Scouting is a Victim of Corporatism

A scout is Brave. This is why I feel that I must speak out. I care about this program deeply. I am a proud Scouter that works with a curious and hilarious group of Cub Scouts. The change of “Boy Scouts of America” to “Scouting America” could not take place in a worse political climate, and the national leadership is to blame for the ensuing public relations nightmare.

The name is fine. The implications are problematic.

In an Associated Press interview, CEO Roger Krone shows that he has lost the mission of scouting when he says “They [the scouts] can bring their authentic self. They can be who they are.” That is the literal opposite of what scouting is about. I can’t do my “duty to God and my country” by thinking about what is best for myself. I can’t be a reverent scout by ignoring higher ideals, when even the Unitarian Universalists are about a greater thing than themselves. A scout should learn to be a better person, thinking beyond through development and sacrifice. The goal is to reflect on how one fits into society and acts as a leader.

Examining the board and ‘Key 3’ of the national scouting office was an epiphany. Oil and business executives that have bought into the pernicious ESG vision, with firm names that hide what interests they actually represent. You don’t have to be an InfoWars fan to question whether this latest change is in the best interest of our children or “corporate governance” norms. The new leadership even goes so far as to offer segregated affinity groups based on ethnic and LGBTQ association within the national organization ( The hypocrisy of this is not lost on me in light of the program they are forcing down the throats of the scouts. 

YouTuber ScouterStan, a Unit Commissioner in Florida with a large online following, asserted that “politics is not a part of this,” despite being unable to refute the obvious DEI influence on the name change. The “Citizenship in Society” merit badge, added in 2021, is literally an introduction to corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion, as stated in the introductory overview ( The program is rife with busy work that involves no interaction with the society it alleges to help scouts exist in. As someone who has been force-fed corporate HR training, I can confirm that this merit badge is nothing more than typical employee DEI orientation watered-down for teenagers. The badge is entirely centered around feelings, and even requires units to invite someone who had a “significant positive impact in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion” to speak. 

In moments like this I am unbelievably grateful for the decentralized nature of the scouting program. Councils, districts, and units hold the most responsibility for what the scout does when they show up to an event or meeting. Tips are given to help leaders navigate the extensive curriculum, but there are many online resources we rely on that expand upon that base. Indeed, I question how many scouts actually complete the DEI program in the way our corporate overlords envisioned. In my humble opinion, this sort of ‘jury nullification’ should be more widely considered by councils.

Many who have spoken about the reforms of the scouting program have fallen into the populist right side of the debate; but I have not. I think there is a tremendous value in allowing females to join in the fun and embrace the values of scouting. The Venturing program has been highly successful at offering co-ed programming for teenagers, dating back to when I was a youth. The values contained in the Scout Oath and Law are not gender specific; although I do understand the desire of some units to remain gender-specific in order to keep their focus away from intersex relations (a perennial problem with teens).

Look, it’s not our fault that Girl Scouts isn’t as awesome as Boy Scouts, and they want to join us! (I’m kidding, relax.)

In my experience, councils, districts, and units are not a reflection of the nonsense we see at the national level. Scouting America will continue to be the corporate arm of one of the best citizenship and community building programs in the world. I will stay involved to make sure sanity is not lost in my little corner of the program, while hopefully raising the awareness of those who have not fully considered the implications of what this programming means.


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