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Local Boy Scouts program not tied to national bankruptcy

Boy Scouts of America

The bankruptcy filing by the Boy Scouts of America does not affect the Scouts' Greater Niagara Frontier Council.

Local officials released a statement Tuesday that their operations are legally separate and financially independent from the national organization.

"Greater Niagara Frontier Council has not filed for bankruptcy," said Otto Goedhart, Assistant Scout Executive for the council. "Meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects are taking place as usual. In short, there should be no change to the local Scouting experience."

The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy in response to the many lawsuits filed by victims of sexual abuse by scouting leaders. Thirteen lawsuits have been filed in recent months under the Child Victims Act in Erie County.

While the Greater Niagara Frontier Council is not part of the bankruptcy, it is listed as a defendent in local suits.

"The national organization of the Boy Scouts of America is the only entity involved in the Chapter 11 filing," said Goedhart. "The Greater Niagara Frontier Council – which provides programming, financial, facility and administrative support to local units and individual Scouts in our area – is separate and distinct from the national organization. Our camps, properties and all local contributions are controlled by our council."

In their statement, local Boy Scouts leaders say the Council has developed some of the strongest youth protection policies of any organization serving youth.

"I can also assure you that our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe," the statement said.

For additional questions, the national association has establiahed a dedicated restructuring website, www.BSArestructuring.org.

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