‘Not the They/Them scouts?’ Boy Scouts are no more – inclusive name change ushered in

More than a century of tradition for the Boy Scouts of America was set to come to a close with a rebrand sure to be worth a woke merit badge.

Tuesday as the organization gathered in Florida for their 2024 National Annual Meeting, a look ahead to the 115th anniversary previewed the next chapter for the scandal-ridden scouts. With an official change slated for Feb. 8, 2025, but with leaders encouraging the immediate use of the new title, it was announced that BSA was now the “dead name” for Scouting America.

“The change was made to reflect the organization’s ongoing commitment to welcoming every youth in America to experience the benefits of Scouting,” reported Scouting Magazine.

Years of alphabet inclusivity in the making, the change was ushered in with buzzwords galore from president and CEO Roger Krone whom the Associated Press reported saying in an interview, “In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs.”

“It 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, right? And they will be welcomed here,” he added.

Citing a contributing factor, without connecting the dots that led to it, Krone remarked that participation in the Scouts had reached historic lows, “The argument that I make with the people that say, ‘Well, I always liked Boy Scouts of America or BSA, Why do we have to change?’ Go, you know, membership is at historic lows, right? Part of my job is to reduce all the barriers I possibly can for people to accept us as an organization and to join.”

In their report on the name change, the AP indicated that, compared to its height in 1972 with nearly 5 million members, the organization currently boasted little more than 1 million participants including about 176,000 females.

The lead-up to the current dismal numbers had been preceded by the admittance of openly gay members in 2013, openly gay leaders in 2015 and the official welcome of females into the ranks in 2018. By 2022, BSA had its framework for its more than $2 billion Chapter 11 bankruptcy approved by a judge as part of over 80,000 settlements with men who claimed to have been sexually abused as childhood members of the organization.

The year before, BSA had celebrated its inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts with nearly 1,000 members having collectively earned over 30,000 merit badges.

While they argued that the organization’s goals and purposes would not be changing and that, as Krone put it, they are “committed to teaching young people to be Prepared. For Life,” and this would “be a simple but very important evolution as we seek to ensure the everyone feels welcome in Scouting,” reactions to the change couldn’t help but highlight the rainbow-tinted nature of the rebrand that prompted questions like, “What, not the They/Them scouts?”

Kevin Haggerty

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