IRVING, Texas – October 4, 2023 – The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) convened its inaugural meeting of the Youth Protection Committee on August 30, 2023, at the BSA headquarters. Comprising representatives from the BSA, six adult survivors of child sexual abuse within Scouting, Local Councils, Chartered Organizations, and industry experts, the committee is charged with further enhancing the culture of safety and accountability throughout the organization and its community.
The committee has begun outlining a long-term vision for youth protection and safe Scouting, as well as the shared commitment to transparency and accountability. Additionally, the members are providing direction to the BSA as the organization pursues key projects to recognize survivors of abuse in Scouting and further improve youth protection.
Newly appointed BSA Youth Protection Executive Glen Pounder expressed the organization’s unwavering dedication to becoming the gold standard in youth protection.
“At BSA, we are dedicated to continuingly enhancing youth protection,” Pounder said. “We must remain alert to addressing evolving threats, and we must help empower youth to protect themselves.”
Pounder also acknowledged the invaluable contribution of the survivors of abuse within Scouting who have joined the committee. He expressed gratitude for their bravery and steadfast commitment to creating a safe and secure environment for all youth involved in Scouting.
“As we seek to set the tone for safety, not just at the BSA, but also among all youth-serving organizations and beyond, to have survivors help us with this work is crucial. Their strength is truly inspiring,” Pounder said.
The Youth Protection Committee will continue to engage with BSA through discussion, consultation, and review with the Youth Protection Executive. The Committee will also provide valuable feedback and public recommendations on the BSA’s existing youth protection policies and procedures, as well as enhancements to the implementation of the organization’s youth protection training program.
“This committee has a vital responsibility – not just to the Scouts in the program – but to the youth of America,” said Committee Chair Dr. Michael Bourke, a leading expert in matters pertaining to child exploitation and criminal behavior. “We look forward to taking on this challenge and we are committed to making a powerful and far-reaching impact on youth safety in our society.”
The Youth Protection Committee will help ensure the BSA delivers on its commitment provide a safe and secure environment for all youth in Scouting, and that it takes all necessary steps to become the “gold standard” in youth protection.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.®” The Scouting organization is composed of more than 1 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and approximately 460,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.Scouting.org.