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Nancy Koehn On Boston Public Radio | May 8, 2018

Boy Scouts Welcome All Genders In Turbulent Times

Tatum Weir, Ian Weir
In a Thursday, March 1, 2018 photo, Ian Weir, left, smiles as he stands with his twin sister Tatum after a cub scout meeting in Madbury, N.H. Fifteen communities in New Hampshire are part of an "early adopter" program to allow girls to become Cub Scouts and eventually Boy Scouts. The twins already are planning to become the first set of girl-boy siblings to become Eagle Scouts. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/AP
Nancy Koehn On Boston Public Radio | May 8, 2018

Boys will be boys, but the Boy Scouts don’t have to be. The Boy Scouts is changing its name to Scouts BSA in an effort to be more inclusive.

Historian Nancy Koehn joined Jim Braude and guest host Jared Bowen on Boston Public Radio to explore the motive behind the switch — is it a sign of the times, or is it a move in response to funding issues in the Boy Scouts corporation?

“I do think there’s an inclusivity piece here, but I think there are some really rubber-meet-the-road strategic considerations,” Koehn said. “One is about declining membership and increasing costs, including insurance premiums ... the Boy Scouts has struggled with lawsuits around discrimination, sexual conduct on the part of leaders of the Boy Scouts, and I think last but not least, a PR concern.”

The new rules will allow girls to join Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and earn Eagle rankings.

“This decision [was] made on the back of a decision to allow gay young men as boy scouts and then transgender members — both of those recent and long-time coming decisions,” Koehn said. “All of that [came] with again, a backdrop of turbulence.”

Nancy Koehn is the James E. Robison Chair Of Business Administration. Her latest book is Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times. To hear her full interview, click on the audio player above.

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