Boy Scouts of America changing name to more inclusive Scouting America after years of woes

Selby Chapman Boy Scouts AP
‘In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs.’

The Boy Scouts of America is changing its name for the first time in its 114-year history and will become Scouting America. It’s a significant shift as the organization emerges from bankruptcy following a flood of sexual abuse claims and seeks to focus on inclusion.

The organization steeped in tradition has made seismic changes after decades of turmoil, from finally allowing gay youth to welcoming girls throughout its ranks. With an eye on increasing flagging membership numbers, the Irving, Texas-based organization announced the name change Tuesday at its annual meeting in Florida.

“In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs,” Roger Kronewho took over last fall as President and Chief Executive Officer, said in an interview before the announcement.

The organization began allowing gay youth in 2013 and ended a blanket ban on gay adult leaders in 2015. In 2017, it made the historic announcement that girls would be accepted as Cub Scouts as of 2018 and into the flagship Boy Scout program — renamed Scouts BSA — in 2019. Over 6,000 girls have now achieved the vaunted Eagle Scout rank.

There were nearly 1,000 young women in the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts in 2021, including Selby Chipman. The all-girls troop she was a founding member of in her hometown of Oak Ridge, North Carolina, has grown from five girls to nearly 50, and she thinks the name change will encourage even more girls to realize they can join.

“Girls were like: ‘You can join Boy Scouts of America?’” said Chipman, now a 20-year-old college student and assistant scoutmaster of her troop.

When people question the need to change the name, Krone points out that membership is at historic lows. “Part of my job is to reduce all the barriers I possibly can for people to accept us as an organization and to join,” he said.

Like other organizations, the scouts lost members during the pandemic, when participation was difficult. After a high point over the last decade of over 2 million members in 2018, the organization currently services just over 1 million youths, including more than 176,000 girls and young women. Membership peaked in 1972 at almost 5 million.

David Aaker, Vice Chairman of the national branding and marketing firm Prophet, author and professor emeritus at the University of California-Berkeley, called the name change an “excellent” move that gives the organization a chance to start a new conversation about itself, while not being so drastic that it strays too far from its original scouting mission.

“It’s a one-time chance to tell a new story,” Aaker said.

The National Organization for Women had urged the Boy Scouts to open itself to girls throughout its ranks. Bear Atwood, Vice President of NOW, said the name change “signals that not only are girls allowed to join but they are welcome to join.”

Reactions online Tuesday ranged from those excited and supportive to those decrying that “boy” no longer appears in the name. “Wokeness destroys everything it touches,” wrote Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican, on X.

But Lois Alvar, a 20-year-old Eagle Scout and assistant scoutmaster from the Dallas area, said the new name should help all scouts feel accepted. “Having it nationally recognized that girls are being welcomed and included in scouting allows it to be a more safe space, just in general,” she said.

The move to accept girls throughout the Boy Scout ranks strained a bond with the Girl Scouts of the USA, which sued, saying it created marketplace confusion and damaged their recruitment efforts. They reached a settlement agreement after a judge rejected those claims, saying both groups are free to use words like “scouts” and “scouting.”

The Boy Scouts’ $2.4 billion bankruptcy reorganization plan took effect last year, allowing the organization to keep operating while compensating the more than 80,000 men who say they were sexually abused as children while scouting.

The organization won’t officially become Scouting America until Feb. 8, 2025, the organization’s 115th birthday. But Krone said he expects people will start immediately using the name.

“It sends this really strong message to everyone in America that they can come to this program, they can bring their authentic self, they can be who they are and they will be welcomed here,” Krone said.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Good Church Folks

    May 7, 2024 at 5:45 pm

    Now called Groomers United.

    • Jack Meoff

      May 9, 2024 at 12:32 am


      • rick whitaker

        May 10, 2024 at 11:00 pm

        JACK MEOFF, i hate christianity and most christianins, so they can’t get too close to me. other people that like or tolerate them are putting up withmore than i do. my hatred of christianity is not a bad thing, unless you believe that bs. i’m liberated because of my freedom from the dogma of jesus lies.

  • rick whitaker

    May 7, 2024 at 7:08 pm

    if the scouts would take the christian pretext out of scouts, it would be more acceptable. there are just too many child molesters among the ranks of christians.

    • Hung Wiil

      May 7, 2024 at 10:24 pm

      There are more child molesters among government schoolteachers. Check the data, Ricky.

