A message from Chief Scout Executive, Mike Surbaugh:
As you may have heard, the Girl Scouts of the USA have filed suit against the Boy Scouts of America. The suit is over the BSA’s use of the terms “Scouts” and “Scouting” when referring to girls who have and will be joining the BSA’s programs.
Our goal will be to resolve our differences with the Girl Scouts of the USA so that we both can move forward with serving youth. We take the brand and trademark rights of all organizations seriously and have worked proactively to differentiate our unique program offerings. As an organization, we do not want there to be any confusion regarding our programs and efforts. Any time we have been made aware of an instance of potential confusion around our programs, we immediately took steps to correct and clarify and we will continue to do so. Here is a guide that has been shared widely reinforcing guidance that we provided to councils in April.
As we work to resolve this matter, the BSA will continue to focus on promoting our programs. Our decision to expand our program offerings for girls came after years of requests from families who wanted the option of the BSA’s character- and leadership-development programs for their children – boys and girls. We believe that we owe it to our current and future members to offer families the options they want.
As has been our tradition, we applaud the efforts of all organizations and encourage families to participate in character and leadership development programs of their choice. The BSA wants boys and girls to have an opportunity to join one or more of these organizations. While we all use different delivery models, our distinct missions have one thing in common – to serve youth.
Over the years many of these organizations, including Girl Scouts of the USA and Boy Scouts of America, have participated in joint programs, shared facilities and performed service work together in communities across the country. The BSA will continue to support those efforts and encourage families to participate in these programs, regardless of the organization.
The reality is that most families in this country are not currently engaged with any character-building youth development program. There are over 70 million children in America that could benefit from our programs, and today, organizations like ours and others only serve a fraction of them. That is a huge unmet need, but one we can help address. Our country needs and deserves more young people focused on the values that serve as the bedrock of our movement; duty to God and country, with a desire to help other people at all times. We remain committed to providing young people with the programs to fulfill that need.
Yours in Scouting,