By Lisa Cannon Green
The Boy Scouts will become “Scouts BSA” in February 2019 as the traditionally all-male youth organization begins welcoming girls into its ranks.
The name change was announced today (May 2) along with a new slogan, “Scout Me In,” designed to emphasize inclusiveness.
The slogan “speaks to girls and boys and tells them, ‘This is for you. We want you to join!’” said the Boy Scouts of America’s national marketing group director, Stephen Medlicott, in a press release.
Girls will be welcome in Cub Scouts starting this summer, and the name change for older Scouts will take effect in February, the release said. The organization as a whole will continue to be named Boy Scouts of America.
For decades girls have been part of some special-interest BSA programs, such as Venturers and Sea Scouts for 14- to 20-year-olds.
In October 2017, the organization announced plans to include girls more broadly.
About 3,000 girls have already enrolled in Cub Scouts, a program for 5- to 10-year-olds, this year in advance of the full launch, the BSA said.
In 2013, the Boy Scouts began allowing homosexual youths to participate. Two years later, the organization lifted its ban on gay adult leaders. And in 2017, the Boy Scouts opened the doors to transgender boys.
The BSA, by comparison, says it has more than 2.3 million youth members.
“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” said Michael Surbaugh, chief Scout executive, in the BSA’s statement.
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LISA CANNON GREEN (@lisacgreen) is senior editor of Facts & Trends.