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Our commitment to our values as we make Scouting accessible to families

National key 3

This is an exciting and important time for the BSA. Our recent historic decision to serve families by inviting girls to Cub Scouts and delivering a program that will enable them to earn the rank of Eagle Scout sustains our mission of preparing more young people to live the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

We have expanded our scope, but our mission and Scouting’s time-tested, proven programs remain unchanged.

We believe this nation needs and deserves more youth focused on the foundations that still serve as bedrock of our movement — duty to God and country with a desire to help other people at all times. 

We know this decision has sparked conversation and debate, but we want to be very clear that we remain committed to serving boys and young men as we invite girls and young women to benefit from our iconic programs by experiencing the same opportunities to develop leadership, face the same character-building challenges, and have the same fun adventures.

The Boy Scouts of America, in name and as an organization, has stood for character development and values-based leadership training for more than 107 years. It is, unequivocally, one of the most recognized, respected and valuable brands on the planet. Therefore, while we have expanded the reach of our programs among today’s youth and their families, our name remains the same, and our brand will continue to be a source of pride that we will protect and foster as we look to extend the reach of our promise to more families.

While our curriculum is relevant both to boys and girls, our commitment to single-gender offerings remains the same. Our decision does not make our programs co-ed. We acknowledge and celebrate that boys and girls develop differently, and there are times that single-gender learning is most appropriate. We will maintain the experience boys have had in our organization while at the same time expanding our time-tested programs to girls and young women. In fact, we have outlined a structure that would enable us to continue providing single-gender environments — dens within Cub Scout packs and a single-gender Scouting program for older girls within a broader structure that will allow us to serve the whole family.

By expanding the program to more youth, we ensure that families of the present and the future will have an even stronger connection to the values we hold dear.

As we move forward implementing these programs, we keep foremost in our minds that this decision was driven by the many members of our Scouting family, people who live the Scout Oath and Scout Law every day. Together, we understand and believe in the BSA’s mission, and we want what is best for all young people — to experience everything that Scouting has to offer, and to be Prepared. For Life.

Thank you for joining us in sharing this message throughout our communities and this great country.

Sincerely,

Randall Stephenson
National President
Charles Dahlquist
National Commissioner
Mike Surbaugh
Chief Scout Executive

 

The Heart of Virginia Council encourages you to watch the following two videos to help better understand this decision.  The first video is 30 minutes in length and features the National Commissioner, Charles Dahlquist, introducing excerpts from Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh’s presentation from the May 2017 National Annual Meeting of the Boy Scouts of America in which he shares the rationale for a national discussion about how the BSA can serve girls.  The second video is a 40 minute presentation by Surbaugh on October 12, 2017 to employees at the BSA national service center in Irving, Texas, explaining that rationale and timing for the October 11th decision.

https://vimeo.com/222907705             Password: 1910BSA!
https://livestream.com/bsa/nationalcouncil/videos/164161163?t=1508003231962

Director of Field Service/COO for the Heart of Virginia Council, Richmond, VA. Previous positions include Director of Support Services, Finance Director, District Director, Senior District Executive and District Executive.