a perfect storm of liability claims, insurance rates going up, revenues declining, and high debt service payments.
Therefore I would posit that the BSA is considering bankruptcy in order to reorganize and limit its debts and liabilities. it would be up to the courts to create the priority queue for banks and victims who have won claims. The BSA would then figure out how to plan for the future. One course of action, might be to sell off assets. I do not know whether BSA National owns outright Philmont but would think the Jamboree Center would be a more valuable asset to sell. There are probably deed restrictions on what BSA National can do with Philmont since it was a gift from the Phillips family.
I am not privy to the internal reasons for the LDS church leaving the BSA. The Church for the most part used the BSA as a framework for running its own LDS specific youth programs. So it was relatively easy for the LDS to leave.Aug 8, 2019 at 5:27 pm #3605240
LDS left Boy Scouts at the same time the Boy Scouts liberalized their policy about gay scouts and leaders. The LDS was critical of that. The LDS also funded a California initiative against gay people. Maybe that’s just correlation : )
I have nothing against LDS. I had a job with a number of LDS people. I got along quite well, hard workers. I can even understand their fear of gay people, although it’s time to lose that.
In 1970 I remember going over to my scout master’s house and there were pictures of naked women in his shop at his house. Today, I wonder if there was anything else going on. I remember it was hard to get anyone to take on the scout master role.Aug 8, 2019 at 5:54 pm #3605243
Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
Please keep this in mind: sexual orientation does not equal pedophilia.
Almost all other youth-oriented programs do background checks on adult members. It was well known that BSA did not or were extremely lenient in their screening. Child predators knew this and took advantage of the situation. The BSA set up a breeding ground for this behavior.Aug 8, 2019 at 6:06 pm #3605245
Mike WhitesellBPL Member
BSA has been in a tough situation financially for several years. They have had declining membership for ages. Currently they stand at around 2.3 million youth members (as of 2017 annual report) down from 4.8 million peak in the 70’s. And they stand to lose up to 1/4 of their membership at the end of the year when the LDS drops their national charter. Though a significant number of those LDS scouts will likely move to different troops or new troops will be started with other chartering organizations.
The money side has been tough. With declining membership comes declining use of their properties and declining revenue from those properties forcing some councils to close and sell off camps.
Also, the continuing legal fights have drained their coffers. This lead to changing policies on gay and transgender scouts and leaders and opening cub scouts (blue shirt program for K-5th grade) and boy scouts (tan shirt program for ages 11-17) to girls. Though they are still fielding lawsuits from atheist organizations who want the BSA to remove “duty to God” from the program.
The BSA did change their policies on youth protection back in the 90’s and now has very robust youth protection policies and training that all leaders have to go through, as well as background checks when doing any position such as committee, scoutmaster, assistant scoutmaster, merit badge counselor, etc. They are still paying massive legal bills from cases stemming from the 90’s and have been paying for unlimited counseling for those who were abused.
The BSA signaled last year that they were considering bankruptcy reorganization to try and right the financial ship.
It saddens me to see those who would cheer on the potential demise of a great institution. I was a Scout when I was a kid, and now I am a Scouter with 2 boys involved. Its a great program to teach leadership,citizenship, and self reliance in the arena of the outdoors. It involves real challenges, real service, real progress, and real skills being taught, learned and applied.Aug 8, 2019 at 6:25 pm #3605246
Kevin BuggieBPL Member
@kbugLocale: NW New Mexico
800 former victims just filed suit against BSA. If its proven that BSA protected predators similar to the way the Catholic church, I hope the victims get everything!
Youth access to nature will evolve in different forms.
Earned my Eagle badge in ’96. In hindsight, some adult leaders seemed suspect….Aug 8, 2019 at 6:47 pm #3605249
LDS Church document:
The First Presidency has announced that effective January 1, 2018, the Church will discontinue its Varsity and Venturing Scouting programs for young men ages 14–18 in the United States and Canada, replacing them with a new activities program.
“We are grateful for our long-standing and continuing partnership with the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada,” the First Presidency stated in a letter to leaders dated May 11, 2017, which included an expression of gratitude and appreciation for the support of adult Scouting leaders.
Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles serves as the Church’s representative as a National Executive Board Member of the Boy Scouts of America.
“I wish to commend the BSA leaders who have been so supportive of the Church’s decision to cease participating in the Varsity and Venturing programs,” he said. “They have been understanding, kind, and very professional. We are grateful for their interest in us, in our youth, and in our worldwide need.”
Why the change?
According to the Questions and Answers online, the change is an effort to better meet the needs of young men ages 14–18 in the Church, who are not being served well by the Varsity and Venturing Scouting programs that are difficult to implement on a local level.
The Church “continues to work toward developing a program for young men and young women globally,” according to the statement.
New activities program
In place of Varsity and Venturing Scouting, wards and branches may begin using the Church’s new Aaronic Priesthood 14–18 activities as early as June 1, 2017. The simplified program:
- Provides fun, meaningful activities that provide opportunities for balanced personal growth and development.
- Allows youth and their adult advisers to more fully focus on priesthood-related activities.
- Meets local needs.
Brother Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President stated, “With this new focus, leaders will have a program that meets the diverse interests of young men, develop important life skills, and deepen conversion.”
Charles Dahlquist, BSA’s national commissioner, told the Church News he is confident that the Church will implement an inspired, enlightened future activity program for teacher and priest quorums.
For more information on the new activities program, see the guidelines (available in English, Spanish, and French) and the Questions and Answers online. A database of activities is available at ymactivities.ChurchofJesusChrist.org and ChurchofJesusChrist.org/youth/activities.
Wards and branches are encouraged to continue with planned activities as they review and determine how they will implement the new activity guidelines.
Continuing Scouting programs
The Church will continue its Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs for boys ages 8 through 13 because they “meet the development program needs of boys from ages 8 through 13.” It will also be involved in Friends of Scouting. The First Presidency letter states that “young men over the age of 14 who desire to continue to work toward the rank of Eagle Scout or Queen Scout should be encouraged and supported in their efforts and should be properly registered as Scouts.”
Brother Dahlquist, former Young Men General President (2004-2009), said chartering organizations such as the Church can choose which Scouting programs to utilize.Aug 8, 2019 at 8:01 pm #3605258
Greg MihalikBPL Member
“This is so sad… a few bad apples really did spoil the barrel. Is nothing sacred?”
We could only hope it was “… a few”. 800 were willing to come forward. How many more were able to just cope and move on?
And when you look at the cover-up by the leadership it becomes clear that it a systemic problem, not just a “few bad apples”.Aug 8, 2019 at 8:16 pm #3605261
Willie Sutton was once asked why he robbed banks, and his (perhaps apocryphal) response was, “Because that’s where the money is.”
Where are the children? Schools, churches, Scouts, playgrounds, and your relatives’ kids. Those cursed with pedophilia (which is not evil) and who choose to act on it (which is evil), are going to go to those places. The school district runs a background check on me every year. Because I coach math. In a classroom. With a certified teacher present. That doesn’t happen in churches. And you don’t even need to go divinity school, or get ordained. Just be a youth pastor. (There are some absolutely lovely, caring, giving people in my town who are very religious but) the most sleazy men around wrap themselves in the flag and God and that works as camouflage against their many gullible victims. Alaska sees even more of this than most places for predictable reasons: more politically conservative, more religious, more isolated, and it’s a place people go when they’ve burned all their other bridges. Google “Jesuit Alaskan village” even without “sex” or “abuse” and seemingly that’s the only type of priest that accepted those postings.
I got a lot out of Scouting (camping skills, an introduction to backpacking, job skills for most of my early paid work as a first-aid instructor, BPing/ski store employee / guide, and later while working in a computer store hired 3 other guys from my Scout troop). But even in the 1970s, our troop evolved. The Korean War vet Scoutmaster who was very stern, religious, hierarchical, punitive and into camping only. The much younger Vietnam vet who replaced him was far more approachable, dialed down the religious stuff, and aspired to get the boys backpacking. When my father took over, he let the older boys actually lead the trips and hikes we wanted to do and made everything as secular as possible. My younger cousins in the Piedmont Council 15 miles away (a very wealthy and well-educated neighborhood) later had even more progressive policies and just ignored the LDS-pushed-for national policies.Aug 8, 2019 at 8:47 pm #3605268
Rereading my post above and I realized a diligent parent should see a red flag about me: I’m coaching middle-schoolers after my own children aged out. One red flag, not many, but they should look closer. Are there legitimate reasons why a smart guy who likes math would want to work with smart kids who like math? (yeah, it’s a fun challenge to see how much HS and college-level math you can teach a tweener). But if they look with more nuance and they’d see:
- parents are always welcome in the classroom, and in the sessions in the public library
- we only meet (regularly) in those public places
- other parents are always welcomed and encouraged to come when I escort the team to State and National competitions.
