The Girl Scouts are opening a troop at a gay pride center in Salt Lake City that officials say will welcome transgender youth and children from LGBT families.

At the troop's first meeting Monday, five girls made friendship bracelets and learned the Girl Scouts handshake.

In an era where the Girl Scouts of the USA has struggled with declining membership and recruiting enough adult volunteers, the idea was conceived by a Utah staffer who helps create troops outside the typical scouting mold.

Though the national organization says it isn't the first to openly invite transgender youth, the new group is drawing attention in conservative Utah where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups have long struggled to find acceptance and were only recently given anti-discrimination protections.