Thursday, May 9, 2024

Boy Scouts changes name to Scouting America for more inclusion

The Boy Scouts of America is changing its name for the first time in its 114-year history and will become Scouting America. It’s a significant shift and the organization seeks to focus on inclusion.

With an eye on increasing flagging membership numbers, the Texas-based organization announced the name change at its annual meeting in Florida. “In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs,” said Roger Krone, president and chief executive officer.

The organization steeped in tradition has made seismic changes after decades of turmoil, from finally allowing gay youth to welcoming girls throughout its ranks. The organization began allowing gay youth in 2013 and ended a blanket ban on gay adult leaders in 2015. In 2017, it made the historic announcement that girls would be accepted as Cub Scouts. Also in 2017, the first transgender Boy Scout was officially welcomed.

The organization currently services over 1 million youths, including more than 176,000 girls. Since their inclusion in the programs, more than 6,000 young women have achieved Eagle Scout status, the highest rank within Scouts. 

Scouting America hopes the new branding will make everyone more comfortable with the organization. “It sends this really strong message to everyone in America that they can come to this program, they can bring their authentic self, they can be who they are and they will be welcomed here,” Krone added.

Scouts for Equality

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