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COLUMBIA - The leader of the central Missouri Boy Scout organization said Friday he hopes the organization can refocus on its mission following a vote to allow gay scouts. The organization's national council voted Thursday to change its policy on gay members. In a vote of 757 to 475, 61 percent of the council voted to lift the ban during BSA's annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas.

Scout Executive Doug Callahan runs the Great Rivers Council, which services 33 counties and is headquartered in Columbia. Callahan attended the national council meeting in Texas and said the national vote closely resembled the Great Rivers Council vote.

"We might lose some members because of this, but we hope we'll also gain some new members," Callahan said in a phone interview with KOMU 8 News. "Hopefully, we can put our differences aside and focus on our mission."

Callahan said everyone at the national meeting agreed that boys are better off with scouting in their lives.