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8 May, 2024 11:37

Boy Scouts to adopt new ‘inclusive’ name

The Texas-based organization agreed to pay a massive settlement last year over multiple sexual abuse claims
Boy Scouts to adopt new ‘inclusive’ name

The iconic Boy Scouts of America (BSA) youth organization, which has for decades taught young people basic survival and life skills, announced on Tuesday that it will officially be changing its name to Scouting America in line with its new policies of inclusion.  

The change will take effect on February 8, 2025 to commemorate the organization’s 115th birthday, according to BSA President and CEO Roger Krone. 

The Texas-based organization, which was established back in 1910 and has had over 130 million youth members throughout its history, declared bankruptcy in 2020 in the wake of a burgeoning sexual abuse scandal, which involved scores of scoutmasters over a period of several decades.       

Last year, the BSA agreed to pay out $2.46 billion to settle claims by some 82,000 Boy Scouts who claimed to have been sexually abused by organization officials and volunteers. Nevertheless, the bankruptcy reorganization plan has allowed the organization to keep operating and adding new members.  

Announcing the rebranding, Krone stated that “though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged: we are committed to teaching young people to be prepared for life.” 

“In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs,” Krone told the Associated Press. 

Initially, the organization was set up exclusively for boys and did not allow girls or gay youths to join its ranks. The Boy Scouts saw its peak annual membership at nearly 5 million in 1972, but its numbers have since fallen off to just over 1 million. 

In 2013, the Boy Scouts announced a drastic change to its policies and officially ended its ban on gay members. In 2018, it also started accepting girls and officially changed its name to Scouts BSA. The organization currently has over 170,000 female participants.  

The decision to allow girls to join the Boy Scouts elicited a lawsuit by the Girl Scouts of the USA. The organization, founded in 1912, argued that the move led to confusion by making it seem like the BSA had sole purview over all scouting activities and accused it of unfair competition and trademark infringement. In 2022, however, a federal judge rejected the Girl Scouts’ claims.

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