Since 1910, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has provided a steady stream of activities for—yep, you guessed it—boys. It is a place for kids (ahem, I mean boys) to learn survival tactics and leadership skills while their male mentors stand by, opening doors and paving the way for them to become future leaders.
But times are changing and, little by little, so have the ideals of BSA. In 2014, the organization removed restrictions that denied membership to youth based on sexual orientation. A year later, they voted to end its national ban on gay adults. And, in January 2017, BSA began welcoming their first transgender members—but still no girls.
Earlier this week, however, BSA announced it would be dropping the word "boy" from its older youth program and changing its name to Scouts BSA.
“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible. That is why it is important that the name for our Scouting program for older youth remain consistent with the single name approach used for the Cub Scouts,” said Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “Starting in February 2019, the name of the older youth program will be ‘Scouts BSA,’ and the name of our iconic organization will continue to be Boy Scouts of America.”
Organizers hope the campaign will help prepare children—both boys and girls—for life by putting them in the middle of the action and demonstrating what it’s like to be a scout.
“Cub Scouts is a lot of fun, and now it’s available to all kids,” said Stephen Medlicott, national marketing group director of Boy Scouts of America. “That’s why we love ‘Scout Me In’—because it speaks to girls and boys and tells them, ‘This is for you. We want you to join!’”
According to the press release, more than 3,000 girls across the nation have already signed up for their Early Adopter Program, many of whom are embracing the new program by taking part in Cub Scouts activities ahead of schedule, and it only gets better from here.
Moving forward, Scouts BSA girls will be learning how to fish, canoe, race derby cars and build stuff just like their dads did and—guess what?—they’re going to rock it like nobody’s business.