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.
The Boy Scouts have officially changed their name to become more gender-nuetral. Still no word on Covergirl, Lady Foot Locker, Spice Girls, Lady Gaga, Women's March, Real Housewives, The Bachelorette, LPGA, WNBA, Women's Wear Daily, Lady Antebellum, and Mrs. Butterworth.
— NotKennyRogers (@NotKennyRogers) May 2, 2018
We've had "Boy Scouts" and "Girl Scouts" for years in USA and no one had a problem. Now we have had to drop the "Boy" & accept every gender they've come up with into the program. I thought the program was to encourage turning boy to men. What in the world is this world coming to?
— Joey M. (YourVoice™ America) (@JTMYVA) May 2, 2018
As a former Girl Scout, I find it offending they would want to combine it. Boys and girls are different, get over it. If it means so much change the structure of Girl Scouts. Otherwise stop saying girls are like boys, we’re not. Stop strangling the feminine AND masculine
Still, more than a few people find the outrage silly and actually agree with the change.
Conservatives: Be upset about the insane things the President of the United States is doing instead of the Boy Scouts changing their name.
— RiotGrl✨ (@ErinLea7) May 2, 2018
What kind of special snowflake cries over the Boy scouts changing their name to more accurately reflect their changing membership policies? Oh, right. Conservatives. The reigning champions in the victim olympics.
— Skepacabra (@Skepacabra) May 2, 2018
The official name change will go into effect in February 2019.