Boy Scout of America is changing its name to Scouts BSA. This change of name was to make the group gender equal as it will be accepting girls beginning of 2019. The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 and is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States with 2.4 million youth participating. Currently the organization is an all-boys program that doesn’t allow girls to join.
“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” said Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA, in a statement.
The umbrella organization, will retain its current name, for its program for younger children, Cub Scouts. The Cub Scouts program was the first group to accept girls on January 15, 2018. The first girl joined the cub scout on January 16, 2018; it shows how girls yearned for the chance to be available. Thousands of girls have already joined under an early adopter program. Like the Cub Scouts, BSA will be following suit in 2019.
Another Boy Scout programs specific for older youth, Venturing is an outdoor adventure program that permits girls to be a part of. However, it does not allow girls to attain the Eagle Scout rank, which is the highest level in Boy Scouts. ‘Scout Me In’ is the marketing slogan for the unveiling of the Scouts BSA which encourages all genders to join the program. By 2019, older girls will be able to join Scouts BSA and will have the opportunity to become Eagle Scouts, just like the boys.
Although the Scouts BSA decision to take girls into their program was not intended to jeopardize the Girl’s Scout program, many young scout girls have left the program to join the Cub Scouts group. For parents or girls wanting to enroll in all-female scouting, there is always the Girl Scouts of the USA, which has voiced opposition to the BSA’s all-gender change.
“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” Girl Scouts CEO Sylvia Acevedo told The Associated Press. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills … and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults.”
The official name change will go into effect in February.