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Key Topics

Membership Policies

With approximately 2.5 million youth members, the Boy Scouts of America works to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.

We believe every child deserves the opportunity to be a part of the Scouting experience. Effective January 1, 2014, no youth may be denied membership in the BSA on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone. The new policy allows kids who sincerely want to be a part of Scouting to experience this life-changing program while remaining true to the long-standing virtues of the Boy Scouts of America.

Following the approval of the new policy in May 2013, the BSA reviewed its policies and guidelines to ensure a smooth transition to the new membership policy. After a thorough review with both our professional and volunteer staffs we were able to implement the new policy with no major changes to the delivery of the Scouting program.

While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. We’re pleased that the overwhelming majority of our members, families and chartered organizations remain committed to the Boy Scouts of America. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.