Boy Scouts Settle With Sexual Abuse Victims – Christian Scouting Alternatives Continue to Grow

In a second settlement with Scouts who were sexually abused while participating in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the compensation fund for the victims grew to $1.9 billion dollars.

“A total of 82,450 survivors are entitled to the new pool of cash,” the New York Post reported. Attorneys in the case have said there will be “additional settlements in the ‘coming weeks.’”

The BSA reached an $850 million settlement in July with victims of sexual abuse, with the national organization paying $250 million and local scout groups paying $600 million. This most recent settlement had The Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice coming to an agreement with BSA insurer Harford Financial Services Group for $787 million and a $250 million settlement from the Mormon church.

Until they broke ties with the Boy Scouts in 2018, Mormons made up 20% of all Scouts and had been involved with BSA for 105 years. The Latter Day Saints religion was “deeply troubled” by the scouting organization’s “decision to lift the ban on openly gay adult leaders in 2015,” The Washington Post reported at the time.

Other concerns included the BSA decision to allow transgender Scouts in 2017. That same year, the organization announced that it would allow girls into Cub Scouts in 2018, and the program “Boy Scouting” became “Scouts BSA” when it fully opened to girls in 2019.

The organization Abused in Scouting (AIS) is “a group of over 8,000 Scouting abuse survivors united to call out the Boy Scouts of America for their negligence. AIS says, “We want to kill the secret of BSA sexual abuse and let survivors know they are not alone. Come forward, hold the BSA accountable, and protect the children of tomorrow.”

AIS explains some of the history of the abuse lawsuits, “In 2010, a landmark case against the Boy Scouts of America triggered the release of over 20,000 secret documents stowed away by the BSA. These records, now referred to as ‘the perversion files,’ detailed the names and incidents of over 1,000 volunteers in the BSA banned for child abuse.”

“These names never made it to the public eye, and the BSA consistently failed to report incidents of child abuse in the Scouts to the police or parents. For over 100 years the BSA kept these records away from the public eye; now we have them in our possession for you to view,” the group stated.

As we’ve previously reported at The Daily Citizen, BSA membership has plummeted over the past few years, dropping from 1.97 members in 2019 to 762,000 in 2021, a 61% decrease.

Like the BSA, the Girl Scouts of the USA also reported a large drop in numbers, from 1.4 million in 2019 to about a million in 2021. In 2011, when a Colorado boy wanted to join the organization as a “transgender girl,” a local group denied the boy. Then the Girl Scouts of Colorado announced that it was an “inclusive” group, and the boy with sexual identity confusion could join.

In 2015 the Girl Scouts released guidance on dealing with “transgender girls,” saying, “Placement of transgender youth is handled on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of the child and the members of the troop/group in question a top priority.” Membership was 2 million at the time, so numbers have been cut in half in only 6 years.

Meanwhile, Christian scouting organizations such as Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls (AHG) continue to grow. Trail Life just announced that it was “celebrating more than 121 new Troops in 2021!” AHG started with one group in 1995, and now has “Troops in every state and in 15 countries around the world through the Trailblazer Program.”

Both organizations are overtly Christian. AHG says, “American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered leadership and character development ministry.”

Trail Life’s website says, “Trail Life USA (TLUSA) is a Christian outdoor adventure program that emphasizes and teaches biblical moral values. The program is unapologetically Christian but is intended to be presented without feeling overly ‘churchy’ or ‘religious,’ focusing on outdoor adventure, character, and leadership development. The essentials of a Christian worldview are present throughout the entire program.”

Related resources and articles:

Focus on the Family provides a list of resources for victims of sexual abuse, as well as many articles and broadcasts on this topic. 

Focus on the Family’s Counseling Consultation and Referrals also offers help from licensed and pastoral counselors:

To request a conversation with Focus on the Family’s Counseling Department, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Mountain Time), or complete our Counseling Consultation Request Form. Please be prepared to leave your contact information for a counselor to return a call to you as soon as possible. The consultation is available at no cost to you due to generous donor support and will be with one of our licensed or pastoral counseling specialists.

As Boy Scouts Continues to Lose Members, Trail Life USA Keeps Growing

Boy Scouts Now Admitting Girls

Boy Scouts of America Files for Bankruptcy Amid Sex-Abuse Scandal

Nearly 95,000 Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Brought Against Once-Great Boy Scouts of America

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