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Arizona Boy Scouts. Image: Congress.

Boys Scouts of America rebrands

The Boy Scouts of America is changing its name to become more gender inclusive. Next February, the 115th anniversary of its founding, it will become Scouting America.

“Though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged: we are committed to teaching young people to be Prepared for Life,” President and CEO Roger Krone said.

“Scouting America provides a welcoming, safe environment where youth can become the best version of themselves by learning from and respecting each other. I encourage everyone to join us and experience the benefits of scouting.”

Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA, a conservative Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts, reacted to the announcement.

“When an organization with a remarkable past that provided us with presidents and astronauts and generals and civic leaders for over 100 years decides to abandon its laser focus on boys and its commitment to the core strengths that made them and this country great, what would you expect?” he says.

In 2018, the Boy Scouts of America announced that it would allow girls to enroll in troops for the first time in the prominent scouting organization’s more than a century of operation. The announcement was met with backlash by some, including the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, which filed a trademark lawsuit.

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“Since BSA’s announcement that it would admit girls to its core programs, GSUSA’s fears about the damage that would be caused to its trademarks and the mission those trademarks symbolize have been realized,” the complaint said. “Throughout the country, families, schools and communities have been told that GSUSA and BSA have merged or even that GSUSA no longer exists. Parents interested in signing up for Girl Scouts programs have instead mistakenly signed up for the new girls’ programs offered by BSA.”

The two youth scouting groups eventually reached a settlement in which they each agreed to drop trademark challenges, and the Girl Scouts dropped its lawsuit.

In recent years, the Boy Scouts have experienced an overall decline in membership for various reasons, including the ongoing controversy and legal fallout from an abuse scandal. Last year, the Boy Scouts began processing claims under a $2.4 billion bankruptcy plan for more than 80,000 former members who claimed they were abused while in the scouting program.

–Alan Goforth |  Metro Voice

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