The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has filed for bankruptcy as it faces increasing legal costs over sexual abuse cases.
A spokesman said the move would make sure that the organisation would be kept running and that compensation would be paid to victims.
The group has more than two million members across the United States but the membership has been declining.
Chief executive Roger Mosby said in a statement: “The BSA cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologises to anyone who was harmed during their time in scouting.
“We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children.”