Lately the Boy Scouts of America has been having to put out more fires than it’s been building. The latest media blaze for the over 100-year-old institution is the release of the Boy Scouts Ineligible Volunteer Files.
The files, over 14,500 pages of previously confidential materials containing allegations against thousands of volunteers over many decades, were published as part of a $20 million civil suit against the Scouts on behalf of sexual abuse victims. This development is the latest in a string of concerns surrounding the institution and its management following debate about unfriendly policies towards LGBT members and volunteers and court battles over the BSA’s failure to protect scouts who had been sexually abused.
The BSA’s website espouses its mission of building character, training young people in citizenship and promoting personal fitness, and for generations of boys, those values have held true. How will these controversies change the perception of an organization that has established such a prominent place in American culture? How can the Boy Scouts adapt and move forward? Do new disclosures about problems within the institution affect your memories of the Boy Scouts? If you’re a parent, have your feelings changed about enrolling your child in scouting?
Paul Mones, children’s advocate and sexual abuse attorney and co-counsel on the 2010 case that led to the release of the Boy Scouts Ineligible Volunteers Files.