With news earlier this week that the Boy Scouts of America filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, questions have risen about how the filing will affect the local National Parks Council.
Dave Pack, Scout Executive of Utah National Parks Council said Scouters in the council boundaries should not worry.
“The Utah National Parks Council has not filed for bankruptcy,” Pack said. “Meetings and activities, district and council events, other Scouting adventures and countless service projects are taking place as usual.”
In short, because the council owns its own properties and acts as a franchise, 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,” Pack said. “The Utah National Parks 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.”
The National Parks Council’s focus is aimed more at growing its troops and making sure it is financially stable to help those who would like to participate.
According to John Gaily, council spokesman, even before the end of the partnership with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ sponsored troops on Dec. 31, the council had been establishing new units that would provide Scouting opportunities for LDS boys that wanted to continue in the program.
“We created 120 new units last year that are sponsored by a wide variety of businesses and organizations,” Gaily said.
“Obviously fewer Scouts are registered,” Gailey added. Before the LDS Church departure there were 3,500 youth registered in LDS troops within the council. There were just over 30 troops not sponsored by the church. Now there are 177 troops.
Gaily also noted that the National Parks Council building in Orem is for sale.
“We don’t need that much space anymore,” Gailey said. They are looking for a smaller space but will continue to have a central location for Scouting business.
As for the land and camp assets, Gailey said they are doing well. The camps have been open to the public and are being rented for non-Scouting uses like girls camps, family reunions, business retreats and even weddings.
The National Parks Council has nine campgrounds with varying number of campsites in those areas for use.
Those interested in using the campgrounds can visit https://utahscouts.org/campgrounds or call (801) 437-6222.