Historic name change coming for Boy Scouts

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. – Another historic change is coming to the Boy Scouts. Soon, it will simply be called Scouts BSA, a nod to the girls now allowed to join.

It’s a move to reflect the inclusion now underway – and one that could threaten the equally-iconic Girl Scouts.

You don’t have to look far to see the changing face of the Boy Scouts.

“It still kind of ties into the brand of what we do, and the Boys Scouts of America, and the importance and the significance of character development and leadership development, and even the outdoor program that we provide,” said Stephen Hoitt, CEO of the Seneca Waterways Council.

Hoitt says 10 girls locally have already applied to join the Boy Scouts. The changes are prompting the Girl Scouts to restate what they are known for.

“We already have the program here,” said Judith Cranston, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western New York. “When I speak to parents about Boy Scouts versus Girl Scouts, they’re saying I want the girl program. I want the one that was designed for my girls.”

Overall, only about 15 percent of kids take part in either Boys or Girl Scouts. The Boy Scouts organization says it’s not competing for that group. It hopes to attract the kids not involved at all.

The historic significance of this change – and the symbolism it represents – is not lost on former scouts.

“I wish that this change would have happened 10 years ago,” said Larry Straub, a father and Eagle Scout, “because I know she would have been a Scout BSA, as they will now be known. And – don’t tell my son – but she probably would have made Eagle before him.”

The name change takes effect in February.

13WHAM has been taking a closer look at this historic change for the Boy Scouts. Thursday on 13WHAM News at 11, you can watch our special report on why the inclusion of girls will still have its limits.

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