Boy Scouts of America Announces Rebrand to ‘Scouting America’ | WATCH

Written by on May 7, 2024

*(CNN) — Boy Scouts of America announced Tuesday that it will change its name to Scouting America next February, to emphasize its commitment to inclusion.

The youth organization said the new name is meant to help everyone, including boys and girls, feel welcome. The change will go into effect on February 8, 2025, the organization’s 115th anniversary, the Boy Scouts of America said.

“While this may be a surprise to some of you, for us this is a straightforward evolution and the next natural step in ensuring all American youth feel welcomed and recognized in an organization that is meant to serve all Americans,” Roger A. Krone, president and chief executive officer of the Boy Scouts of America, told reporters during a Tuesday news conference.

Krone said the rebranding won’t change the organization’s mission of preparing “young people over their lives to make ethical and moral choices by instilling the scout oath, and the scout law. America’s values are scouting values.”

Girls were first able to join the Cub Scouts, the organization’s program for children 7 to 10 years old, in 2018. The following year, the organization welcomed older girls, 11 to 17 years old, to its flagship program Scouts BSA, CNN previously reported.

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At the time, BSA said the program’s expansion had been requested for years and was aimed at helping busy families consolidate programs for their children.

Krone said he now believes it is time for the organization to have a name that better reflects the youth who are currently enrolled in their programs. He said almost 20% of members are girls or young women.

Selby Chipman, an inaugural female Eagle Scout who is an assistant Scoutmaster in North Carolina, said during the news conference one of the great things that she got out of the program were leadership skills.

She said she hopes more girls and young women learn those skills and benefit from the program like she has.

Boy Scouts - Depositphotos
Boy Scouts – Depositphotos

More than 1 million youth are currently enrolled across the programs offered by Boys Scouts of America, according to the organization, including 176,234 girls and young women. So far, more than 6,000 girls and young women have earned the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout, BSA said in a news release.

Bob Brady, a New Jersey attorney who founded an all-girls Scouts BSA troop and serves as its Scoutmaster, said some girls quickly joined the program when it expanded because they had male siblings who were Eagle Scouts but the community at large may not be aware of the changes.

“Five and a half years after we started, you see people in town who see us marching a parade, doing a service project saying ‘Girls can be Scouts? It’s called Boy Scouts,’” Brady said in the news conference. “It takes some explaining to do… so I think this is gonna be great to help with recruiting and let everyone know the inclusive program that we’ve become over the last decade.”

Since then, Brady’s two daughters have earned the rank of Eagle Scouts.

“Young girls, young boys, there’s nothing about the Scout oath or a law that is inherently masculine or inherently feminine and applies across the board. Young girls in 2024 like to go camping, they like to go hiking,” Brady said. “You know what, I’ve had more moms and women tell me over the last five or six years, I wish I had the opportunity to be in scouts when I was a kid.”

The Boy Scouts of America has faced a storm of controversy in recent years, including widespread allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct. The organization filed for bankruptcy in 2020 after spending more than $150 million to settle abuse lawsuits, CNN previously reported.

Last year, the Boy Scouts of America began compensating thousands of victims of sexual abuse through a court-established Victims Compensation Trust. The Trust is expected to pay out $2.4 billion to more than 82,000 survivors of abuse, CNN reported.

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