An Important Message from our Scout Executive

As we learn more about the financial discussions underway at our national organization, it’s vitally important to be reminded that Scouting in the Washington Crossing Council is as strong financially and programmatically today as it’s been in many years. Our council is a separate non-profit corporation based in the state of Pennsylvania serving Bucks County, PA and Hunterdon County and the greater Mercer County in New Jersey. The recent news stories regard issues that affect the national council and its operation based in Texas, not our local council.

We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to continue to focus as an organization on preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training. The National BSA office is working with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scouts of America continues uninterrupted.

As an organization, our focus must be to:

  1. Build upon the momentum we have already experienced this year with new members,

  2. Plan and implement a successful launch of Scouts BSA to welcome boys and girls into the program in February, and

  3. Support our fundraising efforts to ensure our continued ability to deliver Scouting to our communities

Our Council is an independent non-profit incorporated serving our area. We own and control our camps, council service center, bank funds, and investments. Our assets remain ours regardless of what happens to the national organization. The nature of the relationship between our council with the national BSA organization is that we are the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in their defined territory. Our 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. Councils receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a financially-independent not-for-profit organization.

Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other financial contributions to our Council stay in our Council. Contributions to our Council go to support delivery of our own Council’s programs and services to our own Scouts.

We partner with the national organization for shared services, including several insurance programs, services for IT and expertise related to camping, youth protection and so on. Importantly, employee benefits, such as healthcare and retirement, are funded by each council but through programs offered by National BSA.

Our Council continues to have a strong financial position, we experienced positive membership growth in 2017, and have seen membership growth for the last several months. We couldn’t be more proud of all of the hard work of our volunteers and families that work tirelessly to provide a quality Scouting program to the youth in our community.

FAQs

(updated 12/21/18)

Q: Has the BSA declared bankruptcy?

No. The National Office is working with internal and external experts to explore all options available. All potential paths under consideration will ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted.

Q: How will this impact our Scouts and leaders?

Our Scouts and leaders will not be impacted by this decision. Every possibility being explored will ensure that the local and national programming of the Boy Scouts of America continues uninterrupted.

Q: What does this mean for Friends of Scouting contributions?

Friends of Scouting (FOS) and other financial contributions to our Council stay in our Council. Contributions to our Council go to support delivery of our own Council’s program and services to our own Scouts.

Our Council is an independent not-for-profit organization that is incorporated locally. We own and control our camps, council service centers, bank funds, and investments. The nature of the relationship between councils and the national BSA organization is that we are the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined territory. Our 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. Councils receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a financially independent not-for-profit organization.

Q: What does this mean for our council assets?

Councils are independent non-profit organizations. We own and control our camps, council service centers, bank funds, and investments.

Q: What should we be doing now?

Our job today is exactly the same as it was yesterday. We have an important duty, and an incredible opportunity, to focus as an organization on keeping children safe, supported and protected, and preparing youth for their futures through our nation’s foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training. Keep the momentum going and stay focused on what really matters: delivering the Scouting program to youth in our communities.

Q: What is the future of our national high adventure bases?

Properties are where the program is delivered. This is just as true of our national properties as it is of your local properties. We consider our national high adventure bases to be of paramount importance and a pivotal part of Scouting’s future.

Q: What is the future of the BSA?

All of the options under consideration ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted.

Q: What is the BSA doing to protect Scouts from abuse?

Nothing is more important than the safety and protection of children in our Scouting programs– It is our top priority. Many years ago, we adopted some of the strongest barriers to child abuse found in any youth-serving organization, and we take the responsibility to uphold those barriers seriously. From completing our youth protection training to adhering to policy and reporting the suspicion of abuse, we all are vital in helping keep kids safe.

The BSA is also committed to helping abuse victims heal. We have always taken care of victims – we believe them, we believe in fairly compensating them, and we have paid for unlimited counseling for abuse victims and their families by a provider of their choice, regardless of the amount of time that has passed since an instance of abuse. We require no proof; a victim need only make a request.