Announcement from the Scout Executive
Dear Scouting Supporter,
Thank you for your continued support and involvement in Scouting. Scouting changes lives and positively impacts our community because of your efforts. Scouting’s strength comes from local volunteers providing the program to local Scouts, and we appreciate and thank you for your part in this important work.
On February 18, 2020, The Boy Scouts of America National Council filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with two key objectives: to equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting and to continue carrying out Scouting’s mission for years to come. The bankruptcy was filed after years of defending individual lawsuits over alleged abuse cases. It is important to note that while any instance of abuse is one too many, the overwhelming majority of abuse claims filed in BSA’s bankruptcy case relate to allegations of abuse that occurred prior to implementation of our modern youth protection policies more than three decades ago.
You may have seen news stories that outline a plan of financial reorganization for the National Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and I am reaching out to you to provide an update on our movement locally.
The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council is legally separate and distinct from the national organization. Our Council is not in bankruptcy and our camps, properties, and local donations are controlled by our Council Board of Directors. However, we share in the BSA’s commitment to equitably compensate survivors of past abuse and we want to ensure the continuation of Scouting’s mission. As a part of the Boy Scouts of America’s reorganization, The Greater Tampa Bay Area Council has been asked to contribute $6,052,119.53 to the Victims Trust Fund. We are carefully reviewing how we can fund our contribution to the compensation Trust while ensuring that Scouting can continue to serve youth, families, and communities in the Greater Tampa Bay area for generations to come. We are currently considering our contribution in the form of $1,052,119.53 in cash and the Council’s Alafia Scout property. The board is currently NOT discussing or considering the contribution of any other camp property. Our contribution is subject to the following and other principal conditions:
1. Final approval of our Board of Directors.
2. Entry of a channeling injunction and releases covering the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council, our volunteers, and staff.
3. Acceptable resolution of insurance and indemnity issues with respect to our Chartered Partners.
It is important to note that restricted donations can only be used for their designated purposes and are legally protected so that they are used as the donor specified. Local donations through Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other contributions go straight to supporting Scouting in our communities today; these donations are used in real time and are critical to maintaining local operations. Also, please know that the program service fee that is being implemented in December 2021 is to improve our local program and services and is not related to the bankruptcy.
There has never been a better time to be a part of Scouting. This fall, we look forward to welcoming new members to our ranks.
Again, thank you for your continued support of the Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Boy Scouts of America.
James M. Rees | CEO/Scout Executive
Greater Tampa Bay Area Council
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
CHANGING THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER WITH EVERY SCOUT