Update to National Membership Policy

Earlier this week the Boy Scouts of America announced a national change to our membership policy. Effective immediately, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application.  Locally, National Capital Area Council (NCAC) will help parents find units that can provide for the best interest of their child.

As one of America’s largest youth-serving organizations, the Boy Scouts of America continues to work to bring the benefits of our programs to as many children, families and communities as possible. While we offer a number of programs that serve all youth, Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting are specifically designed to meet the needs of boys. For more than 100 years, the Boy Scouts of America, along with schools, youth sports and other youth organizations, have ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate to determine eligibility for our single-gender programs. However, that approach is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.

NCAC is committed to identifying program options that will help us truly serve the whole family, and this is an area that we will continue to thoughtfully evaluate to bring the benefits of Scouting to the greatest number of youth possible – all while remaining true to our core values, outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.

“We are focused on this as an extension of our core mission,” said Les Baron, NCAC Scout Executive and CEO, “and that is to give all young people the opportunity to join our program, develop their character and leadership skills, and learn to live by the Scout Oath and Law.”

Key NCAC board members will be meeting to discuss local implementation at NCAC’s camps and facilities. As more information becomes available it will be shared through the council’s website. For more information about the membership policy update, please view Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh’s video statement at http://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/press-releases/bsa-addresses-gender-identity/.