Boy Scouts Changes to Scouting America–What’s the Lesson for AiG?

by Ken Ham on May 13, 2024
Featured in Ken Ham Blog

Boys and girls are not the same. There are only two genders of humans, male and female. These are statements that would not have been even slightly controversial 114 years ago when the Boy Scouts of America was formed. Such statements are considered by many today to be offensive and intolerant. But they are true!

It was recently announced that the Boy Scouts of America is changing its name next year to Scouting America in a move to “be more welcoming of the entire scouting community.” Reports said they want to be more inclusive—and we know what that means in today’s culture. This new name reflects changes within the struggling organization over the past few years, including the inclusion of children who identify as transgender (girls) and (all other) girls into the program.

Many coed organizations exist across the US, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but what made the Boy Scouts unique was that it was just for boys. The idea was that boys could be boys together, with strong male leadership to look up to and learn from. But with declining membership and many tragic instances of sexual abuse marring their reputation, it appears the Boy Scouts started looking for ways to boost their numbers and thought including girls in the program was the way to go. In doing so, they’ve lost their distinctiveness and changed what the program will be able to accomplish—because boys and girls are not the same, they’ve been designed differently (and that’s a good thing!).

I don’t think that the Boy Scouts was declining in membership because they weren’t “inclusive” enough. Rather, it seems the decline was because the organization was becoming less Christian and more secular so many churches and families chose not to participate. The problem wasn’t that girls weren’t allowed (many parents still want a program that’s specifically for boys and led by strong male leadership, such as Trail Life USA, which is a fantastic organization)—it was that the organization had drifted from what it was founded for and the biblical/Christian principles it was founded on (even if it wasn’t necessarily explicitly Christian).

This change of mission and principles—what we call “mission drift”—at the Boy Scouts should be a warning to all Christian organizations.

This change of mission and principles—what we call “mission drift”—at the Boy Scouts should be a warning to all Christian organizations. As time passes, and new leadership takes the place of previous leadership, the mission of an organization can slowly change, and what made that organization distinctive can quickly be lost. Organizations need to be on guard against this (and donors must be paying attention to make sure their generous gifts are going to what they believe they are going to!). Here at Answers in Genesis, we’ve taken various purposeful steps to ensure, to the best of our ability, such drift doesn’t happen. Other organizations, and even churches, should do the same.

Here are three things, among others, we’ve done at AiG to ensure mission drift doesn’t happen:

  • We have a very robust statement of faith all staff must sign on an annual basis. Our statement of faith is very detailed (while still being nondenominational)—and that’s on purpose. Many churches and organizations have a limited statement of faith that only covers a few essentials. This allows a wide degree of variance on very important issues, often allowing dangerously unbiblical ideas to creep in that will change the course of the organization. A robust statement of faith, and requiring all staff to sign every year, helps prevent this.
  • We have an editorial review board that reviews all our content. Not only does our ERB review for biblical and scientific accuracy, but they also review our content to make sure it stays on message and is distinctive to our mission. This ensures we aren’t just producing content for content’s sake—everything supports our mission and purpose and what makes us unique.
  • We also have an oversight council made up of individuals from across the ministry who meet together to ensure the ministry as a whole is maintaining our unique identity, mission, and purpose. It’s just another layer of protection from mission drift.

The change at the Boy Scouts should stand as a warning to us—don’t allow your mission to drift. Be on guard and wisely put safeguards in place to (Lord willing) ensure that your organization or church doesn’t lose what made it distinctive and effective in the first place.

Let me recommend to you a wonderful organization for boys—Trail Life USA. Since the Boy Scouts announced their name change to be more “inclusive,” Trail Life USA has been inundated with requests to start troops or to find out about a troop to send their boys to. For more information:

Get More Answers on Answers News

This item was discussed today on Answers News with cohosts Dr. Georgia Purdom, Dr. Gabriela Haynes, and Kevin Hadsall. Answers News is our weekly news program filmed live before a studio audience here at the Creation Museum, broadcast on our Answers in Genesis YouTube channel, and posted to Answers TV. We also covered the following topics:

  • Orangutan makes an herbal remedy.
  • Archaeologists date Jerusalem.
  • TN law requires public schools to teach fetal development.
  • And more!

Watch the entire episode of Answers News for May 13, 2024.

Be sure to join us each Monday at 2 p.m. (ET) on YouTube or later that day on Answers TV for Answers News. You won’t want to miss this unique news program that gives science and culture news from a distinctly biblical and Christian perspective.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

Most Recent News

Ken Ham’s Daily Email

Email me with Ken’s daily email:

Privacy Policy

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA, and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390