This is one of the most important and difficult moments for our Scouting Movement.
As you have likely seen in the media, tens of thousands of survivors of past abuse in Scouting have come forward in the national organization’s bankruptcy case. We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in Scouting and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward. We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain.
The Boy Scouts of America is taking responsibility for past failures, and we are working to support survivors through the bankruptcy process. We are also working to ensure that we continue to bring Scouting’s unparalleled benefits to youth and families for many years to come – with their safety as our absolute top priority.
I want to be clear that nothing is more important than the safety of the youth in our programs.
Over many years, we have put in place some of the strongest youth protection policies in any youth-serving organization, which are built on safeguards informed by respected experts in child safety, law enforcement, and child psychology.
While any instance of abuse is one too many, the overwhelming majority of claims filed in the national organization’s Chapter 11 case relate to allegations of abuse that occurred before our modern youth protection policies were implemented more than three decades ago. That does not in any way absolve us of what happened in the past, but I hope it demonstrates that we take youth protection extremely seriously.
Our commitment to safety is strong not only because of our policies, but also because that commitment is shared by everyone within our organization, including hundreds of thousands of volunteers who bring Scouting to life for youth and families throughout the country. As a local council volunteer, I’ve seen the vigilance myself. I thank you for it and urge you to continue being dedicated advocates for safety – both in Scouting and beyond.
I assure you that we are up to the challenges and opportunities we face. Scouting has prepared millions of young people to become leaders in their neighborhoods, communities, and the country. Scouting has also been an invaluable partner to millions of families, and we are as committed as ever to ensuring that our support for them never fades and that Scouting continues across the country. Together, we will meet this moment and come out on the other side prepared to serve our nation’s youth for many years to come.
Yours in Scouting,
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