- there are always other parents along on the snow/math/cabin/camping trips.
- I don’t initiate hugs – a kid has to towards me and keep coming.
- If an ill-behaved kid from a broken home can turn himself around and minimally behave himself for those few hours a week (and my consistent presence and rules work for some of them) that’s great and those are some of my biggest successes, but if not, I boot them from the program so I can concentrate on kids who want to learn. I’m focused on one pointy end of the bell curve, not the other. A predator would target exactly those vulnerable kids that I expel.
I think, of course, parents should look at pastors, priests, scoutmasters, and coaches through those jaded lenses, but more so BECAUSE THE MOST VULNERABLE KIDS’ PARENTS WON’T, the organizers must do so.
I can’t think of any good that I do – teach them math, encourage their work ethic, demonstrate the incredible progress they can make after a few years of diligent practice – that requires me to be alone, off-site with them. The individualized tutoring I do is in a glass fishbowl of a room at the public library. The (tried, convicted and imprisoned) child sexual predator from my own middle school was popular with lots of kids because he was young, friendly, approachable, had the only video equipment around in 1973, and paid attention to the most troubled kids whose own parents were too busy for them. One-on-one work in small rooms, trips for ice cream, etc. It all came out 5-6 years later and some of kids were really messed up by it.Aug 8, 2019 at 9:29 pm #3605273
Matt DirksenBPL Member
@namelesswayLocale: Mid Atlantic
As an Eagle Scout and an ASM for both my son’s troop and my two girls, I have spent a considerable portion of my life dedicated to BSA, and the values it espouses. I can’t even imagine what my life would have been like right now had I been victimized back when I was a youth. My heart goes out to those who were, and I sincerely hope that justice and accountability are found in a Good Way.
While I understand that National office of BSA is the primary target of the bulk of the litigation, I also understand that most if not all of the 272 area councils are separate non-profit organizations. While it’s entirely possible that a victim could potentially sue the perpetrator, the local chartered organization, the local area council, BSA National, or all of them combined, I suspect it’ll really depends on the particulars of each case, and who has the greatest exposure. So even if National goes under bankruptcy protection, I doubt any of the area councils will.
I will add that – in my own personal perception (and as others have said) – the current YPT is very comprehensive, and requires parents and their child to have a candid YP discussion as a part of earning the rank of Scout. (It has also created a “cyber chip” program which requires scouts to create an annual agreement with their parents on their computer/internet/electronic usage and habits.)
While I hope and pray that the best possible outcome can be found for all those impacted by the years and years of abuse and cover up, I do believe that BSA is doing a very good job these days, and is still a fantastic program for instilling character and citizenship in our youth.Aug 8, 2019 at 10:04 pm #3605276
“most if not all of the 272 area councils are separate non-profit organizations.”
The typical thing is to name everyone in such a suit. While it may appear that National has deeper pockets, insurance, Philmont, that National Jamboree venue mentioned above; local councils have some very valuable land holdings in the form of their summer camps on lakes in the mountains. The San Francisco Bay Area Council in my era had:
1) Wente Scout Reservation “Willits”, 2200-acres of land with an 80-acre lake
2) Camp Royaneh in Cazadero in a redwood forest near the Russian River
3) Ranchos Los Muchos above the city of Livermore, and
4) a forest-service lease on their premier camp, Diamond-O at 5,000 feet elevation in the Sierra foothills just west of Yosemite NP.
As a troop, we’d rotate between Willits, Diamond-O and Royaneh but we preferred Diamond-O. I served on staff there one summer. There were extensive dining, maintenance, lodging, medical and office buildings from when it was a logging camp, but they didn’t own the land underneath, never would, and the USFS might have been restricting them more and more. Willits then became their biggest summer camp with the most facilities. So they decommissioned that facility to focus on the three they owned.
Point being: 1, 2, and 3 are each modestly valuable facilities on extremely valuable land holdings. When you’ve exhausted your insurance, or the insurance company denies the claim (outside the coverage, willful negligence, etc), the bank account goes to zero immediately and then you have to sell assets to pay the judgements.
