The Boy Scouts, America's revered fraternity of adolescent boys, announced Wednesday that it will officially be changing its name to reflect a recent decision to allow transgender kids and girls to join.
Boy Scouts was a suitable name when the Boy Scouts of America's flagship program only allowed boys to join. But starting in February 2019, the Boy Scouts will be simply known as Scouts BSA.
"We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward," Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh told the Associated Press. "We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women."
Cub Scouts, the program for 7- to 10-year-olds, will keep its gender-neutral name and has already started welcoming girls. The name change applies only to the Boy Scouts, the program for 11- to 17-year-olds that was previously exclusive to cisgender boys. The change takes place in February 2019.
Surbaugh told the Associated Press that kids in Scouts BSA will simply be called "scouts," not "boy scouts" or "girl scouts." Groups within the program will still be divided along gender-lines, though all scouts will be able to earn merit badges and pursue and Eagle Scout award.