It would leave the decision of allowing gays up to individual charter groups more commonly known as a pack. The change wouldn't be forced onto any of them. It's entirely up to the church, religious group, civic group or neighborhood organization sponsoring the pack.
The Prairielands Council covers about 3,000 scouts and more than 1,000 volunteers in nine counties in Illinois and Indiana. The scout executive there found out about the possible change in a conference call Monday.
He says it's too early to say how the possible change could affect packs in Prairieland. But the idea of the change caught many leaders off guard.
"I think the topic has been discussed quite a bit over the years and there was never an indication that there would be any kind of change. So, yesterday's announcement was kind of a surprise to all of us," said scout executive Tim Manard.
Several gay rights activists and groups have protested the Boy Scouts for years for excluding gays. Some corporations even stopped making donations to the organization because of the policy.
Manard says he'll be in contact with all of the charters in Prairielands as this story develops. The national board meets again next week. That could be the earliest chance for the policy to change.
The Girls Scouts of USA has a different take on diversity in its troops. It released this statement:
Girl Scouts of the USA and its local councils and troops
value diversity and inclusiveness and do not discriminate
or recruit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin, or
physical or developmental disability.