Eric Thompson

The Boy Scouts are Ditching the Word ‘boy’ in its Name After 114 years in Order to be More Inclusive

In a move that has sparked considerable debate, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has decided to drop the word ‘boy’ from its iconic name after 114 years. The organization, henceforth known as Scouting BSA, aims to open its doors wider in a bid for inclusivity. This decision marks a significant shift in the storied institution’s identity—one that has not gone unnoticed or without criticism from conservative circles.

The Boy Scouts of America, an institution long revered for instilling traditional values and skills in young men, announced this change as part of their effort to welcome girls into their ranks. Starting February 2019, the program for older youth will be called “Scouts BSA,” a rebranding effort that reflects the new gender-neutral policy. “We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” said Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh.

This alteration comes at a time when gender roles and identity are at the forefront of cultural conversations. For over a century, BSA has been synonymous with outdoor adventure, leadership development, and moral compass setting for boys across America. The inclusion of girls into what was once a male-only organization is seen by some as an erosion of traditional values and an unnecessary capitulation to progressive pressures.

@Franklin_Graham on (X):
Talk about losing your way—that’s the @BoyScouts  They want to be more “inclusive,” so they’re changing their name. Being woke isn’t the need—staying focused & true to what God calls you to do is what’s important. They should’ve just stuck with what they were founded to be 114 years ago. The Boy Scouts Oath says, “I will do my best to do my duty to God…” It’s no surprise that thousands of parents are choosing other options like @TrailLifeUSA which is a great Christ-centered alternative.

Critics argue that this change dilutes the very essence of what made Boy Scouts unique and beneficial to young men. They contend that there are inherent differences in how boys and girls develop and learn; thus, separate spaces should be maintained for each to grow effectively. The concern is not merely about tradition but about providing an environment tailored specifically to boys’ developmental needs—a space where they can navigate their path to manhood surrounded by same-sex peers.

Supporters of BSA’s decision point out that allowing girls into Boy Scouts provides them with equal opportunities to acquire valuable life skills. However, skeptics question whether co-ed scouting can maintain its focus on character building when fundamental aspects are altered. They fear that such changes could lead to a homogenized program that no longer caters distinctly to boys or girls but rather loses its potency in trying to accommodate both.

The Boy Scouts of America have announced a change in the organization’s name to Scouting America

The New York Times reports that this name change is part of BSA’s broader expansion plan known as “Scout Me In,” which emphasizes inclusivity regardless of gender. While inclusivity is generally lauded as progress in society, it raises questions about whether certain institutions should remain steadfast in their original intent or evolve with changing societal norms.

ABC News highlights reactions from current members and alumni who feel blindsided by this sudden shift away from tradition. Some express feelings of betrayal, believing that this move undermines what many consider being foundational elements of boyhood camaraderie and mentorship within BSA.

The Blaze captures sentiments from conservative commentators who view this rebranding as symptomatic of broader cultural shifts away from established norms and towards a more politically correct landscape—one where historical distinctions are blurred or discarded altogether.

As Scouting BSA prepares for this historic transition, it faces both logistical challenges—such as updating uniforms and literature—and ideological ones stemming from public opinion. The organization must navigate these waters while attempting to retain its core membership base which may feel alienated by such changes.

It remains unclear how this strategic pivot will affect membership numbers which have been declining over recent years. Will opening up scouting attract enough new members—both female and male—to offset any potential loss caused by those who decide to leave due to dissatisfaction with the new direction?

The implications extend beyond mere branding; they touch upon deeper societal debates regarding gender-specific programming versus coeducational experiences. As families across America consider where their children should learn life skills like leadership and resilience, they now face an altered landscape within one of the nation’s most iconic organizations.

As Scouting BSA embarks on this inclusive journey, only time will tell if it strengthens or splinters what has been for generations a bastion of American youth development—a place where countless boys have learned about honor, duty, self-reliance, and service before self.

While some herald these changes as necessary adaptations in an evolving world demanding greater equality between sexes even at formative stages; others view them with skepticism—wondering if something vital may be lost amidst these sweeping reforms aimed at broadening appeal.

What remains clear is that Scouting BSA stands at a crossroads between preserving tradition and embracing transformation—an intersection fraught with passion on both sides but devoid of easy answers or predictable outcomes.


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