ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Boy Scouts of America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid a wave of sexual abuse allegations.
The national organization says the purpose of the Chapter 11 filing has two key objectives:
- Set up a trust designed to compensate victims who were harmed while they were involved in the scouts
- Set the organization up to continue its mission for years to come
The organization listed its assets between one billion dollars and 10 billion dollars; and estimates 500 million dollars to one billion dollars in liabilities.
How is all of this affecting chapters throughout the Twin Tiers?
The Five Rivers Council in Elmira is not filing for bankruptcy. The council is legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization.
Over the years, the council has developed strong youth protection policies. Its volunteers and employees take youth protection very seriously.
Gary Decker is the Scout Executive and CEO of the Five Rivers Council. During a live, in-studio interview with 18 News, he explained the safety measures the council implements.
“Families in the area know that our program is safe and know that the activities are fun for the kids while they’re learning life skills,” Decker said. “We have 12 key steps to make sure that our kids are safe, including making sure that all of our volunteers have background checks before they ever meet with youth. There’s no one-on-one contact between youth and adults. We teach them about the importance of cyber safety and security and work with a lot of schools on stuff like that. I think parents feel comfortable and they know that their kids are going to be safe.”
The Five Rivers Council said regular troop activities and meetings will continue as usual.