Boy Scouts Will Change Program Name to ‘Scouts BSA’

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Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday it will be changing the name of its flagship program, the Boy Scouts, to ‘Scouts BSA.'

The name change announcement comes after the 108 year old organization unveiled in October 2017 that it would allow girls to join, the Associated Press reports.

"We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward," Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said about the new changes. "We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women."

BSA also announced a new campaign called "Scout Me In," that aims to encourage boys and girls to join its Cub Scout program. The Cub Scout program is for 7- to 10-year-olds while the to-be-named Scouts BSA program is for 11- to 17-year-olds.

"Cub Scouts is a lot of fun, and now it’s available to all kids," said Stephen Medlicott, BSA National Marketing Group Director. "That’s why we love ‘Scout Me In’ – because it speaks to girls and boys and tells them, ‘This is for you. We want you to join!’"

According to BSA, 3,000 girls have joined roughly 170 Cub Scout packs and the organization hopes to recruit more girls through its "Scout Me In" campaign.

The new changes have caused tensions with Girl Scouts of the USA as both organizations work to increase membership.

"Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls," said Sylvia Acevedo, GSUSA CEO. "We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills … and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults."

Both organizations have experienced decreased membership in recent years, the Associated Press reports.

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.

Surbaugh appears to hold no hard feelings if girls decide to join the Girl Scouts.

"If the best fit for your girl is the Girl Scouts, that’s fantastic," he said. "If it’s not them, it might be us."