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Local

Three Fires Council will continue after BSA files for bankruptcy

Local councils independent organizations

In this Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, photo, a statue stands outside the Boys Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas. The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection as it faces a barrage of new sex-abuse lawsuits. The filing Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Wilmington, Delaware, is an attempt to work out a potentially mammoth compensation plan for abuse victims that will allow the 110-year-old organization to carry on. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, photo, a statue stands outside the Boys Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas. The Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection as it faces a barrage of new sex-abuse lawsuits. The filing Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Wilmington, Delaware, is an attempt to work out a potentially mammoth compensation plan for abuse victims that will allow the 110-year-old organization to carry on. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Boy Scouts of America announced Tuesday it was filing for Chapter 11 bankrupt but that does not mean the local organizations will be going away.

Clint Scharff, scout executive and CEO of the Three Fires Council, which serves DeKalb County, DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, and portions of Cook and Will Counties, said in an email that the Three Fires Council has not filed for bankruptcy.

"Scouting programs will continue," Scharff said.

Scharff also noted scouting is safer now than ever before.

"Over many years, we've developed some of the strongest expert-informed youth protection policies found in any youth-serving organization," he said. "I can also assure you that our volunteers and employees take youth protection extremely seriously and do their part to help keep kids safe."

He also said donations to the Three Fires Council would continue to fund necessary day-to-day expenses that are critical to local scouting programs.

The 110-year-old national organization stated in its news release it was filing for the bankruptcy protection to equally compensate victims harmed during their time in scouting and to continue the organization's mission for years to come.

"The BSA intends to use the Chapter 11 process to create a Victims Compensation Trust that would provide equitable compensation to victims," the release states.

There are potentially thousands of men who were molested as youngsters decades ago by scoutmasters or other leaders, the Associated Press reported. The Boy Scouts estimated between 1,000 to 5,000 victims will seek compensation.

"The Scouts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the hopes of surviving a barrage of lawsuits, many of them made possible by recent changes in state laws to allow people to sue over long-ago sexual abuse," the AP reported.

Scouting programs, including meetings and activities, council events, scouting adventures and service projects will continue, the release states.

"The BSA fully intends to maintain its commitments to its members, families, volunteer leaders, employees, retirees, donors and alumni to the fullest extent permitted by bankruptcy laws," the release states. "The organization also will pay its vendors and partners for all goods and services delivered from today forward."

The filing starts what may be one of the biggest and most complex bankruptcies ever seen, since the Boy Scouts of America is throughout all 50 states, the AP reported.

"The organization listed assets of $1 billion to $10 billion and liabilities of $500 million to $1 billion," the AP reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.