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Mormons to withdraw up to 180,000 teens from Boy Scouts

The church covers the cost of troops for congregations, or wards, and kids are highly encouraged to participate.
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The Mormon church will withdraw older teenagers from the Boy Scouts of American starting next year, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The religious organization said in a statement on Thursday that the extractions from the program are because they are developing their own youth program.

The impact on the Scouts could mean an estimated 130,000 to 180,000 program loss of teenagers aged 14 to 18-years-old.  

Younger Mormon Scouts  will still be allowed to remain active in the program. 

Reports say the decision was not based on a 2015 decision to allow gay men to become troop leaders since each affiliation was allowed to make those decisions on their own,

About 2.3 million children will remain enrolled in the Boy Scouts even after the exodus of the Mormon youths.

However the partnership between the Latter Day Saints and the Scouts has been a close one for over a century.

The church covers the cost of troops for congregations, also known as wards, and kids are highly encouraged to participate.

Effie Delimarkos, a spokesperson for the Boy Scouts of America said they are saddened by the church's decision but they understand why.

About 280,000 Mormon boys, ages 8-13 will still be allowed to take part in the Scouts program. .

Originally the conservative church was concerned about the decision to allow gay men as troop leaders, but still supported the organization because each troop was allowed to select members based on their religious beliefs.

The new Mormon program will concentrate on “spiritual, social, physical and intellectual" goals for the teenagers, the church said.

They have not released a date or timeframe as to when this new program will officially get under way.

Mormon children working toward Eagle Scout can continue can still attain that goal.