Patriots’ Path Council Scouting Family

You may have seen the recent Wall Street Journal article stating that National BSA has hired a bankruptcy attorney for consultation in light of the costs of defending sexual abuse lawsuits.  I anticipate learning additional information in the days and weeks ahead and, of course, will share anything I learn with you.

In a communication released yesterday, National BSA reaffirmed its focus on keeping children safe and delivering our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training.  BSA confirmed its commitment to the social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and the deep care and concern for all victims of child sex abuse and the proactive steps to help victims heal and prevent future abuse.  BSA stresses that at no time in BSA history has the organization knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth, and it will always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.

BSA is committed to transparency and stated there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the WSJ news story.

I have assembled a few items of information from a Patriots’ Path Council perspective that may be helpful considering the news story.

  • The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain.  Each unit is owned by its charter partner which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution.  Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates.
  • The Patriots’ Path Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in New Jersey.  Our Camps, our Volunteer Service Center, our bank accounts, investments and other assets are owned and controlled by Patriots’ Path Council.
  • The nature of the relationship for a council with the national BSA organization is that our council is the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined territory.
  • Patriots’ Path Council receives no funding from the national organization.  In fact, we pay fees to National BSA as a part of our charter agreement and for specific services.  We do receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a financially independent not-for-profit organization.
  • Areas where we partner with National BSA, for business purposes, include several insurance programs, services for IT and expertise related to camping, Youth Protection and so on.  Also, it is important to note that employee benefits such as healthcare and retirement are funded by each council but through programs controlled and operated by National BSA.
  • Patriots’ Path Council is a strong council in the BSA from perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication, and staff commitment and talent.
  • As an organization, our focus must be to:
    • Build upon the momentum we have already experienced this year with new members,
    • Plan and implement a successful launch of Scouts BSA to welcome boys and girls into the program in February, and
    • Support our fundraising efforts to ensure our continued ability to deliver Scouting to our communities

It is our hope that the national organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence.  In our Council, we will stand ready to help – and we will continue our primary focus on bringing high-quality Boy Scouts of America programs for all Patriots’ Path Council Scouts in every neighborhood we serve.

Dennis Kohl
Scout Executive/CEO

George Barnard
Council President 

Emil Rufolo
Council Commissioner
The following FAQs were provided by National BSA:

Q: Has the BSA declared bankruptcy?

No. The National Office is working with internal and external experts to explore all options available. All potential paths under consideration will ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted.

Q: How will this impact our Scouts and leaders?

Our Scouts and leaders will not be impacted by this decision. Every possibility being explored will ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scouts of America continues uninterrupted.

Q: What does this mean for our council assets?

Councils are independent non-profit organizations. We own and control our camps, council service centers, bank funds and investments.

Q: What should we be doing now?

Our job today is exactly the same as it was yesterday. We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to focus as an organization on keeping children safe, supported and protected, and preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program

Q: What is the future of our national high adventure bases?

Properties are where the program is delivered. This is just as true of our national properties as it is of your local properties. We consider our national high adventure bases to be of paramount importance and a pivotal part of Scouting’s future.

Q: What is the future of the BSA?

All of the options under consideration will ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted.