Since 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has been a boys-only, character building organization with an emphasis on the great outdoors. Until recently, that is. The Boy Scouts of America decided in 2017 to admit girls, which took effect just recently. And with it comes a new, less male-identified name, “Scouts BSA.”
And if you’ve been following the travails of the Scouts BSA since 2013, you know that the organization is in trouble because of moral and financial issues, even with over two million members. And many of their wounds are self-inflicted.
In less than five years, beginning in 2013, the Scouts BSA went from “boys only” and “reverent toward God” to allowing gay-identified boys (2013), then openly gay adult leaders (2015), then girls who identify as transgendered boys (2017), to ultimately allowing girls to join (2017).
Most, if not all of that transition was due to internal and external pressure to conform to cultural political correctness regarding homosexuality and gender identity. The addition of girls to its scouting ranks looks to be a way to shore up finances more than a p.c. issue. The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), founded in 1912, are still around after all, and more than a little peeved at the attempt by the Scouts BSA to poach existing and potential members of the GSUSA. And the GSUSA even sued the Scouts BSA for trademark infringement for its new name.
Scouts BSA openly admitted recently that its lawyers are pursuing various avenues, including bankruptcy, to address its financial difficulties from bad financial decisions, to dwindling membership, to litigation over long-standing sexual abuse cases.
And the problems haven’t ended. Mormon groups, which for 105 years have participated in the Boy Scouts in a major way and currently make up nearly 20% of the Scouts BSA membership, have announced they will sever ties with the organization in 2019 and form their own group.
For parents looking for a Christian alternative to either of the aging, morally declining Scouts BSA and GSUSA, there exist at least two organizations to look into that also major on character and spiritual development, leadership, service, and the outdoors: For girls only, there’s the American Heritage Girls, founded in 1995, and for boys, there’s Trail Life USA.