You can try to shield those assets from future judgements by shifting them into other organizations, but the courts can order a re-do of those tricks. One my toxic waste sites was a Kerr-McGee facility until they split the company between the (literally) “toxic” assets with negative worth from those with positive cash flow / minimal liability and then let the toxic half go bankrupt. The State of Nevada prevailed in court and clawed back not just a judgement but $2B (yeah, billion) in cash money for the State to hold in trust until the cleanups were complete.
And, cause explosions (you aren’t near) are cool:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KuGizBjDXo is a 2 minute video of the other perchlorate plant in town and a good demonstration of why you should store perchlorate very carefully.Aug 8, 2019 at 10:53 pm #3605281
Franco DarioliBPL Member
From a Time magazine article :
Between 1944 and 2016, at least 7,800 suspected assailants sexually abused 12,254 boys in the Boy Scouts. Experts say these numbers are a gross underestimation.</div>
This isn’t the first time the Boy Scouts have been accused of protecting pedophiles and allowing them to move from troop to troop.
I read that article when it was published. Yes, it did remind me of what has happened within the Catholic Church as well as in other similar organisations.Aug 9, 2019 at 12:33 am #3605289
Adolescence is the dawn of sexual attraction. It happens due to the hormonal changes of puberty. These changes involve both the body and the mind — so just thinking about someone attractive can cause physical arousal.
These new feelings can be intense, confusing, sometimes even overwhelming. Teens are beginning to discover what it means to be attracted romantically and physically to others. And recognizing one’s sexual orientation is part of that process.
<h3 id=”kha_11″>What Is Sexual Orientation?</h3>
The term sexual orientation refers to the gender (that is, male or female) to which a person is attracted. There are several types of sexual orientation that are commonly described:
- Heterosexual (straight). People who are heterosexual are romantically and physically attracted to members of the opposite sex: males are attracted to females, and females are attracted to males. Heterosexuals are often called “straight.”
- Homosexual (gay or lesbian). People who are homosexual are romantically and physically attracted to people of the same sex: females are attracted to other females; males are attracted to other males. Homosexuals (whether male or female) are often called “gay.” Gay females are also called lesbian.
- Bisexual. People who are bisexual are romantically and physically attracted to members of both sexes.
<h3 id=”kha_12″>Do We Choose Our Orientation?</h3>
Being straight, gay, or bisexual is not something that a person can choose or choose to change. In fact, people don’t choose their sexual orientation any more than they choose their height or eye color. It is estimated that about 10% of people are gay. Gay people are represented in all walks of life, across all nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, and in all social and economic groups.
No one fully understands exactly what determines a person’s sexual orientation, but it is likely explained by a variety of biological and genetic factors. Medical experts and organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Psychological Association (APA) view sexual orientation as part of someone’s nature. Being gay is also not considered a mental disorder or abnormality.
Despite myths and misconceptions, there is no evidence that being gay is caused by early childhood experiences, parenting styles, or the way someone is raised.
Efforts to change gay people to straight (sometimes called “conversion therapy”) have been proven to be ineffective and can be harmful. Health and mental health professionals caution against any efforts to change a person’s sexual orientation.
<h3 id=”kha_21″>At What Age Do Kids “Know”?</h3>
Knowing one’s sexual orientation — whether straight or gay — is often something that kids or teens recognize with little doubt from a very young age. Some gay teens say they had same-sex crushes in childhood, just as their heterosexual peers had opposite-sex crushes.
By middle school, as they enter adolescence, many gay teens already recognize their sexual orientation, whether or not they have revealed it to anyone else. Those who didn’t realize they were gay at first often say that they always felt different from their peers, but didn’t exactly know why.
Becoming aware of — and coming to terms with — one’s sexual orientation can take some time. Thinking sexually about both the same sex and the opposite sex is quite common as teens sort through their emerging sexual feelings.
Some teens may experiment with sexual experiences, including those with members of the same sex, as they explore their own sexuality. But these experiences, by themselves, do not necessarily mean that a teen is gay or straight. For many teens, these experiences are simply part of the process of sorting through their emerging sexuality. And despite gender stereotypes, masculine and feminine traits do not necessarily predict whether someone is straight or gay.
