Boy Scouts of America announces new gender-neutral name – and conservatives aren’t taking it well

The Boy Scouts of America have announced they are changing their name in as part of efforts towards greater inclusion, and right-wingers are taking it as well as you’d expect

The largest scouting organisation in the US announced on Tuesday (7 May) that it will change its name to Scouting America as part of an initiative to make everyone feel welcome.

“Though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged,” Boy Scouts of America president, Roger A Krane, said in a statement.

“We are committed to teaching young people to be prepared. For life. This will be a simple but very important evolution as we seek to ensure that everyone feels welcome in Scouting.”

The change is expected to come into effect by February 2025 on the organisation’s 115th anniversary, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

Girls aged seven to 10 years have been able to join the scouting organisation’s program since at least 2018, with girls aged 11 to 17 being permitted to join a year later.

Girl members of the Boy Scouts of America stand in a line.
Girls have been able to join Boy Scouts of America programs since 2018. (Getty)

Boy Scouts of America wrote at the time that the decision was requested by families for years to help consolidate programs for their children, according to CNN.

The decision to change its name to best acclimate who is allows to participate in Boy Scouts of America programs has, predictably, been heavily criticised by right-wing organisations which have called the decision “woke.”

The infamous right-wing social media account, Libs of TikTok, said the decision was “unreal” in a post complaining about the Boy Scouts of America making itself more welcoming.

“Why do they have to ruin everything,” the account’s owner, Chaya Raichik, wrote.

Despite the backlash, Krone has insisted that the future of the organisation remains bright, saying to the Associated Press: “In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs.”

“Part of my job is to reduce all the barriers I possible can for people to accept us as an organisation and to join,” he continued. “It sends a really strong message to everyone in America that they can come to this program.”

More than 1 million under-18s are currently enrolled in Boy Scouts of America programs across the US, including 176,234 girls and young women.

6,000 of those girls are believed to have earned their Eagle Scout rank – the highest rank attainable in a BSA program for participants who have earned a minimum of 21 merit badges and been a Life Scout for at least six months.

Boy Scouts of America alumni include former presidents, including Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Stars Wars actor Harrison Ford and director Steven Spielberg.