Boy Scouts Changing to ‘Scouts BSA’ to Include Girls
The Boy Scouts of America have announced a new name for the iconic Boy Scouts program: Scouts BSA.
According to Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh, the new name was chosen to convey the inclusive nature of the Boy Scouts program, as the BSA intends to begin accepting girls into Boy Scout troops.
The BSA has made several changes to its membership restrictions over the years. In 2013, the organization lifted the ban on openly gay scouts and in 2015 began accepting gay leaders. The BSA is now also accepting members that self-identify as male, regardless of their actual gender.
The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated in 1910 by Chicago publisher W. D. Boyce, after he was inspired by the Boy Scouts Association while visiting London. The BSA’s flagship Boy Scouts Program, for boys between the ages of 11 and 17, was also developed more than a hundred years ago.
Girls showed similar interest in the principles of the Boy Scout Program, but like their British counterparts, those in the BSA were worried that allowing girls to join would dissuade boys from joining.
To solve the issue, the Girl Scouts of the USA was founded just two years after the BSA by Juliette Gordon Low. Both founders of the BSA and the GSUSA agreed at the time that girls and boys should be involved in separate single-sex youth movements.
Some say that declining BSA membership among young men has helped spur the change in membership policy. But may have left the organization specifically because of its turn away from the traditional.
The Boy Scouts name change to “Scouts BSA” will take effect February 2019, the BSA announced on Wednesday, with plans to incorporate girls into the organization already in place.