RIP Boy Scouts. After 108 years, it announces new name. The world has one big question.

What about the girl Scouts? Don’t they have to change, too?

After more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America are giving in to political correctness and changing the name of their flagship program.

The Boy Scouts announced Wednesday that after 108 years, its iconic name will be changed to simply Scouts BSA to accommodate incoming girls into the program, the New York Post reported.

(Image: Wkimedia)

The name change was decided after long and  “incredibly fun” deliberations, according to Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh.

“We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” he said. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.”

The junior program for 7- to 10-year-olds, the Cub Scouts, will not be facing changes though it has already been accepting girls into the program. The parent organization, the Boy Scouts of America, will also be retaining its current name.

The name change will take effect next February for the Scouts BSA, the program for 11- to 17-year-olds which will begin admitting girls next year. But the members will be known simply as scouts, with no “boy” or “girl” modifiers, according to Surbaugh.

According to the New York Post:

The program for the older boys and girls will largely be divided along gender-lines, with single-sex units pursuing the same types of activities, earning the same array of merit badges and potentially having the same pathway to the coveted Eagle Scout award.

Surbaugh said that having separate units for boys and girls should alleviate concerns that girls joining the BSA for the first time might be at a disadvantage in seeking leadership opportunities.

 

About 170 Cub Scout packs which are taking part in the first phase of the new policy have seen more than 3,000 girls joining. A nationwide campaign called “Scout Me In” is expected to increase that as recruitment efforts intensify over the summer.

The Girl Scouts of America were apparently unprepared for the move and are reportedly launching a counter offensive to recruit girls as members, including offering new badges that girls can earn, with a focus on outdoor activities, science, engineering, technology and math.

An Illinois Girl Scouts regional leader believes the BSA’s decision to allow girls to join has negatively impacted her group which has seen membership drop by more than 500 girls so far this year, the New York Post reported.

Relations with the Boy Scouts in her area have become “very chilly,” Fiona Cummings of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois noted.

“How do you manage these strategic tensions?” she asked. “We both need to increase our membership numbers.”

The Boy Scouts have seen a drop in participation from the more than 4 million members in past peak years to currently about 2.3 million, down from 2.6 million in 2013. The Girl Scouts, which had over 2 million youth members in 2014, now have about 1.76 million girls, according to the New York Post.

One has to wonder why efforts are not being made to reform both organizations so they can retain their original names, cater to the specific members and offer similar activities. Instead, it seems the Boy Scouts may be in danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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