Local Boy Scouts of America are reacting today, one day after their organization announced that after 108-years, it's making a name change.
Starting in February, the Boy Scouts of America will be known simply as 'Scouts BSA.'
In the last 24 hours since the announcement was made, the local head of the Boy Scouts said that there's been much confusion about what the change really means and wants to clarify.
The Boy Scouts said that come February, 'Scouts BSA' is a better fit.
Part of the reason: another historic change as girls will be invited to join and have the opportunity to advance to the highest rank of Eagle Scout.
"I think it's a good sign of the times," said David Kruse, Western Mass Boy Scouts Council CEO.
Kruse said that the change is creating some confusion. They may have shared activities, but boys and girls will not, for example, camp out together.
In scout speak, boys and girls can be in one "pack" as they're called, but in completely separate "dens." Basically, same school, different classrooms.
"There will be girls in separate troops then boys. They're not going to be in the same troop together, but they will have the advantages of the Boy Scout program that has existed for the last 108 years," Kruse explained.
Kruse told Western Mass News that girls in the scouts is not new. The organization's "Venturing" program for kids 14 and up has included females for 20-plus years.
Just last fall, the Cub Scouts of America announced girls could join, creating so-called "adopter units."
"So we had about eight of those here in western Mass. About 50 girls have joined those eight units of our 40, 50 packs in the western Mass. area," Kruse noted.
Girls in Cub Scouts will be able to join 'Scouts BSA' next year.
"Families are wanting to do things together as families and they can do their scouting in one program now," Kruse said.
Kruse said that the change in name is a symbol of what families have asked for: to allow girls into the scout family.
Some of this recent news isn't sitting well with the national head of Girls Scouts USA. Western Mass News talks to the local chapter tomorrow.
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