For over 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America’s program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. A recent announcement to allow girls to enter the ranks has the group pursuing a name change.
On Wednesday, May 2nd, organization representatives announced the iconic program will soon be known as Scouts BSA, effective February 2019.
Officials noted in a public statement that discussions leading to the decision were lengthy and ‘incredibly fun.’ The organization explained they had a goal to represent the past while also considering the move forward.
The parent organization will stay the Boy Scouts of America, and the Cub Scouts division, for 7 to 10-year-olds will keep its title. But, the Boy Scouts program, for 11 to 17-year-olds will be known as Scouts BSA.
“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible. That is why it is important that the name for our Scouting program for older youth remain consistent with the single name approach used for the Cub Scouts,” said Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “Starting in February 2019, the name of the older youth program will be ‘Scouts BSA,’ and the name of our iconic organization will continue to be Boy Scouts of America.”
The Cub Scouts program has already started admitting girls and Scouts BSA will begin doing so next year. Officials noted, however; the program for older boys and girls will still be divided along gender lines, with single-sex units participating in the same activities, earning the same merit badges and pursuing the same pathway to the Eagle Scout Award. The explained the purpose is to resolve the perception that girls joining the BSA may be at a disadvantage when working towards leadership opportunities.
Additionally, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) unveiled the new Scout Me In campaign that features girls, as well as boys, in its iconic Cub Scout program for the first time. Starting this summer, all kids are invited to say, “Scout Me In,” as they join the fun, adventure and character-building opportunities found in Cub Scouts. The campaign presents an energizing Scouting experience that speaks to kids by putting them in the middle of the action. It also engages parents who are looking for ways to make the most of the time they have with their kids and help them to be Prepared. For Life.
Girl Scout leaders have publicly stated they were surprised by the move and that they plan to aggressively campaign to recruit new members and retain current members.
Michaela Madison Reporting