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Dear Scouters & Parents,
Earlier today, the National organization, Boy Scouts of America, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, to achieve two key objectives; equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting, and continue to carry out the Scouting’s mission for years to come.
This national decision comes as a result of a change in the statute of limitations in various states across the country, which has caused an increase in the number of lawsuits filed against the BSA. Most of the claims are decades old. Scouting programs today are safe! Our current programs provide a safe environment for youth. We diligently adhere to the youth protection policies that are designed to protect young people. The safety of youth is our upmost concern, and we take it very seriously.
We want to reassure you that this decision does not cause any interruption to the programs and services offered by the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council. Your regular unit meetings and activities, district and council events, and all other Scouting adventures will continue as usual.
Given your prominent role in our Scouting community, you may receive questions about the BSA’s announcement. We want to make sure you’re able to answer those questions and convey the confidence we have in the future of the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council. Below, we included a few key points that will be helpful in your discussions.
- Scouting continues- Scouting programs will continue to serve youth, families and local communities throughout this process and for many years to come. Studies prove and parents agree that Scouting helps young people become more kind, helpful and prepared for life, and as long as those values remain important to our society, Scouting will continue to be invaluable to our nation’s youth.
- Local councils have not filed for bankruptcy- Each local council is separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization. However, the national organization is working diligently to protect local councils’ interests through this process. Specifically, it is seeking a comprehensive resolution to abuse claims against the national organization and local councils. In the interim, the national organization is seeking an injunction to prevent new abuse-related cases from being filed against local councils and is asking the Court to formally pause – or put a “stay” on – all cases currently pending.
- Scouting is safer now than ever before- Approximately 90% of pending and asserted abuse claims against the BSA relate to abuse that occurred more than 30 years ago. You all know the safety of children in our programs is the BSA’s absolute top priority. That’s precisely why over many years we’ve developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization. At our Council, and at all councils across America, adhering to and upholding these policies is a duty we take very seriously.
- Greater Tampa Bay Area Council- The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council is doing well. Our membership has grown by 15.6% in the last two years and we serve over 17,000 scouts and their families in the Greater Tampa Bay Area. We are financially sound and we continue to make improvements to our programs and properties. We achieved the Gold Standard in the Journey to Excellence in 2018 and 2019, and our Scouts just participated in the Souper Bowl of Caring where they collected over 37,000 pounds of food to feed the hungry in our area. We are very proud of our service to our disadvantaged youth in our community through the ScoutReach initiative.
Regardless of a National organization filing, please be assured that your Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other annual donations to the Council will continue to be used for necessary day-to-day expenses that are critical to our ability to provide quality Scouting programs in our communities. Additionally, any restricted donation you have made or plan to make to the council can and will be used only for its designated purpose.
While we do not anticipate the National organization’s bankruptcy filing will have any direct impact on the local Scouting experience or your involvement with our Council, we understand you may still have questions about these issues and things you will see in the news. To that end, the National organization has established a dedicated restructuring website, www.BSArestructuring.org. This site includes a helpful Resources page, where you will find a short video explaining what Chapter 11 means for Scouting, as well as a FAQ. The site’s Milestones page will be your best source for the latest updates throughout this process.
Should you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Thank you, as always, for your continued leadership in support of our enduring mission.
Yours in Scouting,
The NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA) is a prestigious recognition granted by The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council NESA committee to Eagle Scouts who have demonstrated outstanding achievement at the
local, state, or regional level. The NOESA recognizes Eagle Scouts whose efforts have made a positive impact in the community.
The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council is now accepting nominations for this prestigious recognition. Applications are due by April 30th, 2020. Recipients will be
recognized at the Annual Eagle Scout Banquet held at the end of summer.
Please send completed applications along with a Letter of Recommendation that shares why the applicant is worthy of the recognition to:
13228 N. Central Ave.
Tampa, FL 33612