The Boy Scouts of America doubled down Wednesday on its quest to become the scouting organization of choice for boys and girls, announcing it will drop “Boy” from the name of its signature program.
But the decision didn’t impress the Girl Scout organization, which noted no new, “girl specific” programming.
“Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls,” Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, said in a statement. “We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents.”
Both groups, which have been at odds since the Boy Scouts decided to open their doors to girls, have been struggling with declining membership.
The umbrella organization will retain its name, Boy Scouts of America or BSA. The term Cub Scouts, for kids 7-10 years old, is gender neutral and also will go unchanged. Boy Scouts, which includes kids from 10 to 17, will become Scouts BSA in February.
Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh also unveiled the group’s new “Scout Me In” marketing campaign aimed at promoting inclusiveness. “As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” Saurbaugh said.
Change has been coming quickly to the iconic if shrinking organization. In October, it announced it would provide programs for girls. Several months before that, the group announced it would accept and register transgender youths into its organization.
In 2015, it ended its ban on gay leaders.