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As Scouting Goes Coed, the Boy Scouts Get a New Name

Not everyone is happy about this sweeping change to the 108-year-old organization.


The Boy Scouts of America are doubling down of their efforts to become a more inclusive organization by striking the word “boy” from the title of their most popular program. The newly named scouts will also allow for girls to join the organization as well. Just last year, the organization opened itself up to transgender youth and ended its ban on gay troop leaders back in 2015.

While classic boy scout titles like Cub, Tiger, or Eagle scout are all gender neutral and won’t be changed, kid’s 10 to 17-years-old will now be part of Scouts BSA. According to Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh, the Cub Scouts will officially be taking in girls starting this Summer, and more than 3,000 girls have already enrolled in the program ahead of that. This is a big move for the organization that’s seen their enrollment fall by 300,000 in the last five years.

Scouts BSA has had ‘boy’ in its title for 108-years, and as the organization makes a sweeping change to their more than century-long program, there was naturally some blowback. Most publicly from the Girl Scouts of America. Girl Scouts president Kathy Hopinkah Hannan wrote to BSA ahead of their announcement to include girls and was thoroughly opposed to the new initiative.

“Rather than seeking to fundamentally transform BSA into a co-ed program, we believe strongly that Boy Scouts should instead take steps to ensure that they are expanding the scope of their programming to all boys, including those who BSA has historically underserved and underrepresented, such as African American and Latino boys,” Hannan wrote.

Hannan went on to write that it was “inherently dishonest’” of the BSA to “claim to be a single gender organization while simultaneously endeavoring upon a coed model.”

Naturally, there were more than a few folks on social media who, besides maybe missing the point of the switch entirely, just didn’t agree with the choice to change names.