19
Wed, Jun

Boy Scouts Rebrands Itself As Scouting America To Be More Gender Inclusive

LGBTQ

 LGBTQ - A diminished Boy Scouts of America, once home to 5 million members at its peak in the 1970s, will soon be known as Scouting America.

The change comes as the organization emerges from bankruptcy protection following tens of thousands of sexual abuse claims lodged against the 114-year-old organization.

“Our mission remains unchanged,” Roger Krone, president and chief executive officer of the organization since last fall, said in a statement. “We are committed to teaching young people” to “be prepared.”

The name change takes effect next February to coincide with the organization’s 115th anniversary.

The latest rebranding “sends this really strong message to everyone in America that they can come to this program, they can bring their authentic self, they can be who they are and they will be welcomed here,” Krone told the AP.

The National Organization for Women applauded the change.

The new name “signals that not only are girls allowed to join, but they are welcome to join,” said Bear Atwood, vice president of NOW.

Not everyone was happy with the change.

“With membership at historic lows, Boy Scouts of America decides to rebrand to make clear that ‘boys’ are no longer welcome,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote on X. “I’m sure that will help with recruiting.”

“The Left has now taken ‘Boy’ out of ‘Boy Scouts,'” Republican Rep. Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia posted to the echo chamber. “Wokeness destroys everything it touches.”

Sexual abuse and COVID contributed to a decline in scouting

A $2.4 billion bankruptcy reorganization took effect last year, allowing the Boy Scouts to continue operating while compensating the more than 80,000 men who say they were sexually abused as boys, according to the Associated Press.

In 2010, a jury awarded $18.5 million to the plaintiff in a case accusing the Boys Scouts of America of enabling his sexual abuser in the 1980s. It was the largest punitive damages award in a sexual abuse case in U.S. history.

While Boy Scouts was addressing years of sexual abuse claims, the group began a push to be more inclusive.

In 2013, the program began admitting gay scouts. Two years later, the ban on adults in leadership positions who are “open or avowed homosexuals” was lifted. In 2017, Boy Scouts announced girls would be accepted as Cub Scouts and later into the flagship Boy Scout program.

Around the same time, transgender boys were welcomed in Boy Scouts’ boys-only programs.

Those changes prompted an earlier name switch, to Scouts BSA.

Today, the Boy Scouts serve just over one million teens, including more than 176,000 girls. Over 6,000 young women have reached Eagle Scout rank.

Boy Scouts membership suffered dramatically through the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping in half from a recent high of two million members in 2018.

(Greg Owen is a writer for LGBTQ Nation which ran this article first.)