Dear Southwest Florida Council Scouters,
With the recent announcement of a new name change in one of the BSA programs, below is information that accurately clarifies what you may have seen reported in news media outlets.
- The Boys Scouts of America organization has not changed its name.
- Some programs offered by the BSA have changed either in name or eligibility as follows:
Cub Scouts – No Name Change– youth 5-10 yrs. of age (Girls will be able to join but will meet in separate groups (dens) for weekly meetings.)
(There will be three types of Cub Scout packs: all-boy packs, all-girl packs and packs that include a mix of girl dens and boy dens. Cub Scout dens will be single-gender: all boys or all girls.)
Boy Scouts (New name – Scouts BSA) youth 11-18 yrs. of age (Boys and girls will operate in separate units– so a charter organization – a church, for example, would have 2 separate units, if they so choose, – they will not meet as 1 operating group and have separate adult leadership although the charter organization governing adult committee could be the same if the organization chooses). A new member will now say, for example, I am a Scout.
Venturing – No Change – Outdoor based co-ed program for youth 14-20 yrs. of age and has been a BSA program since 1998.
Sea Scouts – No Change – A co-ed program for youth 14-20 yrs. of age interested in boating skills through instruction and practice in water safety, boating skills, outdoor, social, service experiences, and knowledge of our maritime heritage and has been a co-ed BSA program since 1972.
Exploring – No Change – A co-ed career exploration program for youth 14-20 yrs. of age and has been a B.S.A. career oriented program since 1969.
Learning for Life, Inc. – No Change – A classroom-based character education program designed for all ages, genders and grades incorporated in 1991.
Time-Line: Southwest Florida Council implementation will begin with the 2018-19 school year for Cub Scouts (No earlier than August 1, 2018) and February 1, 2019 for Scouts BSA based on the governing body of each charter partner approving the B.S.A. programs their organization desires and local council approval. New program implementation will be determined based on a charter partner sponsoring organization’s interest, adequate qualified adult leadership and meeting space capacity which are the same criteria for growing and expanding all BSA programs in a charter organization.
“Scout Me In” is the marketing recruitment theme which will be used to roll out these new programs by National B.S.A. in the coming months that invites kids and families in America to be a part of the life-changing experience that Scouting can offer.
Feedback we are hearing from families with Scout-age children?
Our general response from families has been overwhelmingly positive as they are excited Scouting will now offer new programs that are more accessible to today’s families and meeting their needs. Some have voiced concerns and reservations, but once they understand what the specific changes are the response has been positive –The single gender programs will stay the same. The new hybrid program for Cub Scouts offers families a new option. The new Scouts BSA offers girls/families the opportunity to participate in a single gender program and experience the iconic B.S.A. brand.
Regarding the Cub Scout program, the enthusiasm we see centers around the opportunity to participate in programs that are outdoor and family oriented that will bring the whole family closer together. In the older youth program, by far, the driving interest in our new Scouts BSA locally is the excitement about the opportunity to participate in a highly outdoor and high adventure driven program. For those youth that desire outdoor activities and extreme high adventure, Scouting BSA will offer a choice to meet those outdoor interests and personal development needs with access to outdoor programs, local and national high adventure camp facilities and other Scouting resources that are unparalleled and are not available elsewhere.
For more information you may also visit:
The Boy Scouts of America vision has always been and will continue to be: To prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.
Scout Executive and C.E.O.
Southwest Florida Council
Boy Scouts of America