According to USA Today, the Boy Scouts of America doubled down Wednesday on its quest to become the scouting organization of choice for boys and girls, announcing it will drop “Boy” from the name of its signature program.
But the decision didn’t impress the Girl Scout organization, which noted no new, “girl-specific” programming.
“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, said in a statement. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents.”
Both groups, which have been at odds since the Boy Scouts decided to open its doors to girls, have been struggling with declining membership.
Boy Scouts of America launches historic ‘Scout Me In’ campaign and unveils the new name for its iconic program for older boys and girls. #ScoutMeInhttps://t.co/a0qmZz2BXd
The organization on Wednesday announced a new name for its Boy Scouts program: Scouts BSA. The change will take effect next February.
Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said many possibilities were considered during lengthy and “incredibly fun” deliberations before the new name was chosen.
“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 parent organization will remain the Boy Scouts of America, and the Cub Scouts — its program for 7- to 10-year-olds — will keep its title as well.
But the Boy Scouts — the program for 11- to 17-year-olds — will now be Scouts BSA.
The organization has already started admitting girls into the Cub Scouts, and Scouts BSA begins accepting girls next year.
Surbaugh predicted that both boys and girls in Scouts BSA would refer to themselves simply as scouts, rather than adding “boy” or “girl” as a modifier.
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.