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Scouting America: Straying from the Purpose

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By Tori Brawner, YWA Ambassador at Boyce College

Most people know about the Boy Scouts. If they were not involved in it themselves, they most likely know either a family member or a friend who has been. The Boy Scouts have been traditionally highly praised. It was a place where boys would learn survival and leadership skills that would ultimately help them become good citizens, fathers, and husbands. They would specifically learn from older and wiser men who are leaders who may have also been in the group and seen as both role models and friends. When the Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, its stated purpose was, “to teach [boys] patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred values.”

However, on May 7, 2024, the Boy Scouts of America announced they would change their name in February 2025 to “Scouting America.” Although this appears to be no big deal at first, when doing research, this name change is bigger than some may think. For some background, in 2015, the Boy Scouts allowed any boy who identified and lived culturally as a girl to join. Then in 2017, the organization changed its policy and began also accepting girls who identified as boys to join (YWA Gender Identity Booklet, p. 27). They have since accepted girls as Cub Scouts and into the Boy Scout program which has thus been renamed Scouts BSA. They also started allowing those who are homosexual to be an adult leader for the boys.

Today, this name change panders to the culture when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity. But it also diverts from the original intent of the Boy Scouts – to develop strong male leaders, trading it for a “spirit of inclusivity.”

The president of the Boy Scouts commented on the name change, saying that it will provide “a welcoming, safe environment where youth can become the best version of themselves by learning from and respecting each other.” I doubt this approach will work. If I were a parent, I would have many concerns. I would be worried about the confusion of having to deal with several different identities that are ever-evolving at such a crucial time when children are dealing with so many questions and insecurities and their critical reasoning is still in development.

One thing is sure. The boys who go through this program will no longer grow up with the strong traditional family and leadership values that the founding leaders used to instill in the children.

The original Boy Scout oath pledged, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God …” Sadly, God has been completely pushed out in today’s twisted version of the group. Scripture affirms, “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Wouldn’t it be great if the Boys Scouts would teach young boys to love the way they were created? I dream of a Titus 2:2 vision where they are taught to be “sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.” That is what young boys need. Not to be told that there is something wrong with them or their bodies, and that they are free to become whatever they want to be if they don’t like how they look. The original Boys Scouts would do that, but not under today’s leadership. And in that sense the name change makes sense. The Boy Scouts no longer exist. The organization does not serve its original purpose. In that sense, it’s been long dead.