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The Boy Scouts of America announced today that it will change the name of its program for older youth from Boy Scouts to “Scouts BSA,” as the group prepares to open its ranks to girls and young women.
The new name will take effect in February 2019. The organization’s name, Boy Scouts of America (BSA), will not change.
“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible. That is why it is important that the name for our Scouting program for older youth remain consistent with the single name approach used for the Cub Scouts,” Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh said in a press release.
The Scouts BSA will have separate units for boys and girls, though both will pursue the same activities.
Along with the name change, the BSA also announced a new “Scout Me In” campaign to emphasize and celebrate both girls and boys joining the Cub Scouts. The Cub Scouts, a program for children under 10, will not change its name.
The changes follow the BSA’s October decision to allow girls to join. Since the announcement, more than 3,000 girls have enrolled to participate in Cub Scouts beginning in June 2018.
This decision raises further questions about how changes to the BSA will affect the Girl Scouts of the USA, which has expressed opposition to the Boy Scouts admitting girls. “Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” Girl Scouts’ CEO Sylvia Acevedo said in a statement. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills, explore STEM and the outdoors, participate in community projects, and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults.”
Scouts BSA is expected to start accepting girls in 2019.