Boy Scouts of America announces new gender-neutral name

A person is holding a Boy Scout's tie.

The Boy Scouts of America announced it was changing its name as part of efforts toward greater inclusion, and right-wing supporters are taking it as well as one might expect.

The largest scouting organization in the United States announced Tuesday (May 7) that it will change its name to Scouting America as part of an initiative to make everyone feel welcome.

“While our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged,” Boy Scouts of America President Roger A Krane said in a statement.

“We are committed to teaching young people to be prepared. For life. This will be a simple but very important development as we seek to ensure that everyone feels welcome in Scouting.

The change is expected to take effect by February 2025, the organization’s 115th anniversary, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

Girls aged seven to 10 have been able to join the Scout organization’s program since at least 2018, with girls aged 11 to 17 allowed to join a year later.

Girl members of the Boy Scouts of America line up.
Girls have been able to join Boy Scouts of America programs since 2018. (Getty)

The Boy Scouts of America wrote at the time that the move had been requested by families for years to help them consolidate programs for their children, according to CNN.

The decision to change its name to better accommodate those allowed to participate in Boy Scouts of America programs was, predictably, heavily criticized by right-wing organizations who called the decision “woke.” .

The infamous right-wing social media account Libs of TikTok said the decision was “unreal” in a post complaining about the Boy Scouts of America making itself more welcoming.

“Why do they have to ruin everything,” wrote account owner Chaya Raichik.

Despite the backlash, Krone insisted that the organization’s future remained bright, telling the Associated Press: “For the next 100 years, we want all young Americans to feel very, very welcome in our programs. »

“Part of my job is to reduce all possible barriers to getting people to accept and buy into us as an organization,” he continued. “This sends a very strong message to all Americans that they can participate in this program.”

More than 1 million youth under the age of 18 are currently enrolled in Boy Scouts of America programs across the United States, including 176,234 girls and young women.

It is believed that 6,000 of these girls earned their Eagle Scout rank – the highest rank attainable in a BSA program for participants who have earned a minimum of 21 merit badges and have been a Life Scout for at least six months .

Boy Scouts of America alumni include former presidents including Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Star wars actor Harrison Ford and director Steven Spielberg.