The Boy Scouts of America, having become something more than an organization for boys and concerned with its image among minority groups, has changed its name to “Scouting/USA.”
For legal purposes the organization will stick with the title it has been known by since its birth 67 years ago, but the new “communicative name” is to be used on literature, billboards, calling cards and for most other purposes in the future, according to the national headquarters in North Brunswick. N.J.
Explaining the change, the national office said in a “Memo to Editors” yesterday that, “The word ‘boy’ is objectionable to minorities, our young adult (male and female) leaders and naturally to the young women enrolled in our coed Exploring program.”
Another point, a spokesman said, is that America refers to the continent rather than the nation. Thus it is believed that the designation “USA” is more precise and brings the American organization in line with the practices of the more than 100 other scouting groups in the world that follow the tradition established by Robert Baden‐Powell, a British Army officer, in England at the turn of the century.
The national headquarters says it believes the new name will eliminate some of the previous confusion about the identity of the organization, which includes three groups: ‘Scouts,” which sometime ago dropped the word “boy” but still limits membership to boys between 11 and 18; the Cub Scouts, for boys from 8 to 11 years of age, and the Explorers, for young men and women up to 21.