Hacker Scouts and the BSA

Dear Hacker Scouts Family,

For the past several months we have been dealing with an issue that we now feel is at a point where it is important to let you know what is going on. A few months ago, we received a Cease and Desist letter from the Boy Scouts of America when we tried to trademark our name. Through various letters, we have tried to quietly come to a compromise, but the BSA position is clear: change our name or they will take us to court.

This is a difficult situation for us. We believe in our name and our right to use the word "scouts". The BSA's main argument is that they have a constitutional charter that they interpret to mean they have the right to use and trademark any word they choose. We disagree. We believe the charter itself may be unconstitutional, and that "scouts" is a world-wide connotation for a youth organization that existed before them and will exist long after them. We have also tried to be very clear in our message that we are not affiliated with the Boy Scouts nor are we trying to replace them. We do not offer the same experience, nor do we have a similar model as they do. We did not base our organization on them. 

Our board will be making a decision soon, based on advice from our lawyers and our own sense of duty. Our primary responsibility is to act in service of our mission and the kids we serve. We have been thinking a lot about our core values and what path models those values to the community we care so deeply about; moving on when it is necessary or standing up for what is right. Thinking about this situation in that context has been powerful and meaningful for us.

We will let you know soon what the decision is, and how you can help. Thank you for your support and understanding.

The Hacker Scouts Staff, Board, Leaders, and Mentors.