Scouting America: Boy Scouts Rebrand Amid Inclusivity Push And Bankruptcy Woes

In a historic move, the Boy Scouts of America announced Tuesday that it will change its name to “Scouting America” effective February 2025, marking the first name change in the organization’s 114-year history. The decision comes as the group emerges from bankruptcy following a flood of sexual abuse claims and seeks to focus on inclusion.

Roger Krone, who took over as president and chief executive officer last fall, said in an interview before the announcement, “In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs.”

The organization has made significant changes in recent years, including allowing gay youth in 2013, ending a blanket ban on gay adult leaders in 2015, and accepting girls as Cub Scouts in 2018 and into the flagship Boy Scout program in 2019.

Selby Chipman, a member of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts in 2021, believes the name change will encourage even more girls to join. “Girls were like, ‘You can join Boy Scouts of America?'” said Chipman, now a 20-year-old college student and assistant scoutmaster of her troop.

The Boy Scouts’ decision to accept girls throughout their ranks strained their relationship with the Girl Scouts of the USA, who sued, claiming marketplace confusion and damaged recruitment efforts. However, a settlement was reached after a judge rejected those claims.

Angelique Minett, the first woman chairperson of Scouts BSA, is excited about the future of scouting, saying, “When we think scouts, we think knots and camping, but those are a means to an end. We are actually teaching kids a much bigger thing. We are teaching them how to have grit, and we’re teaching them life skills and we’re teaching them how to be good leaders.”

The organization’s $2.4 billion bankruptcy reorganization plan took effect last year, allowing it to keep operating while compensating the more than 80,000 men who say they were sexually abused as children while scouting.

Krone emphasized that the name change sends a strong message to everyone in America that they can come to the program, bring their authentic selves, and be welcomed. The organization won’t officially become Scouting America until Feb. 8, 2025, its 115th birthday, but Krone expects people will start using the name immediately.

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