Why Boy Scouts Is Dropping ‘Boy’ From Its Name

May 2, 2018, 2:28 PM UTC

After 108 years, the Boy Scouts are getting a name change.

The Boy Scouts of America, which recently changed its policies to allow girls to join the organization, will rename its flagship program from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA next February.

“We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” said Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.”

There’s no change to the Cub Scouts name (the program meant for seven to 10-year-olds). And the parent organization Boy Scouts of America will keep its name as well.

To date, more than 3,000 girls have joined the Cub Scouts. The formerly-named Boy Scouts will begin admitting them next year.

BSA announced last October its board had “unanimously” approved a proposal to welcome girls to the fold. Surbaugh, at the time, said the decision was in line with the organization’s mission and core values and would help shape the next generation of leaders. (Earlier in the year, it announced it would begin accepting transgender members as well.)

Overall, BSA membership is down by almost a third this decade. According to Boy Scouts of America’s 2016 annual report, currently 2,085,310 boys ages six to 17 were enrolled in its programs. In 2000, 3,118,111 boys were enrolled in them.