Girl Scouts accuse Boy Scouts of poaching new recruits

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“Scouts honor” is out the window.

Lawyers for the Girl Scouts claim the Boy Scouts of America have been stealing potential members over the past two years — while engaging in a “highly damaging” recruitment war, according to papers filed in Manhattan federal court.

The bad blood between the organizations started when the Cub Scouts announced it would accept girls beginning in 2018. It intensified last year when the Boy Scouts also began welcoming girls into their program, causing the Girl Scouts to sue the organization over its move to rebrand as the gender-neutral Scouts BSA.

Last month, lawyers for Scouts BSA asked a judge to dismiss the trademark infringement lawsuit, calling it “utterly meritless.”

But in papers filed Thursday, the Girl Scouts doubled down on the accusation that the BSA has been intentionally poaching its member pool.

The Girl Scouts said BSA’s marketing of new services for girls using the terms “scout, scouts, scouting, scouts BSA and scout me in” proved “extraordinary and highly damaging to Girl Scouts” and had set off an “explosion of confusion”.

“As a result of Boy Scouts’ infringement, parents have mistakenly enrolled their daughters in Boy Scouts thinking it was Girl Scouts,” attorneys wrote, adding that this never happened before Scouts BSA moved to include girls.

As proof of “rampant instances of confusion and mistaken instances of association between Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,” the organization provided documents of registration fees being returned to confused parents of girls from less than a tenth of local Scout councils.

The legal papers allege that Scouts BSA blamed dozens of accusations of unfair marketing on isolated incidents.

“According to Boy Scouts, blame for the rampant marketplace confusion lies at everyone’s feet but its own,” they wrote

In a statement, the Boy Scouts accused its counterparts of launching a “ground war.”

“To imply that confusion is a prevailing reason for their choice is not only inaccurate – with no legally admissible instance of this offered to date in the case – but it is also dismissive of the decisions of more than 120,000 girls and young women who have joined Cub Scouts or Scouts BSA since the programs became available to them.” the Boy Scouts wrote.

The Boy Scouts has seen its membership sharply decline in recent years amid massive sex abuse allegations and youth sports participation. It currently has 2.2 million members, about a third as many scouts as at the organization’s height in 1972, according to PBS.

Membership in the Girl Scouts has fallen to 1.7 million, from a high of 3.8 million in 2003.

With Post wires

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