A look back at the ever-changing American institution.
Published May 3, 2018
Published 3 months ago
For the last 108 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been preparing young lads for life, but starting next year, that mission will be extended to include young ladies. On Wednesday, the organization (which started admitting girls in 2017), announced that it will officially drop the word “Boy” from its name, becoming, simply, the Scouts BSA. The decision is the latest shake-up of an organization with a long history of change – from the desegregation of troops in the 60s and 70s to the admittance of openly gay members in 2013.
Here, a look back at the historic American institution's evolution through the years:
Paul Thompson/FPG/Getty ImagesPledge of HonorAn early Boy Scout initiation ceremony in 1910 – the same year the organization was founded.
FPG/Getty ImagesDuty to God and CountryA group of New York City scouts promote the sale of Liberty Bonds in 1918.Underwood Archives/Getty ImagesBe PreparedScouts "camp out" in the store window of Abercrombie & Fitch in New York City as part of their recruitment drive in 1923.Buyenlarge/Getty ImagesCitizenship in the NationSaluting scouts play their part in the war effort by delivering posters to the U.S. Capitol in 1941.
AFP/AFP/Getty ImagesCitizenship in the WorldYoung scouts from around the world greet each other in Paris, before heading to the seventh annual World Scout Jamboree in Austria in 1951.Historical/Corbis via Getty ImagesBoys' LifeThough the first black troop was formed in 1911, just a year after the organization's founding, it took decades for local troops to ease their rules on segregation. Pictured, Troop 446 of Chicago holds a meeting at the Ida B. Wells public housing project in 1942.Meyer Liebowitz/Getty ImagesBaseball ScoutBaseball legend Jackie Robinson shakes hands with a group of star-struck Boy Scouts at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City circa 1953.
University of Southern California/Corbis via Getty ImagesExplorationJapanese-American scouts from Pasadena, California take part in a map making project in 1958.Bettmann/Bettmann ArchiveBrotherhoodJohn F. Kennedy, the first U.S. President to have been a Boy Scout, gives the Scout Oath with New York City's first Eagle Scout of 1958, 13-year-old Terrence Dunne.Ted Thai/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty ImagesOfficial Uniform, RedesignedIn 1978, Oscar de la Renta was tasked with redesigning the official Boy Scouts uniform. Pictured in 1980, the late designer and Jerry Hall pose with a group of scouts wearing the iconic olive and tan uniforms that are still used today.
Leif Skoogfors/Getty ImagesAll Together, NowTroop 222 of Philadelphia, whose members include a number of child refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia, pose for a photo in 1983.Davidoff Studios Photography/Getty ImagesChief TrumpDonald Trump talks with a group of Boy Scouts on a tour of the Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida circa 1999.Kathryn Scott Osler/Denver Post via Getty ImagesFriend to EveryoneIn 2010, the Boy Scouts launched a campaign to recruit more Hispanic kids to the organization. Pictured, Sergio Ruelas from Denver, Colorado shows off his badges while his younger brother Carlos looks on.
EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty ImagesChanging TideIn 2013, the Boy Scouts ended a longtime ban on openly gay members. In 2015, the ban was lifted for troop leaders, and in 2017, they extended their membership to transgender scouts.George Frey/Getty ImagesScouts BSA