(WBZ NewsRadio) — The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy amid hundreds of sex abuse lawsuits.
The Chapter 11 filing was announced Tuesday morning by the 110-year old organization with the objective to "equitably compensate victims who were harmed during their time in Scouting." The organization added they intend to a create a Victims Compensation Trust to compensate victims of abuse, and plan to keep scouting programs operational for "many years to come."
Boy Scouts of America Headquarters in Irving, Texas. (Getty Images)
“The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting. We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children,” Roger Mosby, President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement. “While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process – with the proposed Trust structure – will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA’s important mission.”
Locally, the Spirit of Adventure Council says there will be no change to scouting in the Greater Boston Area. "Spirit of Adventure Council has not filed for bankruptcy. 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," said Chuck Eaton, Chief Executive at Spirit of Adventure Council, Greater Boston's regional council. "The national organization of the Boy Scouts of America is the only entity involved in the Chapter 11 filing. Spirit of Adventure 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."
Previous sexual abuse suit settlements had reportedly begun to strain the organization's finances, and the bankruptcy filing is an effort to shield assets. The organization could be required to sell off some of its holdings in order to raise funds for the Victims Compensation Trust that could top $1 billion.