BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
BSA Position Statement on Transgender Youth
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical
and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath
and Scout Law. Recognizing the established and well-known benefits of a single-gender
program, the Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs are only available to boys.
Until recently, the BSA, along with schools, youth sports, and many other youth-serving
organizations, ultimately deferred to the information on an individual’s birth certificate
to determine gender, and thus eligibility for Cub Scouting and Boy Scouting. In recent
years the concept of gender identity has become much more complex than the binary
choices of male and female and simply referring to a birth certificate. Communities and
state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from
state to state.
As such, the Boy Scouts of America will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy
Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application. Given that
the welfare and best interests of each child is the top priority in Scouting, our
organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of
When considering Scouting for a transgender youth, the youth’s parents must have an
initial discussion with the council and unit to determine:
? Is the child living culturally as a boy?
? Is the child recognized by his family as a boy?
? Is the child recognized by his school and/or community as a boy?
Living culturally as a boy generally includes dressing as a boy, using a culturally
accepted male name or nickname, parents/caregivers using male pronouns when
referring to the child, and being considered “a boy” in his daily-life. It is important that
the Scouting community respectfully use the name and preferred pronouns (most likely
male) when referring to the child. If the child is not living culturally as a boy, then the
youth will not be eligible to register in these programs.
While discussing preferences directly with a transgender youth and the
family is the best approach, helpful information is available to help ensure
that we treat all Scouts with dignity and respect.
? Using Respectful Language (link on BSA web-site after 2/6/17)
? How Can Camps Support Transgender Youth – www.acacamps.org