Residents stand behind local Boy Scout troops after national chapter files for bankruptcy amid sex abuse lawsuits

Locals stand behind their Boy Scout troops

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - It was once one of the most respected youth organizations in the country. Now, the Boy Scouts of America is declaring bankruptcy in response to multiple lawsuits over alleged sexual abuse.

At a local cub scouts meeting, one mother said she’s concerned all units will get painted with the same brush.

“It kind of like broke my heart with everything that’s been happening. They have been getting such a bad reputation [nationally],” Sarah De La Cruz said. “But the small units, individually, on the ground, I really have faith in that.”

De La Cruz has two sons in Cub Scout Pack 244 in Marana.

“My husband just had some fond memories of cub scouts,” she said. “I think the life skills are really great, as well as just learning proper etiquette.”

De La Cruz said her sons love camping, learning and making friends. What she loves is the values instilled in her children.

“Learning how to live your life as “the scout law” is being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, all of the good stuff,” she said.

De La Cruz says she feels comfortable having her kids in Pack 244, starting with the fact that parents are present at all meetings.

“Being that we as parents are really involved here at the local level. I’m constantly with my kids,” she said. “If somebody has to take a kid by themselves, there’s two leaders that go with them. One of our major traits are you always have to stay with your buddy. So, if they are at a camp out, they have their buddies, they have to stick together. So, there is always that accountability. A lot of us have also been together for a lot of years, not that we are getting complacent, but we can trust each other with our kids.”

Having had a positive cub scout experience, De La Cruz plans to continue putting her boys in scouts as long as they want.

“Because the core values are so great,” she said.

The Boy Scouts of America Catalina Council release the following statement about bankruptcy impacting local groups:

Catalina Council has not filed for bankruptcy. Meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects are taking place as usual. In short, there should be no change to the local Scouting experience.

The national organization of the Boy Scouts of America is the only entity involved in the Chapter 11 filing. The Catalina Council – which provides programming, financial, facility and administrative support to local units and individual Scouts in our area – is separate and distinct from the national organization. Our camps, properties and all local contributions are controlled by our council.

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