Boy Scouts To Become Scouts BSA
As a former boy scout and cub and boy scout leader, this has not totally sunk in. There's that whole tradition and history thing with me. But these are changing times.
After 108 years of being Boys Scouts of America, the name will change in February to Scouts BSA. They are trying to convey that they are here for both young men and women. The parent organization will remain Boy Scouts of America and the Cub Scouts will also retain their name.
Girls are now able to join the Cub Scouts and they can join boy scouts next year. The new Scouts BSA program will largely be divided along gender-lines, with single-sex units pursuing the same types of activities, earning the same array of merit badges and potentially having the same pathway to the coveted Eagle Scout award.
Surbaugh said that having separate units for boys and girls should alleviate concerns that girls joining the BSA for the first time might be at a disadvantage in seeking leadership opportunities. According to the organization, more than 3,000 girls have joined roughly 170 Cub Scout packs participating in the first phase of the new policy, and the pace will intensify this summer under a nationwide multimedia recruitment campaign titled "Scout Me In." Apparently, Girl Scout leaders said they were blindsided by the move, and they have begun gearing up their own aggressive campaign to recruit and retain girls as members.
The Girl Scouts and the BSA are among several major youth organizations in the U.S. experiencing sharp drops in membership in recent years. Reasons include competition from sports leagues, a perception by some families that they are old-fashioned and busy family schedules.
The Boy Scouts say current youth participation is about 2.3 million, down from 2.6 million in 2013 and more than 4 million in peak years of the past.
The Girl Scouts say they have about 1.76 million girls and more than 780,000 adult members, down from just over 2 million youth members and about 800,000 adult members in 2014.
Families may just have to find out what group is the best fit for their kids in the area they live.
I hope my grandson and any future grand children go through the scouting program. And as long as the girl scouts keep on selling cookies, we're good.