After 108 years of being an American institution, on Wednesday the Boy Scouts of America announced a name change.
Beginning next February the Boy Scouts of America will be known as Scouts BSA.
Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh explained after a long and “incredibly fun” meeting the new name removing “boy” out of Boy Scouts was selected.
“We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” Surbaugh said. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.”
The Cub Scouts, for children grades kindergarten through fifth, will get to keep its name and the parent organization will still be known as the Boy Scouts of America for now. However, Scouts BSA will now be the program for 11-17 year olds.
The effort is due to the organization believing it will be better served not referring to anyone as “boy” or “girl,” but simply “scouts.” The program for older boys and girls will still divide the scouts among gender lines for the time being, but the activities will be identical. The same amount of merit badges will be awarded which can now lead scouts of either gender to achieve the top honor of Eagle Scout.
Surbaugh said that keeping males and females divided, for the time being, in BSA will grant special accommodations for new girls joining to receive better leadership opportunities.
Since the push to make girls enter the program 3,000 have signed up to the 170 packs around the United States. This summer BSA hopes to increase that number with a recruitment push called “Scout Me In.”
Social media has jeered the rebranding as a ham-handed attempt to appease politically correctness, saying that it undermines the idea of uniquely focusing on teaching boys to become capable young men.
Boys can’t be Girl Scouts.
Girls can’t be Boy Scouts.
Boys are boys.
Girls are girls.
Political correctness ruins everything in life. It destroys even the most innocent of institutions.
— 🇺🇸CoreyJones🇺🇸 (@CoreyLMJones) May 2, 2018
Boy Scouts are dropping the word "boy" from their name. I assume Girl Scouts is under equal pressure to drop the word "girl" from their name. No? Strange. The American male is under siege.
— The Gay Republican (@GayRepublicSwag) May 2, 2018
And the USA will be removing “United” from its name. https://t.co/ODBhVhl2nq
— Gavin McInnes (@Gavin_McInnes) May 2, 2018
We learn two things from the self-destruction of the Boy Scouts organization:
1) The Left will eat you alive if you compromise with them.
2) Boys are not allowed to have any of their own spaces in this ridiculous culture we've made for ourselves.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) May 2, 2018
“Get over it,” barked Kevin Aldrich, a member-at-large with a Boy Scout council in central Indiana, to the the Indianapolis Star. “There is every reason to be co-ed. The Future Farmers of America is co-ed. 4-H is co-ed. Band in school is co-ed.”
The group that may be hurt the most by this change are the Girl Scouts, with many believing that the name change is taking the rivalry between them and the Boy Scouts to a new level.
Leaders in the Girl Scouts were caught off guard by the name change, and now have to work extra hard to retain their own recruits.
“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” said the Girl Scouts’ CEO, Sylvia Acevedo. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills … and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults.”
The decline in memberships of both programs is being blamed on the modern perspective that organizations like the Girl Scouts and BSA are too outdated for today’s climate. The Boy Scouts say they have about 2.6 million members, down from 4 million in the past; and the Girl Scouts have about 1.76 million, down from 2 million in 2014.
Girl Scout’s regional leader, Fiona Cummings of Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, believes that the decline is partly because of the Boy Scouts now recruiting female members to beef up their own numbers and create a more homogenized organization. She says the tension between her girls and the BSA has become “very chilly.”
“How do you manage these strategic tensions?” she asked. “We both need to increase our membership numbers.”
Surbaugh claims he wants both organizations to regain numbers and headway, while warning that BSA will now be the alternative for young girls.
“If the best fit for your girl is the Girl Scouts, that’s fantastic,” said Surbaugh. “If it’s not them, it might be us.”
feature image via The Daily Caller