The Boy Scouts of America announced Wednesday that it would change the name of its iconic program from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA as the organization begins to welcome girls into its ranks.
Last year, the BSA announced its historic decision to accept girls into its Boy Scouts program for 11- to 17-year-olds. The decision sparked strong reactions from people, and especially from the Girl Scouts of the USA, who believed it was a "potentially bad and dangerous idea" for the BSA to include girls. The Girl Scouts accused the BSA of trying to bolster its declining membership by welcoming girls into the program.
On Wednesday, BSA’s chief scout executive Michael Surbaugh announced that the organization's flagship program — simply known as Boy Scouts — would change its name for the first time in 108 years.
“Starting in February 2019, the name of the older youth program will be ‘Scouts BSA,’ and the name of our iconic organization will continue to be Boy Scouts of America," Surbaugh said. The Cub Scouts — its program for 7- to 10-year-olds — will retain its name.
The Girls Scouts of the USA did not directly address the name change but provided a statement saying, "We proudly own the Girl in Girl Scouts."