New Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training
As the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) welcomes girls into Cub Scouts and older girls into the Scouts BSA program starting on February 1, it is important that families understand the program or organization they are joining.
There have been some instances where our volunteers may have inadvertently used the name or trademarks of the Girl Scout of the USA (GSUSA) brand in spreading the word that girls are or will soon be part of all BSA programs. GSUSA recently have filed a lawsuit asserting that these instances have caused confusion. While we don’t believe there has been any such confusion, we respect and support the GSUSA and their rights to their brand.
To ensure that we promote our programs in a clear and Scout-like manner, we have developed resources to make sure our leaders are aware of the do’s and don’ts in promoting BSA programs.
The Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training we are introducing today is one of the efforts underway to be sure Scouters have a clear understanding of what they can do. This builds on the infographic below, and the guidance provided to councils in April.
Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training
This training should be shared with all staff and volunteers to bring this understanding to all parts of our community.
While our goal is to encourage youth to join our program, we must always be clear in our communications about the program they are joining.
- We are The Boy Scouts of America.
- The Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA are different organizations.
- We support all other youth organizations and do not disparage them.
- We encourage parents to enroll all youth in a character development program that meets their needs – and the BSA is certainly ready to welcome them.
To aid you in this effort, councils and volunteers are encouraged to use these intro talking points as you host info sessions and launch efforts for Scouts BSA.
Additionally, please use this resource to help address any questions you might get in the community about this matter.
Right Way to Refer to Scouts BSA
Source With tens of thousands of girls already enjoying the Cub Scout program and more young women poised to join the Scouts BSA program when it opens in February of 2019, there’s a lot of excitement around the programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America.
In all of that excitement, it’s important to remember that at all levels, from our members and volunteers to our professional staff, we take the brand and trademark rights of all organizations seriously and have worked proactively to differentiate our unique program offerings. That, of course, includes the Scouts BSA program, so when referring to that program in any local council or unit materials — including recruiting fliers, announcements, promotional materials, social media posts, and beyond — be sure to use the details in the below infographic for the right way to go about it.
As has been our tradition at the Boy Scouts of America, we applaud the efforts of all youth-serving organizations and encourage families to participate in character and leadership development programs of their choice. The BSA wants boys and girls to have an opportunity to join one or more of these organizations. While we all use different delivery models, our distinct missions have one thing in common – to serve youth.
Scouts BSA do’s and don’ts
Source Do … reiterate that as our organization welcomes families, boys and girls to our programs, the name of our organization remains the same. We are the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Our mission — preparing young people for life — hasn’t changed and is found in all our programs:
- Cub Scouts
- Boy Scouts (becoming Scouts BSA on Feb. 1, 2019)
- Sea Scouts
- STEM Scouts
- Learning for Life
Do … use only official Boy Scouts of America (BSA) materials, which are located on the BSA Brand Center. We’ve seen some well-intentioned assets developed by Scouters as they prepare to welcome girls that include problematic phrasing like “we’re starting a girl Scouts BSA troop.” Instead, you’re asked to use the downloadable email templates, flyers, postcards, posters, social media images, troop cards, videos, web banners and more available on the BSA Brand Center.
Don’t … use names, programs, marks, logos or images of the GSUSA or combine them with those of the BSA.
Don’t … use the word “girl” in front of “Scout.” Don’t say, for example “girl Scouts BSA troop” or “girl Scouts.” This includes in flyers, conversation, social media, etc.
Do … say things like:
- Join Troop 123 for girls.
- Our church has a boy troop and is forming a girl troop.
- Join the BSA. Find a troop for girls near you at BeAScout.org.
Do … remember that the BSA and GSUSA are separate organizations. The BSA is a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. GSUSA is a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. If those around you say or suggest otherwise, politely correct them!
Don’t … disparage other youth-serving organizations in any way. We want all youth-serving organizations to succeed in their efforts to help make the world a better place.
Do … refer ALL media inquiries (TV, radio, newspapers, online) to the BSA PR team by email at email@example.com.
Do … refer all questions about GSUSA programs to the local GSUSA council or GirlScouts.org.
Do … review the Scouts BSA Brand Guidance Training available on the Family Scouting page under “Scouts BSA Program Resources.” You’ll learn about the best terminology and practices as you prepare to launch Scouts BSA troops in February.
A closing thought
Remember the fifth point of the Scout Law and be Courteous at all times.
The Boy Scouts of America applauds the work of the GSUSA in service to our nation’s youth and is committed to respecting the organization’s rights and programs.
Communication Guidelines Regarding Other Youth-Serving Organizations
Source Do not use the intellectual property of the Girl Scouts of the USA or other organizations. For example, do not use any of the following on any local council or unit materials, including recruiting flyers, announcements, and promotional material, even ones jointly organized or sponsored, regardless of the format or distribution method (e.g., online via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). This specifically includes:
- The trademarks “Girl Scout”, “Girl Scouts” or “Girl Scouts of the USA”
- GSUSA’s trefoil logo, either with solid fill or with profiles
- Insignia or emblems of the Girl Scouts
- Images of Girl Scout uniforms, including photos of people dressed in GSUSA uniforms
- Famous slogans or mottos associated with the Girl Scouts, including famous quotes by the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon-Low
- Other distinctive names and brand elements associated with the Girl Scouts
The BSA has provided approved materials for your use. If you become aware of any materials containing these items, immediately remove and stop their distribution. If you are contacted by GSUSA regarding any inappropriate use of the Girl Scouts brand, please contact the Legal Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-323-0732, x494.
Support the work of all youth-serving organizations. The Girl Scouts and other organizations across the country all have the same goal in mind — helping youth grow into better citizens. All youth-serving organizations depend on the generosity of individuals and businesses across the country — from retailers who permit fundraising on their premises to schools that open their cafeterias for recruiting events.
To that end, we should always be supportive of other youth-serving organizations and their efforts so that we can all be successful in growing youth into better citizens.
We are the Boy Scouts of America. When inaccurate stories appear in the media, we will take the higher ground. We will apologize for and correct mistakes. We will correct significant inaccuracies in a courteous fashion. We applaud the efforts of all who serve youth. We will speak positively and support the efforts of all other youth-serving organizations.
Originally distributed in the Scout Executive Packet- Week of 4/23/18