      • rick whitaker

        May 7, 2024 at 10:47 pm

        HUNG, your idea of data is cherry picked partisan bs. i do know that the southern baptist group turned over a list of hundreds of pervs they knew about, but hid from public record. the hiding of perv acts in a religious setting is common, so data is not there to collect. why am i explaining this to you, it is common knowledge for those whom choose to find it. you are childish.

        • Hung Wiil

          May 8, 2024 at 12:20 pm

          You are afraid of the truth and reality. The only thing you’ve explained is how ignorant you are. A child is most likely to be a victim of sexual abuse in our public, government-run schools. There is no rebuttal. There is no counterargument. Those are just the facts, regardless of the mindless prattle you key into your precious screen.

      • Michael K

        May 8, 2024 at 1:11 pm

        Wrong: The groomers mostly wear clerical robes in the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptists and in other so-called “Christian” denominations. Non-denominational evangelicals are a little harder to track, however.

        • Hung Wiil

          May 8, 2024 at 1:14 pm

          Remove head from ass. Government teachers are the number one child molesters in the country. End of story.

          • rick whitaker

            May 8, 2024 at 10:43 pm

            HUNG, you must be including church school teachers and sunday school teachers, and also church summer camp instructors. that’s a lot of christian teachers, so count them in the religious category, not the teacher category.

          • Michael K

            May 8, 2024 at 11:06 pm

            Wrong. Look it up.

            Public schools require screening and background checks. Religious schools do not – and more than 30 states have a legal loophole that basically ignores abuse that occurs in churches.

          • Hung Wiil

            May 8, 2024 at 11:07 pm

            I know you’re not smart enough to comprehend distinctions, but government-run schools are not private, Christian schools. Trying to explain the difference between the public sector and the private sector would be a futile exercise to someone like you.

          • Dont Say FLA

            May 15, 2024 at 9:05 am

            Lil, if you count the MFL type first year teachers doing 17 year old boy students, sure, but only by the numbers because there’s 1000s of times as many teachers as clergy.

            Look at per capita, however, and the clergy wins, hands down … little boys pants.

        • rick whitaker

          May 8, 2024 at 11:09 pm

          MICHAEL, i think HUNG is a christian, so he probably doesn’t want to admit that his group is that defective.

          • rick whitaker

            May 8, 2024 at 11:18 pm

            HUNG, admit it HUNG, there are a LOT of christian pervs out there. psychology says that a fanatical person in one form of fanaticism, is more likely to also have other fanaticisms. so, preacher………..perv. look at the multiple fanaticisms trump has.

  • rbruce

    May 7, 2024 at 9:24 pm

    Boy Scouts of America dead many years ago.

    • Hung Wiil

      May 7, 2024 at 10:25 pm

      Yep, and we ain’t digging this corpse up any time soon.

  • Jim

    May 8, 2024 at 10:01 am

    Sure I’ll let my daughter sleep in tents with boys. Sure I’ll let my son go into the woods with gay men. Get Woke go broke.

    • Andrew Finn

      May 11, 2024 at 10:33 pm

      That could bring about a whole new set of “merit badges” for them. Just imagine the possibilities !!!!!!

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 15, 2024 at 9:08 am

      Anti-woke folk should consider this change to be an improvement over the BSA’s old situation which was exclusively people’s sons going into the woods with pedo men.

      Girls and gay men can join in on the camping? That is good news. There should be so much less pedo-ing going on now.

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 8, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    Not even the Catholic Church had to rebrand after all their molesting became public knowledge.

    BSA, however? Re-brand! Yikes

  • KathrynA

    May 10, 2024 at 3:23 pm

    I seriously doubt the gals are sleeping in tents with boys and know more women are along now on camping trips and other activities, which should help minimize the sexual grooming. We can hope so!

  • TD

    May 11, 2024 at 1:52 pm

    “When people question the need to change the name, Krone points out that membership is at historic lows”

    The beatings will continue until morale improves!

    Wokeness drives membership to historic lows –> SOLUTION: More wokeness!

    Illegal immigration drives up housing costs, crippling economic growth –> SOLUTION: More immigration!

    Remember, in Clown World, no one is EVER responsible or accountable for ANYTHING!!!

  • Jen Italia

    May 13, 2024 at 5:04 am

    21st Century America: a whole country whose public business is focused almost entirely on its collective genitalia.

Comments are closed.


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