Members of the BWC heard an update on the Boy Scouts of America Bankruptcy case on June 2. The Baltimore-Washington Conference will use Conference reserve funds to pay its $1.38 million share of the settlement, which will address 53 claims of sexual misconduct that were attributed to the BWC for its allocated share of the settlement.
The United Methodist Church has a long-standing partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. In February 2020, the Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy protection to resolve widespread claims by former Scouts that they were sexually abused by troop leaders. More than 4,000 cases implicated United Methodist churches; 53 claims implicated Baltimore-Washington churches.
The Bankruptcy Hearing concluded in April 2022. The Boy Scouts of America has established a $2.7 billion trust to compensate abuse survivors who filed claims. The United Methodist Church will raise $30 million for the BSA Survivor Trust over a three-year period, with annual conferences paying their proportionate, fair share of the overall commitment.
In addition to providing funds to the survivors, the Baltimore-Washington Conference and other United Methodists are seeking healing for survivors and working closely with the Boy Scouts to prevent future incidents of abuse. “There is no higher priority,” said Tom Starnes, the Conference Chancellor.
The denomination and the Baltimore-Washington Conference have ad hoc committees that have been assisting local churches navigate the bankruptcy proceedings and their aftermath. Churches are encouraged to continue their partnership with Scouting.