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Boy Scouts rename main program as girls join ranks

A Boy Scout salutes the American flag at camp Maple Dell.
A Boy Scout salutes the American flag. Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Boy Scouts of America's flagship program for 11-to 17-year-olds will be changing its name to Scouts BSA in February 2019, as it begins to accept girls to the program.

Why it matters: The change follows last year's announcement that girls could join the younger Cub Scout units. The parent organization to Scouts BSA will still be known as Boy Scouts of America, the AP reports, but the latest change will allow girls to attempt Eagle Scout rank, the highest achievement of the organization. Mike Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive, told the AP "[w]e're trying to find the right way to say we're here for both young men and young women."

But, but, but: The Girl Scouts are ramping up a competitive campaign in response. New additions to their program will include a heavier focus on STEM and the outdoors, as well as an expansion of networking opportunities for Girl Scouts alums.

  • Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girls Scouts of the USA, said in a statement: "We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills, explore STEM and the outdoors, participate in community projects, and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults."