Boy Scouts of America is changing its name to be more gender inclusive

Boy Scouts of America is changing its name to be more gender inclusive

The Boy Scouts of America will be changing its name for the first time in history, in an effort to be more inclusive.

On Tuesday, the Boy Scouts of America announced it will rebrand as “Scouting America” beginning 8 February 2025 to mark the youth organisation’s 115th anniversary. “Though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged: we are committed to teaching young people to be prepared. For life,” said Roger A Krone, president and CEO of Scouting America, in a press release. “This will be a simple but very important evolution as we seek to ensure that everyone feels welcome in Scouting.”

The announcement comes five years after girls were officially welcomed to join the Cub Scouts, the organisation’s programme for children seven to 10 years old, in 2018. The following year, older girls aged 11 to 17 were allowed to join its flagship programme, Scouts BSA.

“In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programmes,” said Krone in an interview before the announcement.

According to Scouting America, more than one million youth are currently enrolled in the organisation’s scouting programmes, including over 176,000 girls and young women. More than 6,000 women have also earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Scouts BSA programme.

The Boys Scouts of America was originally founded in 1910 with the mission to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law”. Young members participate in a wide range of outdoor activities, educational programmes, and career-oriented programmes at older levels to develop skills such as responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance.

However, the organisation has faced a number of controversies in recent years. LGBTQ+ youth were allowed to join Scouting America in 2013, with a ban on LGBTQ+ leaders ending in 2015. Following the announcement that girls would be accepted as Cub Scouts in 2018, the organisation renamed its flagship Boy Scout programme to Scouts BSA in 2019.

In 2020, amid declining membership rates, Scouting America filed for bankruptcy after spending more than $150m to settle lawsuits of child sexual abuse allegations. Last year, the organisation began compensating more than 80,000 men – who filed claims saying they were sexually abused while in scouting – as part of its proposed $2.4bn bankruptcy plan.

Additional reporting from AP