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Boy Scouts of America is rebranding. Here’s why they’re now named Scouting America

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Boy Scouts of America is rebranding. Here's why they're now named Scouting America
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

DALLAS (AP) — After greater than a century, Boy Scouts of America is rebranding as Scouting America, one other main shakeup for a corporation that when proudly resisted change.

Based 114 years in the past, the Texas-based group has just lately been mired in turmoil over a flood of sexual abuse claims and chapter. Now, the group is leaning right into a extra inclusive message as women have been becoming a member of all through its ranks.

“It sends this actually robust message to everybody in America that they will come to this program, they will carry their genuine self, they are often who they’re and they are going to be welcomed right here,” stated Roger Krone, who took over final fall as president and chief government officer.

The change was introduced Tuesday on the Boy Scout’s nationwide assembly in Florida however gained’t take impact till February 2025.

Right here’s a have a look at what led as much as the change and why it issues:

WHY ARE THEY CHANGING THE NAME?

The brand new identify places a deal with inclusivity. Krone instructed The Related Press that they needed a reputation going ahead that made clear that every one youngsters and youths are “very, very welcome.”

He added that when folks query why the group wants a brand new identify, he factors to traditionally low membership numbers.

Like different organizations, the scouts misplaced members in the course of the pandemic, when participation was troublesome. The excessive level over the previous decade was in 2018, when there have been greater than 2 million members. At present, the group serves simply over 1 million younger folks, together with greater than 176,000 women and youths. Membership peaked in 1972 at virtually 5 million.

Krone stated that though the identify is altering, the core of the group is staying the identical. “Our mission stays unchanged: we’re dedicated to educating younger folks” to be ready for all times, he stated in a written assertion.

HOW ELSE HAS THE BOY SCOUTS CHANGED?

The group started permitting in homosexual members in 2013 and ended a blanket ban on homosexual grownup leaders in 2015. In 2017, it made the historic announcement that women could be accepted as Cub Scouts as of 2018 and two years later, into the flagship Boy Scout program — renamed Scouts BSA.

Over 6,000 women have now achieved the vaunted Eagle Scout rank.

There have been almost 1,000 teenagers and younger girls within the inaugural class of feminine Eagle Scouts in 2021.

Earlier than it was introduced in 2017 that women could be allowed all through the ranks, the Boy Scouts introduced that they might enable transgender boys to enroll of their boys-only packages.

The group stated this week that every one younger folks, together with transgender youngsters, are welcomed as a part of their membership coverage.

WHAT ABOUT THE BANKRUPTCY AND SEX ABUSE CLAIMS?

When it sought chapter safety in 2020, the Boy Scouts of America had been named in about 275 lawsuits, and instructed insurers it was conscious of one other 1,400 claims.

Final 12 months a federal choose upheld the $2.4 billion chapter plan permitting the group to maintain working whereas compensating greater than 80,000 males who filed claims saying they had been sexually abused as youngsters and teenage scouts.

WHAT DO PEOPLE THINK OF THE REBRAND?

Rebranding can danger alienating supporters who assume the change is pointless, stated David Aaker, vice chair of the nationwide branding and advertising and marketing agency Prophet. However he described the Boy Scouts’ rebranding as savvy, saying it kickstarts a brand new dialog in regards to the group whereas not being so drastic that it strays too removed from its unique scouting mission.

“It’s a one-time likelihood to inform a brand new story,” stated Aaker, who is also a professor emeritus on the College of California-Berkeley Haas enterprise faculty.

The Nationwide Group for Ladies had urged the Boy Scouts to open membership to ladies all through its ranks. Bear Atwood, vp of NOW, stated the identify change “alerts that not solely are women allowed to affix, however they’re welcome to affix.”

Response on-line Tuesday ranged from these excited and supportive to these decrying that “boy” not seems within the identify. “Wokeness destroys every thing it touches,” wrote state Rep. Andrew Clyde, a Georgia Republican, on the social platform X.

WHAT ABOUT GIRL SCOUTS?

The Woman Scouts of the USA — a separate group from the Boy Scouts of America — had taken difficulty with the Boy Scouts opening its doorways to ladies all through the ranks, and had filed a lawsuit saying it created market confusion and broken their recruitment efforts. The 2 group reached a settlement settlement after a choose rejected these claims, saying each teams are free to make use of phrases like “scouts” and “scouting.”

With that settlement in 2022, the Woman Scouts stated each organizations had been “trying ahead to specializing in their respective missions,” whereas the Boy Scouts stated the settlement would carry “a brand new interval of cooperation” between the organizations.

The Woman Scouts didn’t instantly supply touch upon the Boy Scouts’ identify change.

WHEN IS THE NEW NAME OFFICIAL?

The Boy Scouts of America gained’t formally develop into Scouting America till Feb. 8, 2025, the group’s one hundred and fifteenth birthday. However Krone stated he expects folks will begin instantly utilizing the identify.

___

Related Press reporter Jim Vertuno in Austin contributed to this report.

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