The Boy Scouts Are Now "Scouting America" to Be More Inclusive, Drawing Controversy

The Boy Scouts of America have changed their name after 114 years to be “more inclusive,” but some members aren't happy.

Jamie Lerner - Author

May 8 2024, Published 1:06 p.m. ET

Boy Scouts of America (with girls) at Rams game
Source: Getty Images

When something has been the same for over 100 years, whether it's a law or guideline, social club, or something else entirely, it’s probably due for an update. That’s why the Boy Scouts of America are finally changing their name after 114 years in service. The organization has served young boys and men of America for over a century, and in 2018, they began accepting girls and young women.

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The shift to become a gender-inclusive organization elicited criticism from the Girl Scouts of America, as well as some within the Boy Scouts organization. But after five years of gender inclusivity, the Scouts BSA are making a move to be even more welcoming by changing their name. So what is the new name and why did they change it?

Former Berlin Airlift pilot Gail Halvorsen from the U.S. distributes candies to the members of the junior local Baseball team "Berlin Braves" and members of the Boy Scouts of America during a ceremony at the Tempelhofer Feld, a former airfield in Berlin, on May 11, 2019.
Source: Getty Images
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The Boy Scouts changed their name to be more inclusive to women and girls in the face of controversy.

In many ways, people think of the Scouts organizations as archaic and old-school, but when the Boy Scouts started making changes to be more inclusive, much of that changed (at least for the Scouts BSA). The organization has been grappling with sexual abuse scandals and bankruptcy, so some suspect that their open arms to women have been a bit of a cash grab. The leaders in the organization say otherwise.

“The values of scouting — trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind, brave, and reverent, for example — are important for both young men and women,” Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive, said to AP News at the time.

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However, the Girl Scouts weren't happy with the move, despite the feminist ideology of gender inclusivity. "The Boy Scouts' house is on fire," the organization told ABC News in a statement. "Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement, and deficient programming, BSA's senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls.”

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But in the five years since the rule change, over 176,000 girls and women have joined the organization. “Part of my job is to reduce all the barriers I possibly can for people to accept us as an organization and to join,” Roger Krone, the president and CEO of the organization said in a statement. One of the ways to do that is to change the name from Boy Scouts of America to a name that’s more inclusive.

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The Boy Scouts will now be Scouting America.

On the official Boy Scouts website, a message now pops up that shares, “The Boy Scouts of America will rebrand to Scouting America, reflecting the organization’s ongoing commitment to welcome every youth and family in America to experience the benefits of Scouting. The change will go into effect on Feb. 8, 2025.” However, leadership expects members will start using the new name immediately.

“Though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged: we are committed to teaching young people to be Prepared. For Life,” Roger said in a press release. “This will be a simple but very important evolution as we seek to ensure that everyone feels welcome in Scouting.”

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While some girls will prefer to be in a single-gendered space with female leadership, others want the option to work alongside all genders towards the coveted “Eagle Scout” title, which has been held by people like Bill Clinton, Buzz Aldrin, Harrison Ford, and more.

Selby Chipman, a current Eagle Scout, was in the inaugural class of Eagle Scouts to include women in 2021. She explained, “Girls were like: ‘You can join Boy Scouts of America?’”

The new change will make this more obvious and open doors for young women, girls, and all genders to work towards historic leadership positions.

Report online or in-person sexual abuse of a child or teen by calling the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 or visiting Learn more about the warning signs of child abuse at

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