The Boy Scouts of America made history Friday when it officially changed its name and began accepting girls into all its scouting programs.
The 109-year-old organization had announced in 2017 it would make the historic transition. The change became official on Feb. 1 this year. The new name: Scouts BSA.
Troops will continue to be single gender, the organization said.
One mom of a girl now in Scouts BSA said her daughter wanted the same opportunities a brother had.
“We won’t be camping together,” mother Kim Foli told ABC News. “We won’t be infiltrating boy troops or taking over boy space. Boys still do have their own thing. This is just opening up the gates to allow for a new challenge for girls that want it.”
It is but the latest cultural shift for an organization that formerly was embraced by social conservatives. It voted in 2013 to allow gay Boy Scouts, and then in 2015 to permit gay adult leaders. In 2017, the then-Boy Scouts announced a policy to allow transgender children into Scouts.
A Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts, Trail Life USA, has seen growth in its membership since the Boy Scouts started changing its membership rules.
The Girl Scouts of the USA blasted the change to allow females when it was first announced.
“The Boy Scouts’ house is on fire,” the Girl Scouts told ABC News in 2017. “Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA’s senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
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