Within the Philadelphia region, the programs of the Boy Scouts of America have never been more inclusive and its membership more diverse, especially as girls and their families are now being welcomed into our Scouting programs. With new, innovative programs and new locations, the Cradle of Liberty Council serves more than 16,500 Scouts throughout Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties.

On the national front, recent news reports have stated that the National Council, Boy Scouts of America is considering a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. What our local organization has confirmed is that the National Council is doing its due diligence with internal and external experts but has so far made no decisions about a financial restructuring. Regardless, it’s important for our local community to know that the Cradle of Liberty Council, a 501(c)3 corporation, is a financially sound, thriving organization that is financially independent from the National Council. The Cradle of Liberty Council is stewarded by a strong executive board of directors and staff, and all money raised here stays here. In fact, the Cradle of Liberty Council has posted operating surpluses in each of the last eight years and has invested these surpluses into creating new programs, upgrading facilities, and expanding staff, all in service of young people and their families.

This has been an exciting year for families within the Philadelphia region as we welcomed girls into our iconic Cub Scouting program this fall. In less than two months, Councils across the nation, including ours, will also launch Scouts BSA, a program that will allow older girls to participate in our character-building programs. When Scouts BSA launches in February 2019, girls in grades 5 to 12 will be able to join a Scouts BSA troop in their local communities, participate in all the activities, and earn merit badges and advancements up to and including the coveted Eagle Scout rank. With the addition of these two programs, we are continuing to help children, one by one, see a productive path forward for themselves. This is a value we strive to provide at the Cradle of Liberty Council.

Most importantly, the Cradle of Liberty Council remains steadfast in our focus to build character, teach leadership, and promote positive values while providing adventure and recreational activities to children and youth of all ages. We are continually grateful to all local volunteers, families, and donors who make that important work possible.

Daniel Templar is Scout executive and CEO of Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America.