After the Boy Scouts announced they plan to change their name to Scouts BSA with girls soon joining the organization, the Girl Scouts of Connecticut is responding and the CEO said she it is disappointed in the name change and that the Girls Scouts have "time-tested programming" that has evolved to meet girls' needs.
The name change for the Boy Scouts comes amid strained relations between the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, according to the Associated Press.
"Girl Scouts is, and will continue to be, the best leadership development organization designed to help girls learn to be leaders in today’s world. We are disappointed with Boy Scouts’ decision, not because they are a new competitor, but because this competitor cannot meet the needs of today’s girls," Mary Barneby, CEO of Girl Scouts of Connecticut, said in a statement about the Boy Scouts of America changing its name to “Scouts BSA.”
"Camping, adventure seeking, entrepreneurship, and exploring the outdoors are all cornerstone experiences girls have at Girl Scouts. But we also offer so much more, because our research-backed, time-tested programming is always evolving and designed to meet the unique needs and specific interests of girls, including the way they learn best. At Girl Scouts, we know girls are the future, and we’re here to serve them and their needs, which includes keeping them physically, emotionally, and cognitively safe as they embark on their unique leadership journeys—journeys that only Girl Scouts can support," Barneby's statement goes on to say.
More than 3,000 girls have joined roughly 170 Cub Scout packs participating in the first phase of the new policy and the pace is expected to intensify this summer under a nationwide multimedia recruitment campaign titled "Scout Me In."
Boy Scouts of America's Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh told the Associated Press that many possibilities were considered before the new name for the program for 11- to 17-year olds was chosen.
"We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward," he said. "We're trying to find the right way to say we're here for both young men and young women."
Surbaugh predicted that both boys and girls in Scouts BSA would refer to themselves simply as scouts, rather than adding "boy" or "girl" as a modifier.
Girl Scout leaders have said they were blindsided by the Boy Scouts of America’s move and they are gearing up an aggressive campaign to recruit and retain girls as members.
"Girl Scouts is the premier leadership development organization for girls," said Sylvia Acevedo, the Girl Scouts' CEO. "We are, and will remain, the first choice for girls and parents who want to provide their girls opportunities to build new skills ... and grow into happy, successful, civically engaged adults."