News of National Boy Scouts of America Possible Bankruptcy

Scouters, as many of us have been hearing and watching in the news about possible bankruptcy being filed by the National Council, BSA, I want to clarify a few important facts as it would relate to our local council.

The Wall Street Journal article stated that National BSA has hired a bankruptcy attorney in light of the costs of defending sexual abuse lawsuits.

In a communication released, 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 stated 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 will always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.

BSA is committed to communicate transparently and stated there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the Wall Street Journal news story.

I have assembled a few items of information that may be helpful considering the news story.

• The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain. Each troop is owned by its charter partner which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution. Each Council, our Pony Express Council is locally incorporated in the specific state(s) where it operates.

• The Pony Express Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Missouri. Our Camps, or Volunteer Service Center, our bank funds and investments are owned and controlled by the Pony Express Council.

• The nature of the relationship for a council with the national BSA organization is that our Pony Express council is the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined territory.

• The Pony Express Council or any 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 receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a significantly financially independent not-for-profit organization.

• Dollars raised from Friends of Scouting, United Way support, activity and camping income, popcorns sales etc. are all raised local in our council and stay in our council to operate our council programs.

• 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 important to note is employee benefits such as healthcare and retirement are funded by each council but through programs controlled and operated by National BSA.

• The Pony Express Council is one of the strongest councils in the BSA from perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication and staff commitment and talent.

It is our hope that the national organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face over a century of existence. In the Pony Express Council, we will stand ready to help - and we will continue our primary focus on bringing high-quality Boy Scouts of America programs for over 3,500 Scouts and adult leaders in each neighborhood we serve.

Thank you for all of your help and support.

Alan Franks | Scout Executive


Pony Express Council