The Boy Scouts Changed Its Name to Make Room for Girls & People Are Calling for a Boycott

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boy scouts new name
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For 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) youth programs have been known simply as the Boy Scouts. The name denoted a program where young boys could learn survival skills, participate in wilderness training, and occasionally sell gigantic tubs of delicious caramel popcorn door-to-door. But this year, for the first time, girls are being allowed to join the ranks. To make room for the newest troop members, the Boy Scouts organization just announced a new name for its flagship program, and people are taking the change about as well as most people take a severe case of poison ivy.

  • The Boy Scouts' flagship program for kids ages 11-17 will change its name to Scouts BSA in February 2019.

    The name change is a part of the organization's new Scout Me In campaign that invites boys and girls to "experience adventures through a cub scout's point of view." In a press release, Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America, explained the change by saying, "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."

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  • It's worth noting that the Cub Scouts have already been admitting girls into Cub Scout packs nationwide.

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    The organization sparked a massive controversy last year when it announced its decision to allow girls to participate in troops, but so far more than 3,000 girls have joined roughly 170 Cub Scout packs and the apocalypse has yet to begin! Who would've thought?

    Now, with the name change and the Scout Me In campaign, girls will also have the ability to ascend the ranks and become Eagle Scouts, the organization's highest ranking members. Still, BSA said its mission statement and core values will remain the same -- they'll simply be extended to all families and kids.

  • But not everyone is down with the changes. Many are accusing BSA of being overly politically correct.

  • Others said the name change is a sign that adding girls to troops is "ruining" the organization.

  • And lots of people are even calling for a boycott.

  • Even the Girl Scouts are critical of the move. According to the Los Angeles Times, Girl Scout leaders were "blindsided" by the shift and are gearing up for an "aggressive" campaign to retain its members. "Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls," Sylvia Acevedo, the Girl Scouts' chief executive officer, told the newspaper. "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."

  • Change is hard, but not everyone is slamming the Scouts for wanting to try something new.

    As many online noted, changing the name of the organization takes nothing away from it, and giving more kids the opportunity to learn life skills and interact with their peers is rarely a bad thing. The name is only as important as the people behind it, and USA Today reports the Boy Scouts currently have around 2.3 million members, down from 2.6 million five years ago. Maybe with its new vibe, new name, and new ideas, it can reverse that slump and make its programs even better for the future generations of male and female Scouts who will be proud to wear the title.

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