NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday as the organization faces hundreds of sex-abuse lawsuits. In light of the announcement, Tennessee councils are stressing that the bankruptcy should have no effect in their local operations.
Officials from Middle Tennessee, Sequoyah and Great Smoky Mountain councils said they function separately from the national organization. This includes camps and properties as well.
Meetings, activities and other Scouting events will continue to take place as usual.
"Scouting is strong in Middle Tennessee, with more than 18,600 youth and 5,000 volunteer leaders," said Larry Brown, scout executive with the Middle Tennessee Council. "All local Scouting programs are continuing as usual. We remain as committed as ever to delivering a safe and impactful Scouting program in middle Tennessee and Fort Campbell, Kentucky."
BSA echoed local councils in Tennessee, saying Scouting programs will continue throughout the bankruptcy process.
"Local councils, which provide programming, financial, facility and administrative support to Scouting units in their communities, have not filed for bankruptcy," the national organization said in a statement. "They are legally separate, distinct and financially independent from the national organization."
The national organization's Chapter 11 filing will be done in a Wilmington, Delaware bankruptcy court. BSA could be forced to sell off some of its vast property holdings, including campgrounds and hiking trails to raise money for a victim compensation fund.
Representative Jim Cooper, who is an Eagle Scout released the following statement:
“I was shocked when I learned that the National Boy Scout organization was going bankrupt, but I am heartened that the Middle Tennessee Council is not. We are fortunate to have one of the best local organizations of Boy Scouts in America. The worst news is the abuse of any Scouts anywhere. Their cases deserve prompt justice.”