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Boy Scouts of America changing name to Scouting America

Class Sean Elliott | NORFOLK (Jan. 12, 2020) Cub Scouts from Pack 1967 and Boy Scouts from Troop 1966 in Fairfax, Va. and Sailors assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) salute the national ensign during morning colors on the ship's flight deck. The Scouts came to honor President Gerald R. Ford's legacy as our nations only Eagle Scout President. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean Elliott)

The Boy Scouts of America are changing their name to Scouting America in order to be more inclusive.

The switch comes as the 114-year-old organization emerges from bankruptcy after a number of sexual abuse claims.

The name change was announced at the Scouts’ annual meeting in Florida on Tuesday.

“In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs,” CEO and president Roger Krone told The Associated Press.

“It sends this really strong message to everyone in America that they can come to this program, they can bring their authentic self, they can be who they are and they will be welcomed here,” Krone said.

The organization has slowly opened itself, allowing gay youth and gay leaders in the last decade. Girls were finally allowed to join the main program, at the time renamed Scouts BSA, in 2019 after being allowed into Cub Scouts the year prior.

In the years since, more than 6,000 girls nationwide have attained the rank of Eagle Scout. While the organization’s membership has plummeted, its more than 176,000 girls represent over 10% of its community.

The organization has been tarnished by allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct stretching back decades. As part of its bankruptcy reorganization, the Scouts began compensating victims. The fund is expected to pay out more than $2.4 billion to more than 82,000 victims.

More than 130 million have joined the Scouts since 1910, according to a news release.

The name change will become official in February 2025 when the organization turns 115.

“Though our name will be new, our mission remains unchanged: We are committed to teaching young people to be prepared for life,” Krone said. “This will be a simple but very important evolution as we seek to ensure that everyone feels welcome in Scouting.”

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