News reports are circulating about the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America (“National BSA”) considering filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States.
We have been informed by National BSA that they are exploring options regarding a financial restructuring, but they have no imminent actions or immediate decisions forthcoming at this time.
We assure you that Scouting locally in the Montana Council is strong and that we are in a good financial position.
The Montana Council and National BSA are different entities with completely separate finances. Through years of good financial stewardship and governance, we – the Montana Council – have built a sound balance sheet, a strong endowment and no debt.
Below are a few facts about the Montana Council:
- The Montana Council is a 501(c)(3) entity incorporated in Montana. Our camps, our Scout Office, our bank funds and endowment are owned and controlled locally by the Montana Council.
- The Montana Council 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.
- Councils receive no funding from the National BSA 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 financially independent not-for-profit organization.
- The nature of the relationship for a council with the National BSA organization is that our council is the holder of a charter to conduct the Boy Scouts of America programs in our defined territory.
- Areas of partnership with National BSA for business purposes include things such as several insurance programs, services for IT, and expertise related to camping and Youth Protection. Also important to note is our local council employee benefits, such as healthcare and retirement, are funded by each council through programs controlled and operated by National BSA. By law, the retirement assets for employees are the assets of the employees, not National BSA. Therefore, any financial restructuring of National BSA will have no impact on those retirement assets.
- The strength of Scouting for over 100 years has been its local domain. Each pack, troop, crew, etc. is owned by its chartered organization, which is typically a place of worship, service club or educational institution. Each council is locally incorporated in the specific state where it operates.
- Dollars given locally to the Montana Council stay at the Montana Council.
We are building for the future. Our new K-M Scout Camp Lodge, Dining Hall and Conference Center under construction.
With your continued support for our Investment in Character and Leadership annual campaign, we will continue to offer Scouting to an expanding group of truly remarkable young people.
It is our hope that the National BSA organization can navigate the difficult waters that many organizations face. The Montana Council will continue to focus on bringing high-quality and safe programs for over 8,000 youth in each of the neighborhoods we serve.
Thank you for your continued support, help and leadership.
Jory A. Dellinger
Interim CEO/Scout Executive