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The Boy Scouts recently made headlines when they announced they would soon be allowing girls to join and achieve the coveted Eagle Scout status. They even announced they would be changing the organization's name from Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to Scouts BSA.
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“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children,” Michael Surbaugh, the chief executive, said.
Now just a week later, one partner is speaking out.
Just one week after the announcement of the change, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to cut all ties to the organization.
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“We have jointly determined that, effective on December 31, 2019, the Church will conclude its relationship as a chartered organization with all Scouting programs around the world,” its statement said.
“While the Church will no longer be a chartered partner of BSA or sponsor Scouting units after December 31, 2019, it continues to support the goals and values reflected in the Scout Oath and Scout Law and expresses its profound desire for Scouting's continuing and growing success in the years ahead,” it concluded.
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The Associated Press reports the church will instead be placing 425,000 boys into a gospel-focused youth program. According to PBS, the Boy Scouts have a total of 2.3 million participants, which means losing the partnership with the church will result in a loss of nearly 20 percent.
Following the Boy Scouts' decision, Lisa Margosian, the chief customer officer for the Girl Scouts, said:
We're disappointed in the way the BSA handled this. We've enjoyed a strong relationship and partnership with them over the years and we're disappointed that the BSA didn't discuss this with us to say “we're having trouble with our membership.”