The Boy Scouts Of America Is Changing Its Name To Something More Gender-Neutral — And Traditionalists Are Not Happy At All

The name change is causing a lot of controversy.

Boy scout holding LGBTQ+ flag while walking in a parade. A Katz /

To celebrate its 115th anniversary, the infamous Boy Scouts Of America organization rebranded its name for the first time. As announced in a press release on May 7, their new name, “Scouting America,” is a gender-neutral take on their age-old phrasing that’s intended to serve as a statement of inclusivity.

“Though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged: we are committed to teaching young people to be Prepared. For Life,” Roger A. Krone, who recently took over as president and chief executive officer of Scouting America, announced in the release. “This will be a simple but very important evolution as we seek to ensure that everyone feels welcome in Scouting.”


Whether from progressive pressures or something else entirely, the Scouts’ new name has sparked inevitable controversy — from parents and advocates on both sides of the aisle.

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The Boy Scouts of America have announced they’re changing their name to ‘Scouting America’ to promote inclusivity.

While it’s not outwardly mentioned in the release itself, many speculate the name change comes as a delayed response to years of pressure from LGBTQ+ advocates and progressive organizations to make the foundational organization more inclusive to all children. 


Boy Scouts Press Release Scouting America / Canva Pro

The “Scouting America” change, planned to be enacted in February 2025, has also been named a means to increase membership after numerous sources claim the organization currently bolsters "all-time low” engagement levels.

Not only is their name change supposedly acting as a form of reparations to many older generations of girls who weren’t able to join Boy Scouts of America — or at the very least, take part in the more active "boys activities" like camping — it’s an inclusive invitation to young gender-neutral and LGBTQ+ children who don’t find fulfillment in associating with binary labels.

@jacksongosnell Boy Scouts will change its name to be more inclusive. #boyscouts #scoutingamerica #dei ♬ original sound - Jackson Gosnell

However, while the name change doesn’t seem like a means for debate on paper, many people have begun relaying their concerns over the organization’s re-birth.

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This name change has sparked considerable debate, along with the controversial 2018 induction of girls into the Boy Scouts organization.

In the spirit of change, Krone emphasized the “Scouting America” name as a formal representation of the decision to allow girls to join the organization just five years ago. A decision that then sparked backlash against traditionalists in the organization, followed by their inclusion of transgender boys in 2017, has now been labeled a “new normal” for troops and communities.


The Boy Scouts of America is changing its name for the first time in its 114-year history and will become Scouting America.It's a significant shift as the organization emerges from bankruptcy following a flood of sexual abuse claims and seeks to focus on inclusion. #boyscout #scoutingamerica #rogerkrone #inclusion

♬ original sound- The National Desk

However, despite changing application rules, a new name, and endless promises from Krone, people have continued to express their distaste for the organization's progressive stance. While some conservatives argue enticing “gay youth” to join the organization is a dangerously “woke safety issue” — an irony almost impossible to tackle — many parents don’t trust the organization to safeguard their children from harm, especially parents of LGBTQ+ children.

Many critics of the Boy Scouts’ gender-neutral rebrand argue ‘wokeness’ as their downfall — a seemingly hypocritical conclusion in the face of their controversial past.

The Scouts organization as a whole has had a dark history of decades-old institutional abuse it has desperately tried to bury.

In September 2023, following the release of Netflix’s “Scouts Honor" expose, viewers finally got a more comprehensive picture of the alleged “cover-up scheme” the organization orchestrated in response to tens of thousands of child sexual abuse allegations. 


Not only did the documentary finally piece together and unveil the organization's disgusting abuse history, but it also reminded viewers of other components of its troubling past — that of homophobia, often harmful traditionalist values, and ignorance.

Although they were forced to declare bankruptcy in February 2020, Scouting America has continued to operate while paying their $2.6 billion reorganization plan to over 80,000 victims of institutional abuse and assault.

It’s impossible to ignore the kind of stigma an organization like Boy Scouts of America holds, which is why critics argue the name change isn’t actually emblematic of real change.


So, while for some, this might provide a sense of peace or closure over a decade-long dispute of inequality and homophobia, for many, it's simply a band-aid that masks an ugly scar that hides beneath the bandage.

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.