"Scout Me In": Local BSA council welcomes girls and families int - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

"Scout Me In": Local BSA council welcomes girls and families into scouting

Posted: Updated:

5-3-18 UPDATE:

KENNEWICK, WA - The Blue Mountain Council says it's an exciting time to be a part of the Boy Scouts of America!

One of the most significant changes in the history of the Boy Scouts of America was the decision last fall to create a path for families to participate together in all of BSA's programs, including Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. For over twenty-five years, girls have been a part of BSA's co-ed Venturing, Exploring, and Sea Scouts programs. Now, they are being welcomed into Cub Scouts, and will soon walk the same "Trail to Eagle" as so many of their brothers and fathers have done.

The Mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. These changes allow the Blue Mountain Council to reach more youth and more families with the proven benefits of their Scouting programs.

Earlier today, the National BSA organization formally announced that the older youth program of the BSA, the Boy Scouts, will be called Scouts BSA, starting in February 2019. The Boy Scouts of America will remain the umbrella organization, and is not changing its name.

This change will coincide with the timeline set for girls to join that program in all-girl Troops. Boys will still participate in all-boy Troops. The new program is not co-ed. Chartered organizations will have the choice to charter an all-boy Troop, an all-girl Troop, or both. No chartered partner will be forced to adopt a program for girls. Boys and girls will have the same requirements for all Scout ranks, merit badges, and awards, just as boys and girls currently have the same requirements in Cub Scouting, Venturing, Exploring, and Sea Scouts.

"As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible," said Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. "That is why it is important that the name for our Scouting program for older youth remain consistent with the single name approach used for the Cub Scouts."

The "Family Scouting" approach is quickly gaining popularity across the country, underscored by the thousands of boys and girls signing up under the Early Adopter Program for families in Cub Scouts. The Blue Mountain Council has participated in this Early Adopter program, with their first all-girls den joining Pack 117 in Kennewick this past January. These trailblazing girls have had a phenomenal experience, and have proven that the Cub Scout program works for both boys and girls, and their families. "Family Understanding" is one of the purposes of Cub Scouting, and the council is pleased to see families seeking to participate together in Scouting.

This June, all Packs will have the option, at the discretion of their respective Chartered Organizations, to remain all-boy Packs, charter new all-girl Packs, or like Pack 117, become a Family Scouting Pack, to serve both boy dens and girl dens. It is important to understand that BSA believes in the proven benefits of a single-gender program for both boys and girls. Within Family Scouting Packs, individual dens will remain all-boy or all-girl, with the added benefit of entire families getting to participate together in the same unit. In many packs, sisters of Blue Mountain Council's Cub Scouts have been present and participating in Pack meetings and other family events for years. Now they can be Cub Scouts too, and earn the same ranks, adventures, and awards as their brothers.

Additional information on Family Scouting is available at the BSA's official Family Scouting website.

Much thought, discussion, and research has gone into this name change for the Scouts, as well as for other aspects of the Family Scouting program. To support these initiatives, the BSA has also announced a new public campaign called "Scout Me In." This campaign focuses on helping prospective Scouts and families imagine the fun and excitement they will have as participants in the Scouting programs.

The Blue Mountain Council currently serves over 4,300 young people, with more than 2,500 adult volunteer leaders. The council currently serves 4 girls in Cub Scouts, 27 teenage girls in Venturing and 81 teenage girls in Exploring.

For more details, feel free to reach out to the Blue Mountain Council, including opportunities to interview some of their families participating in the new Family Scouting program.

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5-2-18 UPDATE:

UNITED STATES - The name "Boy Scouts" will be no more: the organization announced a huge change this morning. And they're not only changing their names... they're also changing their traditions.

The 108-year-old organization will still be known as the Boy Scouts of America. It's the Boy Scouts program that is for teens ages 11 to 17 that is changing its name, and that's because as of February 2019, girls will be allowed to join in on the fun.

The new name will be Scouts: BSA. 

We spoke with Yakima's Boy Scout troop to find out the reason behind this historic change.

"We had a lot of families that saw the great benefits to their sons, to their boys in the family and their sisters wanted to be a part of it," said Barry McDonald, Scout Executive for Grand Colombia Council Boy Scouts, "and for quite a few years there have been folks who have said, 'why can't our daughters be involved?"

Along with the name change comes a new slogan: "Scout me in."

McDonald believes the change is good, and says he has not received or heard any backlash since the change was announced.
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5-2-18 ORIGINAL STORY:

NEW YORK (AP) - The Boy Scouts are getting a name change.

The Boy Scouts of America says the program for 11- to 17-year-old boys will become Scouts: BSA starting next year.

The new name was meant to be a welcoming sign to girls who will start joining the program next year. Girls are already allowed to be in the Cub Scouts.

Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh predicted that both boys and girls in Scouts BSA would refer to themselves simply as scouts, rather than adding "boy" or "girl" as a modifier.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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