Once aware, some gay teens may be quite comfortable and accept their sexuality, while others might find it confusing or difficult to accept.
<h3 id=”kha_22″>How Gay Teens Might Feel</h3>
Like their straight peers, gay teens may stress about school, grades, college, sports, activities, friends, and fitting in. But in addition, gay and lesbian teens often deal with an extra layer of stress — like whether they have to hide who they are, whether they will be harassed about being gay, or whether they will face stereotypes or judgments if they are honest about who they are.
They often feel different from their friends when the heterosexual people around them start talking about romantic feelings, dating, and sex. For them, it can feel like everyone is expected to be straight. They may feel like they have to pretend to feel things that they don’t in order to fit in. They might feel they need to deny who they are or hide an important part of themselves.
Many gay teens worry about whether they will be accepted or rejected by their loved ones, or whether people will feel upset, angry, or disappointed in them. These fears of prejudice, discrimination, rejection, or violence, can lead some teens who aren’t straight to keep their sexual orientation secret, even from friends and family who might be supportive.
It can take time for gay teens to process how they feel and to accept this aspect of their own identity before they reveal their sexual orientation to others. Many decide to tell a few accepting, supportive friends and family members about their sexual orientation. This is called coming out.
For most people, coming out takes courage. In some situations, teens who are openly gay may risk facing more harassment than those who haven’t revealed their sexual orientation. But many lesbian, gay, and bisexual teens who come out to their friends and families are fully accepted by them and their communities. They feel comfortable and secure about being attracted to people of the same gender. In a recent survey, teens who had come out reported feeling happier and less stressed than those who hadn’t.
<h3 id=”kha_31″>How Parents Might Feel</h3>
Adolescence is a time of transition not just for teens, but for their parents too. Many parents face their teen’s emerging sexuality with a mix of confusion and worry. They may feel completely unprepared for this next stage of parenthood. And if their child is gay, it may bring a whole new set of questions and concerns.
Some are surprised to learn the truth, always having thought their child was straight. Others wonder whether the news is really true and whether their teen is sure. They might wonder if they did something to cause their child to be gay — but they shouldn’t. There is no evidence that being gay is the result of the way that someone was raised.
Fortunately, many parents of gay teens understand and are accepting right from the start. They feel they have known all along, even before their teen came out to them. They often feel glad that their child chose to confide in them, and are proud of their child for having the courage to tell them.
Other parents feel upset, disappointed, or unable to accept their teen’s sexual orientation at first. They may be concerned or worried about whether their son or daughter will be bullied, mistreated, or marginalized. And they might feel protective, worrying that others might judge or reject their child. Some also struggle to reconcile their teen’s sexual orientation with their religious or personal beliefs. Sadly, some react with anger, hostility, or rejection.
But many parents find that they just need time to adjust to the news. That’s where support groups and other organizations can help. It can be reassuring for them to learn about openly gay people who lead happy, successful lives.
With time, even parents who thought they couldn’t possibly accept their teen’s sexual orientation are surprised to find that they can reach a place of understanding.
<div id=”reviewedBy”>Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD</div>
<div id=”reviewedDate”>Date reviewed: May 2018</div>
<div>In my humble opinion, more and more gay teens will be entering the BSA and will be exposed to “<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Straight” </span> teens within their troop. Will they get a crush on one of them and make sexual advances towards your <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>straight</span> sons…. I suspect so at some point. The gay rights movement has opened the doors for all to come out of the closets. TV abounds with gay/lesbians in many weekly programs. It’s the sign of the times. ;(</div>Aug 9, 2019 at 12:51 am #3605290
produces interesting formatting?Aug 9, 2019 at 12:52 am #3605291
yupAug 9, 2019 at 12:54 am #3605292
Greg MihalikBPL Member
If you are someone in a “position of trust” you are obligated to Not take advantage of those under your direction. Orientation does not matter.
A straight male coach hitting on an adolescent female player is no different than BSA leader hitting on a male Cub Scout. Both should be removed and sanctioned.Aug 9, 2019 at 1:10 am #3605294
Gay scouts hitting on the straight.
Someday we’ll be reading about those occurances, mark my words!Aug 9, 2019 at 1:38 am #3605303
Franco DarioliBPL Member
What does the long comment about gays have to do with the pedophilia claims against the BSA ?
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