Boy Scouts Changes Name After 114 Years

Boy Scouts of America | Image by Anthony Berenyi/Shutterstock
Boy Scouts of America | Image by Anthony Berenyi/Shutterstock

After 114 years, the Boy Scouts of America is changing its name to Scouting America in hopes of leaving behind a past riddled with controversies.

“This rebranding reflects the continuing efforts to welcome everyone to experience the benefits of Scouting,” said the Irving-based organization in a news release.

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was established in 1910 as a leadership and character development training program for young men only. The organization found nationwide success, impacting millions nationwide.

However, the group has been pushed to rebrand in recent years amid mass public outcry of sexism, homophobia, and sexual abuse claims.

In 2013, the Scouts began allowing openly gay boys to participate in the program. In 2015, gay adult leaders were allowed, although church-sponsored Scout units were able to exclude openly gay leaders for religious reasons.

In 2018, the BSA made a historic shift to allow girls to participate in the program. Families were given the option to have their children participate in single-gender or co-ed groups.

The decision was met with pushback from the Girl Scouts of the USA, which asserted, “Girl Scouts is, and will remain, the scouting program that truly benefits U.S. girls by providing a safe space for them to learn and read,” per AP.

Two years later, the BSA made headlines once again as thousands of sexual abuse allegations forced the program to file for bankruptcy, according to reporting by NPR.

Over 82,000 claims were made by now-grown men who said they were sexually abused as Scouts, with hundreds of lawsuits filed. In response, the BSA opened a Victim’s Compensation Trust for those who come forward and file claims.

In February, the Supreme Court approved a $2.4 billion plan to settle the sex abuse lawsuits against the BSA. The settlement was opposed by the victims, who said it prevents previous victims from filing independent claims.

Some say that the recent rebranding was made in an effort to mask ongoing issues within the organization.

“With membership at historic lows, Boy Scouts of America decides to rebrand to make clear that ‘boys’ are no longer welcome,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on X. “I’m sure that will help with recruiting.”

“The Left has now taken ‘Boy’ out of ‘Boy Scouts,'” chimed in Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) on X. “Wokeness destroys everything it touches.”

However, current Eagle Scout Lois Alvar stands by the organization’s decision.

“I’ve had a lot of trouble in the past explaining to people that I’m not exactly part of the Girl Scout’s program, but I’m part of Scouts BSA,” said Alvar in an interview with AP. Alvar founded one of the first all-female troops in her council.

“Scouting America sounds a lot more inclusive of all of the other people that are in Scouting.”

The change will take effect on February 8, 2025, the group’s 115th anniversary.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article