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Boy Scouts’ gay-friendly policies draw mixed responses (reporting from Piedmont, Okla.): Some Churches of Christ maintain ties with BSA, while others align with a new national scouting organization. 

PIEDMONT, Okla. — Ken Richter loved the Boy Scout life.

Starting as a 7-year-old Cub Scout, Richter embraced the outdoor adventure, the leadership training and the character development.

“I loved to go camping and canoeing, and I made a lot of friends,” said Richter, now 46 and minister for the Soldier Creek Church of Christ in this suburb of 6,500, about 25 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

Later, his son, Caleb Richter, now a student at Oklahoma Christian University, advanced through Boy Scouts and earned an Eagle Scout award. Throughout his son’s time in Scouting, Ken Richter served in adult leadership roles.

But now, the preacher oversees Troop 24:7 of Trail Life USA.

That alternative national organization formed in 2013 after the Boy Scouts of America changed its youth membership policy to state that no youth may be denied membership based on sexual orientation.

This story appears in the October 2015 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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