Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, which serve 32 counties up and down the I-75 corridor, have a strong response to the recent name change at the Boys Scouts of America.
“We’re interested to hear that Boy Scouts has slightly altered its name and invested in a new brand identity—but what we really want to know more about is the programming,” said Katelyn Scott, communications and marketing team lead, for the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. “Have they invested in creating uniquely effective programming for girls? Because at Girl Scouts, for the past century we’ve been acutely focused on dispelling gender stereotypes and creating a space exclusively for girls to learn and grow—a ‘room of one’s own’ for them, so to speak.”
The BSA announced in October its intention to allow girls to join the Cub Scouts and earn the rank of Eagle Scout for the first time in the group’s history. On Wednesday the organization made it official that it was dropping the “boy” from Boy Scouts.
In a written statement BSA said “dropping the boy” in Scouts will allow boys or girls to simply identify themselves as scouts without referring to gender. The group will become Scouts BSA starting in February 2019.
“As we enter a new era for our organization, it is important that all youth can see themselves in Scouting in every way possible. That is why it is important that the name for our Scouting program for older youth remain consistent with the single name approach used for the Cub Scouts,” Michael Surbaugh, Chief Scout Executive of the BSA noted in the statement. “Starting in February 2019, the name of the older youth program will be ‘Scouts BSA,’ and the name of our iconic organization will continue to be Boy Scouts of America.”
Scott said that the Girls Scouts “are determined as ever to stay on this path (creating spaces for girls), so that more girls, through Girl Scouting, gain confidence, seek challenges, and become active decision-makers and proficient problem-solvers to the greatest degree possible—and frankly, are better equipped to navigate a world that is still, regrettably, a ‘man’s world.’”
Girl Scouts are deploying a long-term, agile growth strategy to provide girls with what they need more effectively than any other organization in a changing, competitive marketplace, Scott said.
“Girl Scouts has been delivering the best in girl leadership and healthy development for over 100 years, and the organization taps expertise from the Girl Scout Research Institute to set its strategic direction,” she said.
Moving towards the 2018-2019 membership year, the organization will continue to focus on serving all girls and help break down barriers girls have to participation in Girl Scouts.
“The number we really focus on each year is the effectiveness of our program through outcome evaluation. We will continue to make quality programming a priority as we focus on our four program pillars: Entrepreneurship, Life Stills, Outdoor and STEM,” Scott said.
Leaving the “Girl” in Girl Scouts will always be something that those interested in the 106-year-old organization can count on.
“We are proud of the ‘Girl’ in Girl Scouts. Since our inception, Girl Scouts has put girls front and center, ensuring that everything we do is with their best interests in mind and equips them to be the fearless leaders and change-makers our more than 50 million alums prove themselves to be,” Scott said.