May 8, 2024

The Not-So-Inclusive Scouts of America

The more leftists try to include people, the fewer people want to join.

So, the Boy Scouts of America wants to be more “inclusive.” That’s what all the mainstream media headlines gushed when the BSA announced yesterday that it will soon change its official name to “Scouting America.” However, that name also seems to fall short of the Left’s utopian goals. Well, a Scout is Helpful, and as an active leader in a local troop with one Eagle Scout son and another not far behind, I have a suggestion for an even more inclusive name that rolls right off the tongue:

The All-Gender, Multi-Race, Any-Identity Beings of Occupied Indigenous Land, or AGMRAIBOIL.

After all, we’re repeatedly and loudly assured that America isn’t very “inclusive,” and the white colonialists initially, er, scouting America only did so to take land from Native Americans. Furthermore, the word “Scouting” implies that there’s a particular curriculum imposed upon troops when beings of unspecified gender ought to be free to pursue their true selves. In fact, “troop” is probably another word that needs to go since that clearly has militaristic overtones. And don’t even get me started on the words “patrol” and “quartermaster.”

I’m mostly kidding, but I’m only mocking the actual feel-good leftist pablum offered up by BSA President and CEO Roger Krone. He said the name change will take effect for the BSA’s 115th birthday on February 8, 2025, and he proudly declared that it will send “a really strong message to everyone in America that they can come to this program, they can bring their authentic self.”

They can come, alright, but they won’t. To repurpose an old Yogi Berra line, nobody goes there anymore; it’s too inclusive.

According to the Associated Press: “After a high point over the last decade of over 2 million members in 2018, the organization currently serves just over 1 million youths, including more than 176,000 girls and young women. Membership peaked in 1972 at almost 5 million.”

To put that in perspective, the BSA experienced an 80% drop in membership over the course of decades when the population of America grew by 60%.


Of course, that membership slide began well before Scouts went woke. Other factors played a major role, including perhaps primarily that kids simply have many more options for organized activities now than they did 50 years ago. There’s only so much time, energy, and money to dedicate to kids doing things.

More sadly, American families disintegrated over those five decades. There are far fewer dads at home to do Scouting activities with boys than there used to be.

Going woke sure didn’t help.

In 2012, the BSA still had 2.6 million members. The next year, the BSA began allowing openly homosexual Scouts, followed in 2015 by allowing openly homosexual adult leaders. In 2017, the BSA announced it would begin allowing girls and “girls” in separate, gender-specific groups by 2019, at which time it renamed its flagship Boy Scouts program Scouts BSA (i.e., Scouts Boys Scouts of America — real genius branding there from the Department of Redundancy Department).

Over that time, the BSA lost more than half its membership. But sure, blame COVID.

Two things stand out as huge problems. First, while boys who are struggling with homosexuality may find that learning manly skills and having positive adult male influence to help them overcome gender confusion pathology, homosexual men are precisely the demographic that causes the most peril. The BSA is working on a $2.46 billion settlement with the more than 90,000 victims of sexual abuse over the years. Yes, the BSA now has a pretty robust Youth Protection Training that is required of any adult who spends time leading or camping, but who do people think committed sexual abuse against boys?

Hint: It’s in the name — homosexual.

Second, allowing girls certainly sounds great to a lot of families who are disappointed with the lackluster Girl Scouts of the USA program, but adding girls totally changes the dynamic for boys. Simply encountering a bunch of girls at summer camp bonfires awakens biological stuff that wouldn’t have otherwise been present. Boys will be boys in other ways.

As an active leader since 2016, the good news is that I can tell you, with the exception of summer camp, these policy changes have had virtually no effect on our troop’s activities. We’re a homeschool-focused all-boy troop led by solid Christian men, and we’re an Eagle-producing machine. We go camping almost every month, we do service projects in our community, and we work on badges routinely. The boys are enthusiastic and learning a ton of great skills that will stick with them for life. That’s why my family has stuck it out.

The bad news is that we’re having the darnedest time recruiting new boys. What once was a vibrant troop and adjoining Cub Scout pack totaling more than 60 boys has dwindled to just seven Boy Scouts. We have no Cub pack at all anymore. Prospective dad after prospective dad says roughly the same thing: The program is excellent, but I want nothing to do with the national organization.

I don’t blame them one bit.

Revenue was a big driver for these decisions, especially as the national organization pays out the wazoo for past crimes. Left-leaning leaders think the best way to increase dues-paying membership is to allow more types of people to join. They foolishly miss or maliciously don’t care that it will drive away others. Indeed, doubling the recruiting pool by adding girls didn’t stop the BSA from losing overall membership.

The real losers are the millions of young men who will miss out entirely on the valuable and manly skills taught through Scouting. Women will lose, too, because, whether they acknowledge it or not, they want men with the values and character Scouts teaches. Put it all together, and “inclusion” suddenly doesn’t feel very inclusive.

Follow Nate Jackson on X/Twitter.

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