Scouting for All Genders: Boy Scouts Announces Name Change in a Bid for Inclusivity

For almost all Americans, much of childhood is spent outside. Kids are known to gather in parks or on street corners, playing sports or make believe. It’s a cornerstone of growing years, helping kids explore the world around them.

Outdoor Imagination

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Some kids take this desire for being outside and spin it into an endless love for the great outdoors. Enrollment in programs that offer opportunities to discover the wild have been as common for kids as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Casting a Wider Net

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Programs like the Boy Scouts of America. This organization began with the idea of getting boys into standard activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing. In recent years, the Boy Scouts has become a little more inclusive.

All Allowed

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The Boy Scouts of America now is open to all children, regardless of their gender or sexuality. Anyone within the age range is allowed to join and ascend, even reaching the pinnacle of the organization: Eagle Scout.

Not in the Loop

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This is not new information. The organization started this change back in 2018. However, very few outside of its involvement are aware of the shift. No doubt, however, that many will be in outrage over the latest news.

Scouting a New Name

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Starting in 2025, The Boy Scouts of America will shed its gendered title. No longer will they refer to their troops as boys. Instead, a new name for the group has been chosen and will be implemented next year: Scouting America.

New Name, New Values

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The name harkens back to the organization’s long lasting tradition, with the club having a history spanning over a century. Queer scouts and LGBTQ+ activists alike herald the change as an embracing of diverse backgrounds.

No More Divide

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With this shift comes a new opportunity for genderqueer youth who are looking to find comradery in the great outdoors. Previously, boys and girls were split into separate branches, with little consideration to those defying the binary.

Adding Paperwork to the Fire

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The BSA seems to be taking the change with a great deal of pride, believing that the new name reflects their open-minded outlook. It promotes a safe space, and saves applicants and current transitioning members from a headache of paperwork.

No Safe Space for Straight Men?

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No doubt however, the change has invited a host of controversy. Some seasoned members aren’t so keen to accept all genders to the group, firmly believing that space for “men to be men” are disappearing into the political landscape.

Eager Beavers

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Others are eager for this rebranding, providing a freedom that may not have been an opportunity when they were children. It is also no secret that the BSA has had several closeted members throughout its history, and this change means hiding is no longer mandated.

Singing a New Song

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This is quite a different tune for the BSA. After years of high-energy debates, the organization has only accepted gay members amongst their ranks for less than a decade. Much of the discussion was rooted in Christian moralism.

Rapid Resurgence

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Fighting for gay representation seemed to roll out the welcome for others though. When the time came to decide on whether trans kids should be allowed to participate, the ethical conundrum was summed up in less than a year. 

Buried in the Fine Print

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The BSA has officially allowed trans members since 2017, just two years after the push for gay representation. However, as with many gray areas, resolutions were not adopted smoothly. Trans kids were required to navigate a demotivating amount of paperwork.

Camping With Comrades

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Coupled with its new announcement, the BSA has amended several practices that many considered to be deeply anti-trans. It also opened the door for women to join the ranks outside of the Girl Scouts, which previously focused heavily on traditional feminine hobbies.

Change Is a Good Thing

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Inviting cisgender women to the Scouts was adopted in 2018. This marks a high level of change within the group over the course of 3 years, and as of today, that progress only seems to be accelerating.

Adaptation or Extinction

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Certainly there will be critics who are outraged by the events unfolding. With the Scouts originally established by church principles, those who still value liturgical influences will have to learn to adapt to modern times, or risk losing themselves in the turmoil.

The post Scouting for All Genders: Boy Scouts Announces Name Change in a Bid for Inclusivity first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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