The Boy Scouts of America made nationwide headlines on Tuesday when they announced a name change to "Scouting America."

The change comes five years after allowing girls into the historic program - and local leaders say the new name reflects that.

"We are wanting to provide this program for all youth in America, hence Scouting America," said Steven Dunn, Executive Director of the Boy Scouts' French Creek Council, which covers Erie and surrounding counties. 

"We kind of felt it was the right thing to do to change the name with having girls and young women in the program. And being Boy Scouts of America, it just seemed like the perfect time to change the name to Scouting America."

Dunn says boy troops and girl troops will remain separate - although a pilot program is in the works to introduce co-ed troops - something his council has expressed interest in.

"For our Cub Scout program, we kind of give the packs the option - they can have a total boy pack, [and a] total girl pack. We also offer a co-ed pack," said Dunn. "For our Scouts BSA, which is the 11 to 18 year olds that earn the Eagle Scout rank, we have girl troops and boy troops."

But many online still criticize the name change - calling it "woke" and "ridiculous." So how does Dunn respond?

"I think it's kind of our responsibility to create a respectful and welcome environment for all youth out there," continued Dunn. "They might find it's not for them, which is fine, but then they might find that they really like it because we're offering them to have adventures in the outdoors and in their communities where they're going to become our new leaders of tomorrow. And what better way to do that then using our program to teach them those quality leadership skills?"

The name change officially goes into effect o February 8th, 2025, the 115th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.