National membership in Boy Scouts of America declines, but Utah councils are growing

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SALT LAKE CITY – National membership in the Boy Scouts of America has decreased in the last year, but in Utah all three scout councils have seen modest growth.

Officials with the Boy Scouts of America announced this week that it lost 6 percent of the organization’s membership in 2013, which is the same year the scouts announced they would accept openly gay scouts into the program.

Openly gay scouts were welcomed in to the program beginning January 1, 2014.

Rick Barnes is with the Boy Scouts of America  in Utah, and he told FOX 13 News the BSA in Utah have been aware of the national decline, but he said all three councils in Utah have grown.

He said the Utah National Parks Council, headquarters in Orem, saw an increase of 3.5 percent; the Trapper Trails Council, headquarters in Ogden, an increase of 2.5 percent; and the Great Salt Lake Council, headquarters in Salt Lake City, saw an increase of 1.4 percent.

Barnes told FOX 13 News this is the 12th continuous year scout membership has increased in Utah, and he said the growth in Utah was higher than normal in 2013.

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