The Girl Scouts Are Now Suing The Boy Scouts — And In The Name Of Cookies, Can’t We All Just Get Along?

girl scouts

Two well-known scouting titans may soon end up clashing in court. The Girl Scouts have brought a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts, accusing the group of trademark infringement. In the name of childhood innocence, can’t we all just get along?

According to NPR, Girl Scouts of the USA decided to sue the Boy Scouts of America after the Boy Scouts decided to begin letting girls join their troops in October 2017.

Shortly after this decision was announced, Girl Scouts National President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan released a searing statement via BuzzFeed News, outlining her upset.

“For more than 100 years, our organizations have worked in a respectful and complimentary manner, and we have been mutually supportive of one another’s mission to serve America’s youth,” Hannan wrote. “It is therefore unsettling that [Boy Scouts of America] would seek to upend a paradigm that has served both boys and girls so well through the years by moving forward with a plan that would result in fundamentally undercutting Girl Scouts of the USA.”

The Boy Scouts reportedly never meant to “undercut” the Girl Scouts. They simply responded to families’ requests for inclusion and want for a scouting program that could offer activities to all their children.

The Girl Scouts’ suit, filed on November 6th in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, claims that allowing girls to join the Boy Scouts has caused massive confusion. Parents are supposedly under the impression that the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have merged under one name, however this is incorrect.

Furthermore, the Girl Scouts say the Boy Scouts’ use of specific trademarks, like the word “Scouts,” is “both new and uniquely damaging” to their organization.

“Such misconduct will not only cause confusion among the public, damage the goodwill of GSUSA’s GIRL SCOUTS trademarks, and erode its core brand identity, but it will also marginalize the GIRL SCOUTS Movement by causing the public to believe that GSUSA’s extraordinarily successful services are not true or official ‘Scouting’ programs, but niche services with limited utility and appeal,” the complaint reads per NPR.

Both Boy and Girl Scouts memberships have been on the decline in recent years, despite offering a series of new programs. Some Boy Scout troops still do not allow girls to join, and other troops have designated all-boy and all-girl dens.

The Girl Scouts have asked for a juried trial. We certainly hope the tension won’t trickle down into those delicious Girl Scout cookies.

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