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Update for the Volunteers of the Winnebago Council

By now many of you may have seen the articles in the Wall Street Journal and other publications regarding the Boy Scouts of America weighing filing for bankruptcy. I want to take this opportunity to clarify some key points and also reassure you that the Winnebago Council remains in solid financial condition.

First, let me clarify that the articles referred to are speculative in nature and no decisions have been made nor are any imminent. Furthermore, a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is often a financial restructuring, not a liquidation. I believe the future of the Boy Scouts of America remains bright.

In reality, the BSA has had a Task Force in place for over two years that has been evaluating how best to effectively deal with handling claims to our general liability insurance fund, many of which go back 30, 40, even 50 years, while fairly compensating victims who suffered abuse through their Scouting participation.

The Winnebago Council is an independent corporation chartered in the state of Iowa. We have our own budgets and assets, locally managed and wholly owned. Dollars given locally, stay local. We own our own camp, offices, and investments and manage them through our own locally elected board of directors.

Our Council receives no funding from the national organization; in fact, we pay fees to National BSA as a part of our charter agreement and for specific services. Councils receive value back from the national organization, but we operate as a financially-independent not-for-profit organization.

Let me further assure you that the Boy Scouts of America has always been at the forefront of protecting children from abuse and providing a safe environment for our life-changing programs. We care deeply about all victims of child sex abuse and are steadfast in our deep belief that even one incident of child abuse is one too many, and at no time in our history have we knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with youth. We always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse allegations.

Should you have any concerns about the health of the BSA, our youth protection policies, or the Winnebago Council, please contact me directly.

It is our sincere hope that the national organization can effectively navigate through the murky waters that many other organizations face in today’s environment.

Thank you for your continued enthusiastic involvement in the Winnebago Council.



James R. Madison

Scout Executive/CEO

Winnebago Council, Boy Scouts of America

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