IRONTON, OH (WOWK) The tradition of scouting has deep roots for many generations in the tri-state. Tuesday’s news spread that the National Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid the financial burden of lawsuits from sexual abuse survivors. It had many families asking questions about the future of their local programs.
“As I moved through the community I had numerous people ask me questions about the news and how it would affect the troop and the Cub Scout pack,” said David Lucas, Scout Master for Troop 106 in Ironton, OH.
The Buckskin Council which oversees scouts in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia released a statement alerting scouts that the Buckskin Council has not filed for bankruptcy and that the council is legally separate from the national organization. On the official Boy Scouts of America website there is a lengthy statement saying in part that “scouting programs will continue to serve youth, families and local communities throughout this process and for many years to come.”
The website also assures scouts that unit meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and service projects will take place as usual.
But Lucas said there may still be an impact on the local level.
“Financially it won’t affect us,” Lucas said. “But public relation wise and the perception of the community this certainly does hurt our program.” He said the key moving forward will be to address the issue head on in order to restore the community’s faith.
“I believe that what you have to do is be very open and honest and transparent with people,” Lucas said. “Tell them that your troop, your Cub Scout pack that is not who you are that you do follow the rules and make sure that children are safe.”