Calcasieu Boy Scouts ‘thriving’ financially

Reports that BSA is considering filing bankruptcy is ‘speculation’

A recent Wall Street Journal report that stated the Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy "was written on speculation," Mike Beer, executive and CEO of the Boy Scouts Calcasieu Area Council, said Monday.

Additionally, the Calcasieu council is "thriving" financially, and there are more than 2,000 registered youth throughout Southwest Louisiana’s five-parish area, Beer said in an email.

The Dec. 12 WSJ report stated that Boy Scout leaders "have hired law firm Sidley Austin LLP for assistance with a possible chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, according to people familiar with the matter." Reasons behind the consideration include a drop in scout members and mounting costs tied to lawsuits claiming sex abuse, the article stated.

But Beer said he heard a different response from national BSA officials during a "structured call" on Dec. 13.

"They emphasized that this article was written on speculation only," he said.

Nationally, Boy Scouts is "financially solvent" and is "doing their due diligence as any organization or business would," Beer added.

"BSA is committed to communicate transparently and (officials) stated there are no imminent actions or immediate decisions expected by BSA in light of the WSJ news story," he said.

The Calcasieu Area Council has nearly doubled the number of registered youth since Beer started working there in February of 2015. At the time, he said there were 1,083 youth registered

"We have led the nation with a 183 percent increase in recruitment," Beer said.

Because the Calcasieu council is a 501c3 nonprofit, Beer said more than 99 percent of funds raised or received remain local.

Nationally, Boy Scouts gets its funding from membership fees, supply sales and attendance at the four high adventure bases, Beer said. He added that councils get no money from the national organization. They pay fees to the national organization as part of its charter agreement and for specific services, but less than 1 percent of each council’s funding supports the BSA national.

Boy Scouts has come under fire in recent years for several changes. They allowed openly gay youths in 2014 and lifted a ban on transgender boys last year.

In October 2017, BSA announced that girls could join the Cub Scouts. Beer said locally, roughly 200 girls have joined Cub Scouts. He said girls "are in separate groups by grade levels."

"(Girls) are having a great time in Cub Scouts," Beer said.

BSA announced in May that it was changing the Boy Scout Troops program to Scouts BSA, effective in February. The program applies to scouts ages 11 to 17. Beer said males will be in separate groups from females, but they will "have the same advancement opportunities, merit badges and requirements."

Beer said the council has spent the last three weekends cleaning out garbage and debris from the former YMCA building on Kirby Street, with plans for a large-scale clean out in late January or early February. The Kirby Street Center for Community Enrichment Board donated the property to the council in February of 2017. Beer said there are plans to turn the facility into "a hub for activity and leadership."””<p>In this Monday, May 29, 2017 file photo, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts salute during a Memorial Day ceremony in Linden, Mich. On Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, the Boy Scouts of America Board of Directors unanimously approved to welcome girls into its Cub Scout program and to deliver a Scouting program for older girls that will enable them to advance and earn the highest rank of Eagle Scout. (Jake May/The Flint Journal – MLive.com via AP)</p>

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Let health experts call shots

high-school Football

Jennings High comes to aid of former foe

Local News

Victims of Ida get glimpse of journey ahead

Local News

Support workers not pleased with supplemental pay plan in Jeff Davis

Local News

Only a fraction of funding reimbursed to Cameron by FEMA

Local News

15 child deaths attributed to COVID in La.

Local News

School Board extends COVID-related sick leave policy

Local News

Kind Vibes Only: CPSO hosts one-mile anti-bullying walk

Local News

Sowela rolls out fifth annual Flying Tigers Car Show

Local News

Parents urge Jeff Davis School Board to oppose any vaccine mandate

Local News

City hiring two agencies to help with disaster recovery financial advocacy

Crime

Man arrested in Monday shooting near McNeese campus

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:State’s election system secure

Local News

Transfer of Mallard Cove Golf Course to Chennault complete

Local News

Maplewood schools will remain closed Thursday

Local News

Kinder Future Farmers of America collect, deliver fuel to Lafourche Parish

Local Business News

Disaster assistance request for SW La. makes it to budget

Local Business News

Area LyondellBasell plant receives ISCC PLUS certification

Local Business News

When it comes to headwear, Anne Monlezun and Kevin Mattingly have got you covered

Local Business News

Elizabeth Jimney column: Building a website that works for you

Local Business News

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Local Business News

Few things please Chloun more than delighting diners with authentic Middle Eastern cuisine

Local News

Nicholas expected to weaken to a depression overnight

Local News

Nicholas weakening as it moves toward SW La.