The wait is over, and we now know what we’ll call the program for 11- to 17-year-old youth when girls can begin joining at the scheduled launch on Feb. 1, 2019.
Say hello to Scouts BSA!
Boys and girls who are part of Scouts BSA will be known as Scouts. Just as before, these Scouts will earn merit badges, go camping and work toward the Eagle Scout Award.
The organization name, Boy Scouts of America, will not change.
“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible,” says BSA Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. “That is why it is important that the name for our iconic Scouting program for older youth remain consistent with the single-name approach used for the Cub Scouts.”
Beginning during the scheduled launch of Feb. 1, 2019, girls can join all-girl troops. Boys can continue to join all-boy troops. Scouts BSA will not have any mixed-gender, or coed, troops.
What about Venturing, Sea Scouting and Exploring?
Girls have been part of the BSA since 1971 when Exploring began welcoming young women. Exploring, which began as a program for older Scouts, is now the nation’s marquee career-development program for youth. Sea Exploring, now called Sea Scouting, also welcomed young women beginning in 1971. Venturing crews have included young men and young women since the adventure-focused program’s inception in 1998.
What will happen to all these Venturing crews, Sea Scout ships and Explorer posts now that girls are welcome in all BSA programs? If anything, they’ll thrive. Each program offers unique opportunities that appeal to a young person’s specific — and evolving — needs and interests.
Q: Will dens of girls and troops of girls be required to have female leaders?
A: Two registered adult leaders 21 years of age or over are required at all Scouting activities, including meetings. There must be a registered female adult leader over 21 in every unit serving females. A registered female adult leader over 21 must be present for any activity involving female youth. Notwithstanding the minimum leader requirements, age- and program-appropriate supervision must always be provided.
Q: Are the Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA programs becoming coed?
A: No. In Cub Scouts, dens will be all-boy or all-girl. Packs will be made up of all-boy dens, all-girl dens or a combination of the two. In Scouts BSA, troops will be all-boy or all-girl. A chartered organization may also have “linked troops,” which means a shared troop committee with separate troops for boys and for girls.
Q: The BSA offered an Early Adopter program for select packs and councils that wanted to welcome girls into Cub Scouts early. Will there be a similar Early Adopter program for older girls in Scouts BSA?
Q. Can chartered organizations choose whether to adopt the expanded program?
A: Yes. Chartered organizations always have the option to select from the BSA’s numerous program offerings. They can select any or all of the BSA programs to meet the needs of their members and the communities around them.
Q: Can linked troops share troop numbers?
A: Yes, they can share troop numbers.
Watch this video for a summary of how Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA will function: