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Council President Ricky Mason on The Announced National BSA Organization Restructuring

Dear New York City Scout Parents and Leaders,

First and foremost, thank you so much for all you do to support our young people in the Greater New York Councils’ Scouting programs.

 

Scouting in New York City is thriving. Our membership is strong, particularly with the recent invitation to girls to join the program. Our summer camps at Pouch, Alpine and Ten Mile River were full of happy and engaged kids last summer, and we expect the same to be true in 2020. And our programming, from traditional Scouting units to STEM classes to the World Championship Pinewood Derby, is as popular as ever, if not more so.

 

With that background, I am writing to address the news that you might have heard about the national Boy Scouts of America organization.

 

The national organization is entering into a formal proceeding to resolve claims of abuse in Scouting. The vast majority of these claims allege illegal conduct that occurred decades ago. Since the late 1980s, Scouting has implemented youth protection standards, including here in New York City, that we believe provide the highest level of protection possible for our youth. Our youth protection standards have been widely recognized as best practices, and have become a model for other youth-serving organizations in our city and across the nation.

 

Nevertheless, even a single incident of abuse is one incident too many, and the national BSA organization is working on a plan to resolve these claims equitably, while preserving and growing the mission of Scouting for decades to come. We fully support the national BSA in this effort.

 

Meanwhile, a few points are worth emphasizing.

 

Only the national BSA organization has filed for bankruptcy. No local council, including GNYC, has filed. The Chapter 11 process will allow the national organization to operate its ongoing programs, while providing a forum for nationwide resolution of the abuse claims.

 

Like all other Scouting councils across the country, we are keeping a close eye on the national BSA’s efforts and how they might affect our local budget. Meanwhile, we are open and operating. Packs, troops, Explorer posts and all other GNYC units continue to meet and plan. Summer camp season is starting very soon. And our community events go on as usual.

 

Every day, we provide an extraordinary and exciting program for tens of thousands of New York City kids. Given the national BSA issues, your continued support, for which we and the kids are grateful, is more important than ever.

 

If you have ANY questions, please call or email any member of our staff or our GNYC Scout Executive and CEO, Ethan Draddy, ethan.draddy@scouting.org or 212-651-3060.

 

The Greater New York Councils will continue its role as a leader in youth programming and protection. Thank you for helping to make Scouting a success in New York City.

 

Sincerely,

Ricky Mason
President
Greater New York Councils