Boy Scouts Dropping Key Word from Iconic Program Name After Girls Are Allowed To Join

Combined Shape

In its latest effort to foster a gender-neutral scouting environment, the Boy Scouts of America announced this week a new marketing slogan and a major change to its namesake program.

According to USA Today, Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh announced the changes Wednesday during a presentation meant to emphasize inclusion within the organization.

In addition to unveiling its “Scout Me In” motto, the organization also revealed that the Boy Scouts program will drop the word “boy” and soon be called Scouts BSA.

The BSA announced last year that it would begin admitting girls into every level of the program, including the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” Surbaugh said at the time.

Trending:
Biden Cancels Trump's 'Garden of American Heroes' and Ends Exec Order Protecting Monuments

The name change to the scouting program for kids between 10 and 17 years old is expected to go into effect early next year.

Cub Scouts, the program for younger children, will retain its name. The gender reference will not be dropped from its parent organization, the Boy Scouts of America.

Surbaugh celebrated the changes as part of an overall commitment to accepting scouts from all walks of life.

“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” he said.

Do you support the BSA's decision to admit girls?

Girls will be officially registered into the Cub Scouts program as early as this summer.

The organization notes that more than 3,000 girls have already begun participating in the BSA’s Early Adopter Program, which allows them to get involved in scouting prior to the general public.

Despite the de-emphasis on gender, the BSA expects the majority of troops to be either all girls or all boys.

Efforts to promote inclusion have been consistent in recent years, notably in the 2015 decision to allow gay scout leaders to serve in the organization.

Shortly before announcing it would allow girls into its programs, the BSA confirmed transgender children would be permitted to join troops.

Related:
Masculinity Crisis: Poll Finds 24% of Men Think They Can't Beat a Rodent in a One-on-One Fight

While the shift toward admitting girls has attracted praise from many supporters, others feel the change is unneeded and could negatively impact the Girl Scouts of the USA. That organization’s CEO did not seem concerned about the potential of competition from the BSA in light of Wednesday’s announcements.

“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” Sylvia Acevedo said. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents.”

Some conservative commentators attempted to portray the move as a tacit act of hostility toward boys.

BSA Marketing Director Stephen Medlicott echoed Surbaugh’s excitement over the new direction, citing the new slogan as a sign of the times.

“Cub Scouts is a lot of fun, and now it’s available to all kids,” he 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!'”

BSA membership has waned in recent years, down nearly half from its peak of more than 4 million participants annually.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, ,
Combined Shape
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Birthplace
Virginia
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Education
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Location
Arizona
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment




Conversation