Wednesday, Boy Scouts of America announced their program will change its name from Boy Scouts to Scouts BSA.
The change will not affect the name of the organization, only their scouting program, which will begin accepting girls in February.
That does not mean boys and girls will work side by side in each troop. The organization said instead they will have separate troops for boys and girls beginning early next year.
“You're going to see next February 1, 2019, is when this new parallel program under Scouts BSA will begin, where you have an all-girl troop that will start. And it will have all of the same program requirements, the same advancement requirements and all of the same activities that boys do,” said Boy Scouts of America spokesman Charles Mead.
That doesn't mean Girl Scout troops are going away. In fact, Girl Scouts of Central Texas still urges girls to join their programs that have long been tailored to young women.
“The Boy Scouts are great with development of male leadership. We are the experts in girls. We've been doing this for 100 years. We know what works for girls. We're focused on their leadership and we know that we have the curriculum and the programs that help girls thrive,” said Erika Holland, chief development officer with Girl Scouts of Central Texas.
Boy Scouts of America said the change has nothing to do with being trendy or politically correct, just more inclusive.
They point out, they have held co-ed programs for more than 20 years.
“This was deemed necessary because we were trying to make sure that there was no confusion among families who might have a young lady who wants to join this new program and, just by seeing the title boy scouting, might not, in fact, feel like that's a program for her,” Mead said.
For the first time, girls in Scouts BSA will have the opportunity to become Eagle Scouts. Something only 4 percent of Boy Scouts are able to achieve.
“Scouts BSA will involve separate boy only troops, just like you've kind of always known and seen them, as well as all-girl troops,” said Mead.
So far, Girl Scouts of Central Texas said they aren't worried about the changes.
“Girls love our programs and they also love to be with other girls as they develop these great leadership skills,” Holland said.
Boy Scouts of America already allows girls into their Cub Scouts program.