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Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is changing their name as it seeks to foster a more inclusive organization. BSA will become Scouting America, going into effect on February 8th, 2025, which will be the organization’s 115th anniversary.

Founded 114 years ago in Texas, BSA has recently found themselves in turmoil after a flood of sexual abuse claims and bankruptcy came into fruition. Last year, BSA agreed to pay $2.46 billon in an attempt to settle claims made by 82,000 former Boy Scouts who said they experienced sexual abuse by BSA officials and volunteers. With this name change, the organization is hoping to lean into a more inclusive message, such as girls joining. “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 and they will be welcomed here,” said Roger Krone, who took over last fall as president and chief executive officer. “Though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged: we are committed to teaching young people to be prepared for life,” said Krone. “This will be a simple but very important evolution as we seek to ensure that everyone feels welcome in scouting.”

Fostering youth growth has always been a cornerstone for of the BSA mission. Since it’s founding in 1910, more than 130 million Americans have been through scouting programs. Currently, there are more than 1 million young people, both men and women, involved in the organization. BSA’s membership numbers have taken a hit ever since the pandemic in 2020. Before the pandemic, membership stood at around 2 million, while today the number is half of that. In 2013, BSA began allowing gay youth in their organization and ended their blanket ban on gay adult leaders in 2015. In 2017, the organization made the historic decision to allow girls to become Cub Scouts as of 2018. Angelique Minett, the first woman chairperson of Scouts BSA, the traditional scouting program for youth aged 11 to 17, says the organization is much more than just camping. “When we think scouts we think knots and camping, but those are a means to an end,” Minett told the Associated Press.  “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.”

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