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Local scout leader on board with “Scouting America” name change

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Local scouting chapters are reacting to the Boy Scouts of America name change.

After 114 years, the Boy Scouts of America is changing its name. They say it is an effort to make everyone feel more welcome.

"Scouting under the name Scouting America will enable us to charter a course towards continued growth, relevance, and impact,” Boy Scouts of America CEO Roger Krone said. “We are an organization for all. It's time our name reflects that."

Dustin Mortimer of the Grand Teton Council in Idaho Falls said the new name allows the organization to rebrand.

“I've got a first grader that's in scouting. She is a part of it and loves it. And so, going from Boy Scouts to scouting in general opens those doors. It allows both boys and girls to be allowed, to a program that is highly successful in creating young men, young women that we need in our community and in the future,” Mortimer said.

The change comes after years of struggling to recruit new members by the BSA.

"Membership is at historic lows. Part of my job is to reduce all the barriers I possibly can for people to accept us as an organization and to join,” Krone said.

Only a year after the Boy Scouts recently filed for bankruptcy to help settle scores of sexual abuse lawsuits.

More than 80,000 men have filed lawsuits against the organization, alleging they were sexually abused as children while participating in scouting activities.

Mortimer says the name change could allow the organization to move past hurts and continue the legacy and mission Baden Powell established over a century ago.

“There's change, there's division, there's things people think about when they think of scouting. And this gives us an opportunity as scouts to move forward, to reignite. For over 100 years, scouting has been here, and it's just another opportunity for us to continue that legacy to help young men and young women learn, enjoy the outdoors, adventure, morals, ethics, all the great things that scouting is,” Mortimer said.   

The name change will go into effect Feb. 8, 2025, for the organization's 115th anniversary.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8.


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