The Boy Scouts of America is moving to a more gender-neutral name, dropping the word "Boy" from its signature program, the organization announced on Tuesday

By Dave Quinn
May 02, 2018 01:16 PM
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The Boy Scouts of America is moving to a more gender-neutral name, dropping the word “Boy” from its signature program, the organization announced on Tuesday.

The landmark change comes nearly six months after the iconic organization announced the expansion of its program to allow girls to join — starting this summer — and well over a year after the group began allowing transgender children to register.

Now, the Boy Scouts of America will reflect that inclusion throughout all of their programs. Starting in February 2019, Boy Scouts — the older youth program meant for kids from 10 to 17 — will begin to be known as Scouts BSA.

Through the program, boys and girls will pursue the same activities en route to the Eagle Scout honor.

Cub Scouts, meant for kids ages 7 to 10, will remain as is — as will the organization’s overall name.

Credit: "Placentia CA, USA- October 18, 2012: Close up of Boy Scout uniform shirt with Life rank patch (with red heart) on right side and merit badges on merit badge sash. Included merit badges are pathfinding, carpentry, first aid, fishing, pioneering, fingerprinting, railroading, wilderness survival, small boat sailing, archery, space exploration, leatherwork, motorboating, automoto maintenance, personal fitness, communications, electicity, citizenship in the nation, and salesmanship, The Life Rank (shown) is the second highest rank in the Boy Scouts, second only to the Eagle rank."

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,” explained Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, in a release.

Tuesday’s announcement also came with the group’s new slogan: “Scout Me In.”

Said Stephen Medlicott, National Marketing Group Director of Boy Scouts of America: “We love ‘Scout Me In’ because it speaks to girls and boys and tells them, ‘This is for you. We want you to join!’ ”

“The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.3 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories,” BSA said on their website. In 2015, the organization also took another step forward, ending its ban on gay scout leaders.

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But not everyone is happy with the Boy Scouts of America’s new direction.

The Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. previously encouraged the Boy Scouts of America not to recruit girls. “Our experiences are created for and with girls,” Andrea Bastiani Archibald, the Girl Scouts’ Chief Girl and Family Engagement Officer, told USA Today. “I think that’s important when we consider what appeals to them and what benefits them most.”

Currently, The Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. does not allow boys into their programs.