Boy Scouts Are No More, Welcome to Scouting America

On February 8, 2025, the Boy Scouts of America, the beloved and iconic organization devoted to turning young boys into capable men, will cease to exist. On that day, marking the 115th anniversary of the organization, the BSA will officially change its name to Scouting America, thus destroying generations of proud tradition. 

The BSA was inspired by The Boy Scouts Association, founded by Robert Baden-Powell in Britain in 1908. During the early 1900s, numerous youth organizations were active in the United States, with many eventually becoming part of the BSA. Officially established in 1910 during the inaugural encampment in Silver Bay, NY, the BSA experienced rapid growth, emerging as the largest youth organization in the country, with over 130 million Americans participating in its programs since its inception. 

However, the organization encountered early challenges concerning issues such as race and age dynamics, termed the “younger boy problem” and the “older boy problem.” Initially, troop policies regarding race mirrored local community norms. Programs such as Cubbing for younger boys and Rovering and Exploring for older boys were introduced to cater to different age groups. Over time, the BSA underwent various adaptations and program enhancements to address the evolving needs of youth across different eras. 

In 2013, the organization started permitting gay youth to join, and in 2015, it lifted a complete ban on gay adult leaders. Then, in 2017, the decision was made to allow girls to join as Cub Scouts starting in 2018, and later, in 2019, they could join the flagship Boy Scout program. As of now, over 6,000 girls have earned the prestigious Eagle Scout rank. 

But all is not well following the rebranding of the beloved Boy Scouts of America program. The decision to include girls across all Boy Scout levels caused tension with the Girl Scouts of the USA.  

Following the 2017 decision to allow girls into the Boy Scouts of America, there has been fierce competition for recruits, with both organizations vying for the same members. Marketing strategies also led to confusion among parents and potential members, as some girls inadvertently signed up for Boy Scouts instead of Girl Scouts. This confusion prompted the Girl Scouts to take legal action, filing a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Boy Scouts in 2018. They argued that the Boy Scouts’ marketing efforts for girls were damaging their brand. Despite the Boy Scouts’ defense of their recruiting practices, evidence of confusion persisted, with parents mistakenly enrolling their daughters in the wrong organization due to new BSA marketing strategies aimed at girls and their families.  

However, after a judge dismissed these claims and ruled that both organizations could use terms like “scouts” and “scouting,” they reached a settlement agreement. 

Social media posts took no prisoners, expressing outrage and disbelief that “wokeness” had taken over a beloved institution like the BSA. “Another institution that was great for boys to learn how to become men, has been destroyed by wokeness. What’s next, they going to wear little girl brownie uniforms?” asked one user on X. 

It’s just the latest issue facing the group, which has faced numerous challenges, including bankruptcy and scandals. In 2020, the BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of its financial instability, triggered mainly by around 300 lawsuits from men alleging sexual abuse during their time in the Scouts. Seeking protection under Chapter 11, the organization aimed to establish a trust to compensate victims. 

The BSA has long grappled with a persistent crisis concerning sexual abuse allegations, with numerous former Scouts alleging abuse by adult leaders or peers. These allegations have severely damaged the organization’s reputation, resulting in legal disputes and financial challenges. 

As a result, participation in the BSA has dropped over the last few years, a course the organization had hoped to reverse through its new and inclusive programs. 

In a twist of irony, the groups’ top-tier ranks are slightly more straightforward to achieve in the Boy Scouts compared to the Girl Scouts. The highest achievement in the Boy Scouts, Eagle Scout, is earned by completing a significant community service project, like cleaning up garbage in a park. On the other hand, the Girl Scouts Ambassador Gold Award demands solving a lasting community issue, such as creating a plan to keep the park clean.  

But In a woke world where men join women’s teams because they can easily beat women in most competitions, girls joining the Boy Scouts of America can earn the organization’s top rank with just a little less effort than within their own organization.