Tuesday, May 14, 2019 1:55:00 PM
What I Need to Know about Scouting in Sam Houston Area Council
- Sam Houston Area Council (“SHAC”) is incorporated in the State of Texas as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The National BSA organization is a separate corporation.
- Founded in 1914 and serves a sixteen (16) county area in the Houston Region.
- Recognized as a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity, holds GuideStar’s Gold Star for transparency and the 4-star rating (highest rating) from Charity Navigator with an average score of 93% for fiscal responsibility and transparency.
- Expansive and Growing Market Reach serving approximately 46,000 youth through a volunteer network of approximately 16,000 volunteers.
- Over 1,100 Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout every year.
- Scouts and leaders annually contribute 450,000 plus service hours, estimated at a value of over $7 million.
National BSA’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Considerations
- Primary Reason for National BSA’s Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Considerations
- Driver is the number of claims for alleged sex abuse incidents that occurred in 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s that have come forward after some states in the past recent years extended the statute of limitations for such claims.
- We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to abuse innocent children.
- We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting.
- We believe victims, we support them, we will cover the expense for unlimited counseling by a provider of their choice, and we encourage them to come forward.
- We steadfastly believe that one incident of abuse is one too many and we are continually improving all of our policies to prevent abuse.
- Chapter 11 Bankruptcy is a financial restructuring and reorganization.
- It is not a total liquidation — National BSA is not going out of business.
- It would create a trust for all victims to be fairly compensated.
- It would ensure that the BSA has a long and bright future and that all local and national programming will continue uninterrupted.
- BSA’s plan is to have all local councils across the USA discharged from any current filed claims and possible future claims.
- In response to and in preparation for anything that might happen regarding National BSA’s bankruptcy considerations, SHAC’s Board of Directors is doing its due diligence to research and act accordingly to protect SHAC’s assets.
Nationwide Leader in Youth Protection
- BSA’s Youth Protection
- Developed and began implementing new youth protection policies and training in 1980’s.
- Examples include:
- Leadership Selection
⇒ Completion of application including criminal background check and mandatory Youth Protection training \
⇒ Volunteer Screening Database check
- Required Training
⇒ Youth Protection training is required for all BSA registered volunteers
- Youth Protection Reporting Procedures for Volunteers
⇒ Reporting Violations of BSA Youth Protection Policies
⇒ Mandatory Report of Child Abuse
- Scouting’s Barriers to Abuse
⇒ Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities
⇒ One-on-one contact between adult leaders and youth members is prohibited both inside and outside of Scouting.
- Policies and training are working and are best practices for youth serving organizations.
- 90% of all claims for alleged sexual abuse incidents occurred prior to 1987 ― before BSA’s development and implementation of current youth protection policies and required training.
- In 2018, there were five known victims of sexual abuse in BSA’s Scouting programs nationwide at a time when there were 2.2 million youth in our programs.
Opportunities for All
- Legacy programs for boys have not changed.
- Innovative Family Scouting program of Cub Scouts with gender specific dens welcomed over 1,500 girls in SHAC in 2018 and iconic Boy Scouts program remains the same but has changed name to Scouts BSA and now includes gender specific troops for girls with 323 girls enrolled in SHAC as of April 24, 2019.
Commitment to At-Risk Youth
- Since early 1970’s, SHAC has invested millions of dollars to impact lives of youth in the inner-city areas of the Houston Region through initiatives such as ScoutReach.
- In 2019, SHAC will invest $2.4 million in ScoutReach to serve approximately 9,400 youth – primarily at approximately 50 elementary campuses within the Houston Independent School District.
Financial Strength and Stability
- SHAC is one of the strongest councils in the BSA from the perspectives of fiscal health, program quality, board and volunteer dedication and staff commitment and talent.
- Every dollar contributed to SHAC stays in SHAC – 87% of every dollar contributed to SHAC is invested in programs and services.