Scouts' mixing of genders highlights other group's 'boy focus'

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Trail Life USA hikers at sunsetWith both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts trending toward allowing girls to join, an alternative Christian organization that limits membership just to boys is clearly the beneficiary.

Trail Life USA is a Christ-centered, boy-focused character leadership and adventure organization for young men. What began in 2013 now boasts upwards of 27,000 members spread across 49 states.

"About half of our troops were formerly Boy Scout troops," says Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA. "The awards that the boys earned in Boy Scouts are transferable over to Trail Life USA because a lot of them are the same skills such as camping, hiking, and outdoor skills."

'Inclusive' Boy Scouts plan a name change

NEW YORK (Associated Press) — For 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America's flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name will change.

The organization on Wednesday announced a new name for its Boy Scouts program: Scouts BSA. The change will take effect next February.

Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said many possibilities were considered during lengthy and "incredibly fun" deliberations before the new name was chosen.

"We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward," he said. "We're trying to find the right way to say we're here for both young men and young women."

The parent organization will remain the Boy Scouts of America, and the Cub Scouts – its program for 7- to 10-year-olds – will keep its title, as well. But the Boy Scouts – the program for 11- to 17-year-olds – will now be Scouts BSA.

The organization has already started admitting girls into the Cub Scouts, and Scouts BSA begins accepting girls next year.

Trail Life USA also offers badges that line up more with Christian values.

Hancock

"They're going to find apologetics badges and citizenry badges that talk about America in the traditional sense," Hancock explains. "They're going to find all the things that maybe they would have found in Boy Scouts 50 or 100 years ago."

OneNewsNow reported last week that thousands of girls are now joining boys as Cubs Scouts, and a new program is planned for next year for older girls based on the Boy Scout curriculum. Trail Life USA, says Hancock, is committed to what he calls a "boy focus."

"We think boys and girls are different," he explains, "and we think that boys need their own place to grow in character and leadership and to experience outdoor adventure."

A sister organization, American Heritage Girls, is also available.

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