The Boy Scouts of America are dropping the word “boy” from their programming for kids ages 10 to 17, the group announced Tuesday. The decision is meant to reflect the organization’s mandate to welcome kids of all genders to participate in the training that scouting traditionally only provided for young men and boys in the US. The name change comes just six months after the Boy Scouts’ announcement that they would allow girls to join all levels of scouting, and one year after accepting transgender kids.
“Starting this summer, all kids are invited to say, “Scout Me In,” as they join the fun, adventure and character-building opportunities found in Cub Scouts,” the organization said in a statement. “The campaign presents an energizing Scouting experience that speaks to kids by putting them in the middle of the action. It also engages parents who are looking for ways to make the most of the time they have with their kids and help them to be Prepared. For Life.”
Although the official name change won’t happen until February 2019, girls are already welcome to participate in what will be known as 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 about the change.
This Boy Scouts’ gender-inclusive revamp puts the scouting organization squarely in competition with the Girl Scouts of the USA, whose CEO Sylvia Acevedo has acknowledged in a statement to FastCompany this afternoon.
“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” wrote Acevedo. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills, explore STEM and the outdoors, participate in community projects, and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults.”
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(Photo via Tim Boyle/Getty Images)