I believe that a Boy Scout is safer while participating in Scouting events and activities, including summer camp than he is at home or in school.
I have been registered as a Boy Scout or as a Scout leader for over 38 years (not all consecutively), and I have served as the Health and Safety Officer of a Boy Scout summer camp, and will do so again next summer. I have seen the program in action, participated in the training, and have had all my four kids participate in the program.
In 2010 a major lawsuit was settled against the Boy Scouts of America for $20 million because of abuse charges from the past. The uproar has been revived now that the private documents about thousands of cases in that law suit have been made public.
The abuse, which took place from 1959 to 1985, and the way the BSA handled it at the time cannot be defended. However the way the BSA has protected Scouts in the past 20 years is a model that all youth organizations should copy.
The real story that the press should be talking about is the way the BSA has responded to the problems of the past, and how they have created a zero tolerance program of today to replace the zero protection program of the past. Adult leaders in Scouting are not approved until they pass a thorough background check, and have verified references checked.
Once a leader begins serving as a volunteer in Scouting, he or she must participate in Youth Protection Training, and there are built in checks to make sure no boy is ever alone with an adult. Even the youth hired to work at summer camps who are not yet adults much take the Youth Protection Training. There is also on-going training specific to the particular role of the volunteer, but every adult must receive Youth Protection Training.
The benefits of Scouting for boys age 7 all the way to 20 are tremendous. There is no better organization to help boys become men, and the leaders of the future. The adult volunteers and paid staff are some of the finest people I have ever met. I have had all three of my boys in scouting, my daughter has worked at a summer camp, and my wife and I have been leaders and summer camp staff members. The benefits to the growth of our sons have been immeasurable. Parents need all the help they can get to raise kids in this world today, and a great source of help is from the Boy Scouts of America.