Congregational Action Needed for Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy

Dear Pastors and Congregations of the West Virginia Conference,

I write today to share important information with our congregations who are presently, or who have in the past, chartered or otherwise sponsored a Boy Scout Troop, Cub Scout Pack, or Venturing Crew.  This information can be found in the accompanying letters and documents and does require action by November 16, 2020. 

Thank you for your support of Scouting programs and I encourage you to continue your support of these programs.  Scouting activities help our youth to grow into their full potential.  Scouting ministries help to form leaders for today and tomorrow who are curious and self-confident, who care for and serve others, and who learn the importance of working together to address the challenges of today’s world and living.  The information being shared and the potential action you need to take in no way diminishes the importance, relevance, and strength of any of our scouting programs or leaders here in West Virginia.

What you may or may not know is: the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy earlier this year to protect itself against a growing number of sexual abuse claims made against it. This bankruptcy process is intended to allow the BSA to deal with these claims – and continue its important operations. As is typical in bankruptcy proceedings, the court has established a deadline of November 16, 2020 at 5 P.M. eastern time for potential creditors, including chartered organizations, to file claims against the BSA (the debtor). United Methodist local churches make up the largest collection of chartered organizations in the country. A chartered organization (your congregation) may be impacted by this bankruptcy process, even if it has not yet been threatened with a lawsuit related to its current or former Boy Scout troop.

If your congregation has or has EVER CHARTERED OR OTHERWISE SPONSORED A BOY SCOUT TROOP, CUB SCOUT PACK, OR VENTURING CREW, YOU NEED TO IMMEDIATELY READ THE INFORMATION that accompanies this cover letter, and take the appropriate action by the filing DEADLINE OF NOVEMBER 16, 2020.

And please, continue to support the Boy Scouts and the many other scouting ministries we have in the West Virginia area.  Scouting programs and activities are highly important to hundreds of families and youth who are growing in leadership and service to this ever-changing world.

Please read the accompanying information which gives you the details.  Take the appropriate action for your congregation. Continue to support Scouting.

Grace and Peace,

Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball