DAYTON – As far as the Miami Valley Council, BSA, scouting is progressing uninterrupted in the greater Dayton area, including in Darke County.
Earlier this week,according to an Associated Press news article, the Boy Scouts of America urged victims to come forward Tuesday as the historic, 110-year-old organization filed for bankruptcy protection in the first step toward creating a huge compensation fund for potentially thousands of men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders.
The Scouts resorted to Chapter 11 in hopes of surviving a barrage of lawsuits, many of them made possible by recent changes in state laws to allow people to sue over long-ago sexual abuse.
Bankruptcy will enable the organization to put those cases on hold for now and continue operating. But ultimately the Boy Scouts could be forced to sell some of their vast property holdings, including campgrounds and hiking trails, to raise money for a victims’ fund that could top $1 billion.
The Boy Scouts estimated 1,000 to 5,000 victims will seek compensation.
According to Jeff Schiavone, Scout Executive/CEO with the Miami Valley Council, scouting is going on as usual for local troops and scouting families.
“For us locally, the time we’re spending on this is to educate our donors and scouting families.”
Schiavone explained that local donations will remain with the Miami Valley Countil.
“The dollars stay here. Hopefully through communication that you (DarkeCountyMedia.com) are doing, it will help us reinforce that scouting is well in Miami Valley. We have properties, people and programs we are focused on.”
Camps, Schiavone, pointed out, are just a few months away and local scouts are counting on continued donations and support to be able to attend.
The following statement concerning the Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the National Boy Scouts of America was issued by Schiavone and the Miami Valley Council, BSA:
“The Miami Valley Council has not filed for bankruptcy; the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America is the only entity involved in the Chapter 11 filing. Meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects are taking place as usual. In short, there should be no change to the local Scouting experience. The Miami Valley Council – which provides programming, financial, facility and administrative support to local units and individual Scouts in our area – is separate and distinct from the national organization. Our camps, properties and all local contributions are controlled by our council.
“Locally, we continue to support and grow our programs. The Miami Valley Council celebrated a fantastic 2019, where we experienced membership growth and 130 young men achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank a youth can attain.
“Additionally, only one year after Scouting opened the program to serve both boys and girls ages 5-17, more than 300 girls joined; this is 100 more than our initial expectations. The program has been very well-received. Additionally, we are financially strong and have no debt and continually operate with a balanced budget.
“We remain financially and programmatically focused and the donations made to the Miami Valley Council, Boy Scouts of America stay right here in the Miami Valley impacting our programs, our properties, and our people. We’ll continue to move forward on a path of growth, and we are looking forward to another successful year in 2020.”
Schiavone provided the following Scouting statistics for Darke County:
11 Scout Units (Cub Scouts Packs and Scouts BSA Troops)
195 youth enrolled in those 11 units in Darke County
4,732 pounds of food were collected in the 2019 Scouting For Food Drive in Darke County
Three Darke County Scouts attained the Rank of Eagle in 2019