Boy Scouts of America is experiencing yet another change as all-girl "Boy Scout" troops are emerging.
The series of transitions began in 2017 when Boy Scouts of America announced that girls would be allowed to join the group. The following year, the group changed their name to Scouts BSA to reflect their inclusion of girls since the "Boy Scouts" would no longer be about boys.
Over this past year, all-girl "Boy" Scout troops started appearing across the nation. KGO-TV reports that a group of girls in Pearland, Texas recently became "Boy" Scouts and are excited about their "uniqueness."
"This unique approach allows the organization to maintain the integrity of the single-gender model while also meeting the needs of today's families," the group said.
According to Dispatch.com, another all-girl BSA troop launched in Wooster, Ohio where the team encourages group goals "like their male peers." One troop leader explained their side of the debate saying, "Different people with different interests are being served."
In October 2017, BSA announced that the program would no longer be exclusively for boys but would also allow girls, allowing both to earn the top prize of Eagle Scout. "For the first time in its 100+ year history, the iconic program of the Boy Scouts of America is open to young women as well as young men, all of whom will have the chance to earn Scouting's highest rank, Eagle Scout."
BSA officially launched the changeover on February 1, 2019, to adjust with a timeline for Cub Scouts.
Welcoming girls into BSA has come with plenty of controversies.
ABC News reported that the Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) criticized the BSA's decision to allow girls into their troops.
GSUSA stated, "The Boy Scouts house is on fire. Instead of addressing systemic issues of continuing sexual assault, financial mismanagement and deficient programming, BSA's senior management wants to add an accelerant to the house fire by recruiting girls."
The Boy Scouts are also still dealing with the fallout from hundreds of sexual abuse allegations along with families who were unhappy the organization decided to allow gay troop leaders.
At one point, the organization had a list of thousands of adults deemed ineligible to work with Scouts because of confirmed or suspected acts of molestation. The Buffalo News reported, "All of the names from Western New York were first made public in 2012 with the release of internal Boy Scouts of America documents known as the 'perversion files' that identified volunteers deemed ineligible due to sexual misconduct complaints."
Despite that backdrop of escalating concerns, the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Committee unanimously approved a resolution ending the blanket ban on gay adult leaders in 2015.
Then the latest shoe to drop in the Scouts' sexual scandals came this past summer when USA Today reported in August 2019 that hundreds of former Scouts came forward with accounts of alleged sexual abuse from troop leaders.
BSA's shift toward political correctness, along with its scandals, has reportedly led to the loss of 425,000 members.
With many families opposing BSA's shift to a gender-neutral and pro-LGBT direction, a new faith-based scouting group was formed called Trail Life USA.
Earlier this year, Trail Life issued a press release saying "The recent policy changes the Boy Scouts of America have embraced … have given many current members and parents some concern that the group has lost many of the moral codes that once made the original Boy Scouts so upstanding."
The Christ-centered program teaches values based on the Bible and set in the conditions of outdoor adventure.
With Trail Life, boys from Kindergarten through 12th grade are involved in a troop setting with male mentors who challenge them to "grow in character, understand their purpose, serve their community, and develop practical leadership skills to carry out the mission for which they were created."
As more parents pull their boys out of BSA, Trail Life continues to see a sharp rise in membership. As of this past summer, the group has increased to nearly 30,000 members who meet weekly in 800 troops throughout all 50 states.
This #GivingTuesday support an organization that understands the nature of boys & is committed to raising up a generation of biblically bold men who are characterized by strength, character, courage, compassion, & conviction.
— Trail Life USA (@TrailLifeUSA) December 3, 2019