The Boy Scouts of America doubled down Wednesday on its quest to become the scouting organization of choice for boys and girls, announcing it will drop "Boy" from the name of its signature program. "We have two other programs, Venturing, which is already co-ed and has been co-ed for 20 years which is for boys and girls 14 to 20, and Exploring which is a career based program".
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) ran a $45 million deficit in FY 2016, a $18 million deficit in $2015, and a almost $34 million deficit in 2013, when the BSA was in the midst of its fight over the exclusion of gay scouts.
"Scouts BSA perfectly represents the new, inclusive program for older Scouts that the Boy Scouts of America is proud to offer", said Effie Delimarkos, a spokeswoman. "That is why it is important that the name for our Scouting program for older youth remain consistent with the single name approach used for the Cub Scouts" That would be the BS part.
Confusing matters, the master brand for the umbrella organization that runs the new BSA along with the Cub Scouts will still be called the Boy Scouts of America. Conversely, she is not aware of any boys who want to join Girl Scout troops. In its peak years, BSA had more than 4 million participants. "These girls are the first generation to work on their Eagle Scout". The incorporation of girls may also be a way to buoy the organization's slumping membership. Boys and girls will have the same requirements for all Scout ranks, merit badges, and awards, just as boys and girls now have the same requirements in Cub Scouting, Venturing, Exploring, and Sea Scouts.
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So far, more than 3,000 girls have joined roughly 170 Cub Scout packs participating in the first phase of the new policy, and the pace will intensify this summer under a nationwide multimedia recruitment campaign titled "Scout Me In".
Not only is the name of the program changing, it will now be open to girls. So she's joining Scouts BSA next year. In Jan. 2017, they announced they would accept transgender members.
For 10-year-old Ana Garcia, being around the Boy Scout organization was like a second home for her. That includes 23 new merit badges focusing on outdoors and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
"When I saw the announcement in October I showed Ana and asked her, 'What's your take on it?'" Matabuena de Garcia said. "We both need to increase our membership numbers".
"We see ourselves as a family organization, and we've been excluding just one part of the family, and this gives us an opportunity to reach the entire family", said Abbott.