De Pere church takes in Boy Scout troops after Catholic Diocese drops out
DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) - A De Pere church is stepping up to take in Boy Scout troops without meeting spaces after the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay cut ties with the Boy Scouts of America, reportedly due to the national Boy Scouts bankruptcy filings related to child sexual assault lawsuit settlements.
The Bay-Lakes Council of the Boy Scouts of America announced on Tuesday that the diocese would no longer charter scouting units, impacting about 600 members across 35 units.
St. Anne’s Episcopal Church reached out to help after seeing our report earlier this week about the severed ties.
“We’ll help as many as we possibly can,” Father Tyler Richards, rector at St. Anne’s, said.
As a former Boy Scout himself, Richards felt the need to open his doors to help these members continue their scouting journey.
“I was in scouting back in the early 2000′s and during that time, the scout troop that I was with dissolved. There were not enough people in the troop to keep it going, and so our troop actually lost our charter. I made a promise then to myself that if I was ever in a position where I could help scouts continue on with their career, keep doing what it is that they love to do, that I would do that for them.”
Fulfilling his promise, Richards will now be able to help up to 70 scouting members by offering them meeting space in his church.
“Scouting is something that I feel has a really rich gift to offer to people. It’s something that changed my life. So to be able to come alongside and help support these people that are looking for a home, and looking to continue their scouting journey, it was like yeah, this is a no brainer,” the rector said.
Bay-Lakes Council is still looking for other meeting spaces to charter the rest of its scouting units.
Bobbi Gordon, Voyageur District Director for the Bay-Lakes Council, said, “We are really positive that we are going to be able to find new homes and meeting spaces for these. Having St. Anne’s come on board right away has been fantastic, and hopefully we can get some more chartering organizations and partners to want to step up.”
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