Despite the Boy Scouts of America filing for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, local scout organizations are reassuring parents and youth that things will remain business as usual in the area for the foreseeable future.
"All unit meetings and activities, district and council events, and all other scouting adventures in our council will take place as they always have," said Jason Pierce, scout executive for the Lincoln Heritage Council, in a statement earlier this week. "We remain as committed as ever to delivering scouting program in our area, and to supporting the dedicated volunteers and scouting families in our communities."
John Baker, a scoutmaster for Troop 1 in Paducah and a committee chairman for the Four Rivers District, echoed Pierce's sentiments to The Sun.
"It will not (affect local scouting programs)," he said. "National BSA Finances are separate from Lincoln Heritage Council finances, which are separate from troops and pack finances. Lincoln Heritage Council is financially still very strong.
"Local programming will go on as before."
The Lincoln Heritage Council organizes scouting activities in 64 Kentucky counties as well as parts of Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee and its assets consist of multiple camps, offices and resources around the state. None of which will be affected by the bankruptcy.
"Our council is financially strong," Pierce said. "All assets and finances are managed and controlled by the Lincoln Heritage Council Board of Directors and all financial donations to our council stay local to support scouting in the 64 counties we serve."
The national BSA organization is urging victims of sexual abuse to come forward as it creates a compensation fund for the potential thousands of men molested by scout leaders in past decades.
The filing will enable the organization to put those cases on hold for now and continue operating though the BSA could be compelled to sell some of its property holdings, including campgrounds and hiking trails, to raise money for a victims' fund that could top $1 billion.
"The BSA has taken significant steps over the last several decades to ensure aggressive and effective measures are in place to keep our scouts safe," Pierce said.
"While I serve as CEO of the Lincoln Heritage Council, I am also the father of two scouts and nothing is more paramount to me and the BSA than the safety of our children. Scouting is safe."