Boy Scouts of America will rename itself Scouting America

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will change its name to “Scouting America” next year to reflect its pledge to inclusion, the organization announced Tuesday.

The new name will go into effect on Feb. 8, 2025, for the youth organization’s 115th anniversary.

“Though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged: we are committed to teaching young people to be Prepared. For Life,” Roger A. Krone, president and chief executive officer of Scouting America, said in a statement. “This will be a simple but very important evolution as we seek to ensure that everyone feels welcome in Scouting.”

The announcement was made on Tuesday at the Texas-based organization’s annual meeting in Florida.

The change follows decades of turmoil for the youth organization, which agreed to a $2.4 billion bankruptcy settlement earlier this year in the wake of sexual abuse allegations from thousands of individuals.

More than 80,000 men filed claims against the organization, alleging they were abused as children by leaders across the nation. The BSA sought bankruptcy protection in February 2020 as it was named in an estimated 275 lawsuits.

The $2.46 billion bankruptcy reorganization plan began last year, despite a temporary pause earlier this year, and has allowed the organization to continue its programs while compensating the thousands of victims.

The organization previously faced scrutiny over its ban on gay members. In 1990, the Boy Scouts expelled James Dale, an Eagle Scout who had become an assistant scoutmaster, after learning he was the co-president of Rutgers University’s gay and lesbian organization, The Associated Press reported.

He later sued the organization for discrimination but lost after the Supreme Court ruled the BSA could keep membership criteria excluding homosexual people, the news wire added.

The ban, while criticized by a number of institutions, received the support of several conservative groups and lasted until 2013, when the organization began allowing gay youth into its ranks. Two years later, the BSA ended its highly controversial blanket ban against openly gay men and women serving as adult leaders and employees of the organization.

In a major shift in 2017, the BSA began allowing transgender children who identify as boys to enroll in its boys-only programs. It also began allowing girls into the program. The girls were first accepted as Cub Scouts, the organization’s program for children 7 to 10 years old, in 2018 and in 2019, the program began accepting girls ages 11 to 17 years old into its flagship program, Scouts BSA.

More than 1 million youth are currently involved in programs with the BSA, including more than 176,000 girls and young women across all programs, the organization said Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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