With historic changes on horizon,
With girls about to join the ranks for the first time, the Boy Scouts of America announced it will change the name of its Boy Scouts program to simply "Scouts BSA."
The name change comes about six months after the BSA said it would start admitting girls to its flagship Boy Scouts program. Since October 2017, the organization says more than 3,000 girls across the U.S. have enrolled in its early programs and are already participating in Cub Scouts ahead of the full relaunch.
The organization made the announcement in a news release Wednesday, May 2, and said its first name change in 108 years would take effect in February 2019. It also announced a new campaign effort, that it is calling "Scout Me In."
"Cub Scouts is a lot of fun, and now it's available to all kids," Stephen Medlicott, the organization's national marketing director, said in the release.
"That's why we love 'Scout Me In' — because it speaks to girls and boys and tells them, 'This is for you. We want you to join!'"
The Boy Scouts of America board unanimously voted late last year to start welcoming girls into its Cub Scout program in 2018. Girls will not only be able to join the BSA's Cub Scout program, but will have a clear path to join the organization's highest rank of Eagle Scout.
Starting in 2018, families will be able to sign girls up for the Cub Scouts by either choosing or establishing an all girl or all boy pack. All Cub Scout dens will remain single-gender and use the same Boy Scout curriculum as in years past.
Some of the larger Cub Scout packs will be able to choose to welcome both genders instead of just either/or.
"As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible," Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive, said in the release. "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.
"Starting in February 2019, the name of the older youth program will be 'Scouts BSA,' and the name of our iconic organization will continue to be Boy Scouts of America."
The Associated Press reports this name change comes on the heels of Girl Scout leaders being blindsided by the move to admit both genders into the Boy Scout program for 11- to 17-year-olds. The Girl Scout organization has been exploring new incentives and badges its members can achieve to keep its membership numbers up.
"Girls Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls," Sylvia Acevedo, Girl Scouts CEO, said according to A.P. "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."
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