The Boy Scouts of America has mortgaged one of the most spectacular properties it owns, the vast Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, to help secure a line of credit as the financially strapped organization faces a growing wave of new sex-abuse lawsuits.
The BSA said last week that it has no plans to sell the property, and that the land is being used as collateral to help meet financial needs that include rising insurance costs related to sex-abuse litigation.
However, the move dismayed a member of Philmont’s oversight committee, who says it violates agreements made when the land was donated in 1938. The BSA disputed his assertion.
Top BSA officials signed the document in March, but members of the Philmont Ranch Committee only recently learned of the development, according to committee member Mark Stinnett.
In a memo sent to his fellow members, Stinnett — a Colorado-based lawyer — decried the financial maneuver and the lack of consultation with the committee.