WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- “Boy Scouts” is now officially called “Scouts BSA” –which means boys and girls between 11 and 17 years old are welcome to join the organization.
- While the announcement on Friday stirred mixed reactions from social media and the public, this was very good news for a lot of girls who have the chance now to become Eagle Scouts.
- However, in a statement, GSUSA said that their mission to serve only girls remains unaffected by BSA’s decision.
As of Friday, “Boy Scouts” will now be called “Scouts BSA”- the change in the organization intended to welcome boys and girls between ages 11 and 17 is now official. Yes, you got that right — girls can now join the boy scouts.
Initially announced by the Boy Scouts of America in 2017, young women can now reach their dreams of becoming Eagle Scouts, the highest rank in the organization, which can later provide academic and professional benefits. In fact, in 2020, the first class of female Eagle Scouts will be recognized.
Since last year, Cub Scouts, the program for younger kids, have been welcoming girls into the organization. Although over 77,000 girls have already signed in, its name, and its parent organization’s name – Boy Scouts of America- remain the same.
In a statement on Friday, Chief Scout Executive Michael B. Surbaugh said that through Scouts BSA, young men and women will get to “experience the benefits of camaraderie, confidence, resilience, trustworthiness, courage and kindness through a time-tested program that has been proven to build character and leadership.”
This is good news for many girls. For one, Kaylee Russell, 10, told CNN affiliate WJXT that her brother who was a Boy Scout and a Cub Scout had always included her in their events for a long time.
“That encouraged me to become a scout myself,” she said. Stacey Russell, her mom, also likes the leadership skills her son has learned and is glad that her daughter will have the same opportunity.
However, not everyone welcomes the change.
During the initial announcements, mixed reactions were seen on social media where some suggested the change was “politically correct”.
Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) issued a statement emphasizing the benefits of a single-gender environment as well as affirming that BSA’s decision does not change their position or their mission to serve only girls.
“We remain steadfast in our knowledge that Girl Scouts is the world’s single best leadership development program for girls.”
Additionally, a trademark infringement lawsuit by GSUSA actually sued BSA over the change in name “Boy Scouts” to “Scouts BSA” late last year.
When asked about the lawsuit, BSA replied saying: “We look forward to resolving the matter so both of our organizations can do what we do best — serve communities through character-building programs for youth.”