Hawk Mountain Scouting Council Fails to Notify Others

I think it is worth mentioning that the Hawk Mountain Boy Scout Council failed to take action and notify others at risk of abuse in connection with Tom Goerner’s involvement as a Scout leader for St. Catherine of Sienna (Reading PA) and/or his presence at week-long summer camps and other overnight scouting events. Below is the text of a letter I sent to the council president in 2011. I did receive a reply stating that Tom Goerner was not involved in scouting since 2000. In 2013, I sent a follow-up letter asking what action the council had taken to inform others who were at risk, as scouts in Goerner’s troop or scouts who came into contact with him in all the years of summer camps. I received no reply. Additionally, in 2015 as part of my civil lawsuit against Tom Goerner, I filed a subpoena for documents from Hawk Mountain Council, requesting the rosters of scouts registered to Goerner’s troop at St. Catherine’s. The council filed a protective order claiming it was private information. To date, the council still has not notified anyone at risk.


February 8, 2011

Douglas N. Yocom President HAWK MOUNTAIN COUNCIL #528 BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA 5027 Pottsville Pike, Reading, PA 19605-1284 Phone: (610) 926-3406

Dear Mr. Yocom:

I am writing to notify the council that in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, a scout leader named Thomas M. Goerner of St. Catherine’s Parish in Reading, PA, is the same person who sexually abused me while I was in his employment between 1979 and 1982.

I was not abused by him at any scouting functions although I first met him at summer camp in the summer of 1977. I was introduced to him by the chaplain of my troop at <name withheld>. Mr. Goerner sexually abused me at a grocery store, Wyomissing Meat Market, between 1979 and 1982, where he was manager in charge.

Only recently I recalled that he was involved through the 1990’s with scouting in the Order of the Arrow program, his capacity in that unknown to me.  It is my opinion that, based on my experience with Tom Goerner, he should not have contact with scouts. And now that you are notified by me, you can take whatever steps are necessary in accordance with any national and local scouting policies. I am not aware of what actions, if any, you will take. I want to have a clear conscience that I have taken any and all steps toward alerting others who may be in jeopardy because of Tom Goerner.

I communicated by letter last year to Mr. Goerner, who resides at 21 Craig Dr., Reading PA, that I would inform any persons with a reason to know of his actions against me as a means of protecting others from him. I did not receive any reply from him.

I would appreciate the courtesy of reply to acknowledge your receipt of this letter.

Best regards,

John Doe A <name withheld>