Local members react to Boy Scout organization name change

Leroy Wright
May 4, 2018

The organization on Wednesday announced a new name for its Boy Scouts program: Scouts BSA.

Boy Scouts of America will drop "Boy" from its main program name, in an effort to be more inclusive.

Not only is the name of the program changing, it will now be open to girls.

After 108 years, the Boy Scouts are ditching the whole "boy" thing.

The umbrella organization will retain its name, Boy Scouts of America or BSA. The council now serves 4 girls in Cub Scouts, 27 teenage girls in Venturing and 81 teenage girls in Exploring.

"Cub Scouts is a lot of fun, and now it's available to all kids", said Stephen Medlicott, BSA's national marketing group director, in a statement to the media. In Jan. 2017, they announced they would accept transgender members.

"You could have this new parallel equally rigorous program for girls where they earn all the same merit badges and all the same, you know accomplishments, without having to change the name of the boy's program", explains Arnold.

According to data from the Scout Me In campaign, more than 3,000 girls have already joined about 170 Cub Scout packs across the U.S. Yarbrough added that some Girl Scouts are concurrently enrolled in both Girl Scouts and Venture Scouts, a program by Boy Scouts of America.

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The Guardian's Ben Jacobs noted on Twitter that Michael Williams, a Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, said that if the Boy Scouts of today - and the supporters of its new changes - parented the soldiers who fought in WWII, the war would have been won by the Axis Powers.

The organization's move to a gender-neutral name came on the heels of its decision to accept girls into its ranks next year.

The Boy Scouts past year opted to allow transgender boys to join.

Boys are boys and girls are girls. Instead of simply showing Scouts participating in activities, the campaign brings the young viewer into the middle of the action - from fishing, biking and canoeing to launching rockets and making slime - where they get even closer to the experiences that Scouting brings to life. "We are thrilled that the mission and goal of the BSA's programs to instill character and leadership is now a powerful promise for boys and girls alike".

The Boy Scouts of America has more than 2.4 million youth participants and almost 1 million adult volunteers, according to its website.

She said relations with the Boy Scouts in her region used to be collaborative and now are "very chilly".

"How do you manage these strategic tensions?" she asked.

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