20 quotes from Scouts and volunteers about the Scouting America name change, plus more positive Scouting news this week

This week, the renaming of the organization from Boy Scouts of America to Scouting America captured national attention. News outlets throughout the country sought the perspectives of local Scouts and volunteers, featuring their reactions in widespread coverage.

Below are 20 inspiring quotes selected from these articles.

“I think it’s a small change, but it has a big impact. Hopefully it will encourage more people to get interested in it and join Scouting. Because it’s a really special experience.”
— Elijah Pajala, a Scout in Eau Claire, Wis., to WEAU 13 News.

“Opening up the Boy Scouts to as many people as possible is the right move. I hope that anybody that wants to be a Scout has the opportunity to be a Scout.”
— James Stanley, a resident of Little Rock, Ark., to Fox16.

“I feel really happy because people won’t say, ‘Well, you can’t do Boy Scouts because you’re a girl.”
— Lauren Harris, a Cub Scout in Atlanta, Ga., to Atlanta News First.

“I think it’s about time. So many girls are going now, it’s important that we feel that we are included. I used to be embarrassed telling people. It’s something I really enjoy, I don’t want to justify it. This is just what I like to do.”
— Emily Green, a 16-year-old Eagle Scout in Cambridge, Mass., to the New York Times.

“Young girls, young boys, there’s nothing about the Scout Oath or Law that is inherently masculine or inherently feminine and applies across the board. Young girls in 2024 like to go camping, they like to go hiking. You know what, I’ve had more moms and women tell me over the last five or six years, I wish I had the opportunity to be in Scouts when I was a kid.”
— Bob Brady, a Scoutmaster in New Jersey, to CNN.

“I’ve got a first grader that’s in Scouting. She is a part of it and loves it. And so, going from Boy Scouts to Scouting in general opens those doors. It allows both boys and girls to be allowed, to a program that is highly successful in creating young men, young women that we need in our community and in the future.”
— Dustin Mortimer, a Cub Scout leader in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Local News 8.

“Scouting America sounds a lot more inclusive of all of the other people that are in Scouting.”
— Lois Alvar, an Eagle Scout and assistant Scoutmaster in the Dallas area, to the Associated Press.

“It’s not, ‘Oh you’re a Boy Scout.’ No, I’m in Scouting America. So I think it’s more inclusive. I think a lot of people will benefit from it and more people will be inclined to join because it’s for everyone.”
— Brianna Brady, an Eagle Scout, to NBC Nightly News Kids Edition.

The change to Scouting America “sounds good to me, sounds right.” Making the organization more accessible to people will “add value to a lot of lives. The lessons of Scouting isn’t built around the name. It’s built around the lessons learned.”
— R.J. Berry, an Eagle Scout and former mayor of Albuquerque, N.M., to the Albuquerque Journal.

“Whenever people ask me if I’m in Boy Scouts, they get really confused because it’s called Boy Scouts, but they let girls in back in 2019. I think this name change will hopefully help because now it won’t be so confusing, and now people are more aware that girls are allowed to be in Boy Scouts.”
— Paige Tobler, an Eagle Scout in Amarillo, Tex., to NewsChannel 10 KFDA.

“I’m glad they did that so it’s more of a general thing than just Boy Scouts of America, because girls are in it too. …Changing it, I think, was a good decision.”
— Eliza Drum, an Eagle Scout from Webster, N.Y., to News10 WHEC.

“This name change is huge. It really reflects our values, that Scouting is a program for all youth. The name change says, ‘Yes, we’re here for everybody.’ The door is open, the welcome mat is out. We want Scouting to be a place of values-based leadership for all youth… the youth of today are our future.”
— Colleen Lewy, a Scoutmaster in Oregon, to KATU 2 ABC.

“It’s something I didn’t ever see myself doing. Of course when you think of Boy Scouts you think of boys. The skills that I have learned in Scouting are skills that I’ll have with me for the rest of my life. The times are changing. You’ll see more girls become Eagle Scouts and more girls who want to just do Scouting. In the end, we all win.”
— Jakayla Armstrong, an Eagle Scout in Alabama, to WEAR News ABC 3.

“When having to tell people, like when they ask you what you do outside of school and having to say, ‘I’m in Boy Scouts, but there’s girls allowed’ has definitely made it hard to explain at some moments.”
— Gillian Brents, a member of Troop 48 in Kingsport, Tenn., to News Channel 11.

“The mission is always the same, just helping young people develop and prepare them for the world. The missions always been the same but now just a different name.”
— Jaden Johnson, an Eagle Scout in Troop 7156 in Alabama, to CBS News19 Huntsville.

“All along, my job has been to serve youth and to help youth be prepared; to get them to be more interested in the outdoors, to be good citizens, and so from that aspect, the name change doesn’t matter at all. We’re still doing the same job for the same people. Scouting America is a great organization for youth, whether they be boys or girls, and it gives them a lot of opportunities.”
— Rick Fuchs, a Scoutmaster in Ohio, to WTOL 11.

“At the end of the day, we need more Scouts. It teaches leadership development, outdoor skills, and self-reliance — all these things that particularly post-COVID we say that youth need to be more engaged and Scouting’s one of the best programs to teach leadership in the country.”
— Pat Boyd, an Eagle Scout and state representative in Connecticut, to NBC Connecticut.

“I think that it’s good for both people, whether female or male, to have the opportunity to learn skills and knowledge based on the Scouting principle. I think that these skills will help everyone in the long run.”
— Ben Bergosh, an Eagle Scout in Florida, to WEAR News ABC 3.

“I believe it’s more inclusive. When I joined, there was obviously a bigger ratio of boys to girls. But as the years have gone on, our girls troop has expanded and they’re almost equal amount of people now.”
— Sydney Lee, a 17-year-old Scout, to CBS News Bay Area.

“It’s nice now that the term is going to be ‘Scouting America.’ It’s nice because I don’t have to explain it. It’s a very good change and I’m excited to see how it changes the perspective of women being part of Scouts. I think a lot of women will feel more welcome into this organization now, just because people will start to associate it now as both genders, it won’t be synonymous with one, which I think is huge.”
— Kaeley Diankoff, a member of Troop 5479 in Vancouver, Wash., to KATU 2 ABC.

Scout achieves life-long dream and earns his Eagle Scout rank

Christopher “Chris” Del Guercio, a 21-year-old from Newport, R.I., recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.

Del Guercio, who has Down syndrome, followed in the footsteps of his father and brother, motivated by their achievements and the challenge of earning Scouting America’s highest rank. His Eagle Scout project involved repairs and enhancements to a gazebo and the surrounding areas at his school.

During his Eagle Scout Court of Honor, Del Guercio was also presented with a key to the city by the mayor of Newport. In the news article, Del Guercio said he hopes his journey will inspire others.

Read more about this story on the 10 WJAR website.

Eagle Scout Selby Chipman gives keynote at National Annual Meeting

One of the first female Eagle Scouts in North Carolina gave the keynote address during Scouting America’s National Annual Meeting this week in Florida.

Selby Chipman, who is currently a biomedical engineering major at the University of Missouri, told the Greensboro News and Record that she planned to share her experiences “including living for a month in a tent in the middle of the Swiss Alps while leading a troop of displaced Ukrainian Scouts after Russia invaded their country.”

A member of the inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts, Chipman added, “I think we showed a lot of resilience, grit as a group. We didn’t have women Eagle Scouts to look up to and we wanted to be that for other girls.”

Read more about this story on the Greensboro News and Record website. Chipman was also featured in a recent article on Aaron on Scouting.