Boy Scouts of America to Change Name and Begin Accepting Girls
The Boy Scouts of America have announced that they will be dropping the ‘boy’ from the name of their signature program, in an effort to become the scouting organization of choice for boys and girls alike. While the umbrella organization will retain its original name of Boy Scouts of America, the ‘Boy Scouts’, which includes kids ages 10 to 17 will become Scouts BSA in February.
According to the organization, allowing girls into the organization will allow for families to better consolidate the extracurricular programs their kids are involved in. They say when it comes to the actual Cub packs and Scout troops, they will primarily consist of a single gender.
Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh also unveiled the new “Scout Me In” marketing campaign, which aims to promote a culture of inclusivity and diversity within the organization. He said “As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible.” Stephen Medlicott the Marketing Director for Boy Scouts of America said “That’s why we love ‘Scout Me In’ — because it speaks to girls and boys and tells them, ‘This is for you. We want you to join!’”
These changes are finally taking place after the organization announced in October of its plans to begin accepting girls. Several months before that, the Boy Scouts announced they would begin accepting and registering transgender youths. In 2015, they ended their ban on gay troop leaders.
Acceptance of girls will formally begin this summer, and there have already been 3,000 girls nationwide enrolled in the Early Adopter Program. The organization currently has almost 2.3 million members, though that number has slightly fallen over the past four years. In addition to the registered kids, there are over 1 million adult volunteers who play a major role in keeping the organization running smoothly.
The Girl Scouts of America CEO Sylvia Acevedo issued a statement saying “Girl Scouts is the premiere leadership development organization for girls. We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents.” They pointed out that the Boy Scouts announcement does not include any new “girl specific” programming, something that is a prominent feature in the Girl Scouts. Acevedo continued “We’re also dedicated to building that critical STEM workforce pipeline that businesses and communities across the country are looking for.”
Just last month, the Girl Scouts unveiled a new LinkedIn network that taps into the 50 million alums around the country, in a effort to “support female advancement in the workforce and help prepare girls for a lifetime of leadership and career success.”