Boy Scouts of America considering bankruptcy


U.S. Navy

050431-N-1810F-181 Fort A.P. Hill, Va. (April 31, 2005) - The spirit of brotherhood through scouting closely resembles that found in the Navy, which add to the spirit of adventure during the National Boy Scouts Jamboree. More than 40,000 Boy Scouts from every state in America and dozens of other countries attended the Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill. U.S. Navy photo by All Hands Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Todd Frontom (RELEASED)

Kaden Smart, Staff Writer

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has been a very respected organization since its founding in 1910. It has been known for its strong moral code and conduct, that is, until their progressive changes in recent years. Now, they are considering filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. Is this a coincidence?


The BSA has had a rough couple of years starting with losing their biggest supporters. The BSA used to have large amounts of funding from the Catholic church, Southern Baptist church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Since then, they have been in a financial crisis.


This transition away from the BSA can be traced back to the summer of 2016 when the board of the BSA voted to allow transgenders into their ranks. This was something that shocked scout supporters considering the Christian centered morals of the BSA.


They didn’t do themselves any favors when they decided to allow girls into their ranks in 2017 creating a dispute between the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scout organizations.


Since then, the Girl Scouts have filed a lawsuit against the BSA for trademark infringement further harming the reputation of the BSA.


In February of 2019, the Boy Scouts of America plans to change their name to “Scouts BSA”. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said the message they are trying to send is “We’re here for both young men and young women.”


To make matters worse for the BSA, they are also facing multiple other lawsuits dealing with sexual abuse from scouting leaders and employees.


While the BSA has not come out and officially stated their plan to a financial future, Surbaugh claims they are trying to “explore all options”. The Wall Street Journal reports the BSA has hired the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, who specialises in financial dealings such as bankruptcy.


If the BSA were to file bankruptcy it would drop all lawsuits and save the last bit of reputation they have.


So did the BSA do this all to themselves? The obvious answer is yes. They turned their back to their greatest source of funding, the churches. If they kept their stance on being a boy only organization, the funds would have kept flowing in their direction.


Not only did it cost them their biggest funders, it also caused a sharp decline in membership. From 2013 to 2016, membership dropped by 10%. A large majority of that percentage was in the year 2016. According to yearly reports from the BSA, from 2015 to 2016, they lost nearly 18,000 Boy Scouts and around 2,000 scouting units.


Only time will tell if the BSA can withstand this situation they have put themselves in. While they haven’t officially come out and declared bankruptcy, the facts are stacked against them. If they wanted to stay afloat, they should have changed their stances and stuck with the values that earned them all of their money. No matter your opinion on the issue, the BSA is in a tight spot and might not last far into the next few years.