Trail Life USA: A new option for boys, parentsSeptember/October 2018
“. . . that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God . . .”
In the midst of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) shifting image and decline in membership, Trail Life USA has emerged with the vision of being the premiere national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.
While the Boy Scouts’ membership declined nearly 18 percent between 2012 and 2016, Trail Life USA held an initial organizational meeting in Louisville, launched, and has grown to almost 30,000 members and over 750 Troops across the nation.
When The Blaze asked Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA, about the Boy Scouts of America in 2015, he stated, “I suppose one could conclude that our growth, though small in comparison to the huge numbers of BSA members, is significant when placed alongside their loss of membership in the same year. You can’t blame their loss on boys losing an interest in the outdoors or parents being interested in pursuing excellence for their sons, because we are growing on those emphases.”
Hancock went on to explain, “There are many differences in our programs, but the most significant is our commitment to traditional conservative values while they appear to be abandoning theirs. Maybe there is a message there. It’s entirely possible that it wasn’t outdoor adventure that was causing the [Boy Scouts’] decades-long decline, it was their departure from the values that had made them exceptional.”
While the Trail Life USA program is undergirded by Biblical values and unapologetically reflects a Christian worldview, there is also a clearly defined inclusion policy for youth. Accordingly, all boys are welcome irrespective of religion, race, national origin or socio-economic status. The stated goal is for parents and families of every faith to be able to place their boys in a youth program that endeavors to provide moral consistency and ethical integrity in its adult leaders. “Many parents are concerned that their children are raised according to time-honored truths and needs. I can assure that we have no intention of following the lead of the Boy Scouts of America,” Hancock told WTVM News in October 2017. “We will continue to offer a place where the wildness and the natural tendencies of boys can be encouraged and shaped, for their good and for the good of society.”
Trail Life USA is adamant that being a male is not some sort of social disease that needs to be eradicated. In fact, they claim the need for boy-specific activities and mentoring that provides challenge and reward has never been greater. They believe that, properly channeled and intentionally challenged, the drive and daring of healthy boys is exactly what’s responsible for much of what is right with society when these boys become determined, focused, and winning men.
This commitment to letting boys be boys and traditional conservative values has earned the praise of Franklin Graham (CEO of Samaritan’s Purse), Ronnie Floyd (Former Southern Baptist Convention President), Todd Starnes (Radio and Television Commentator and Author), Dr. James Dobson (Psychologist & Author, Founder of Focus on the Family).
For more information or to find a Troop, visit www.TrailLifeUSA.com
Worthy of Honor
“When so many are falling by the wayside, I thank God Trail Life USA is committed to training up the next generation.” – Ronnie Floyd, Former SBC President
“Trail Life USA is a great Christian organization that helps develop character and leadership in boys and young men.” – Franklin Graham, CEO Samaritan’s Purse
“Trail Life USA is a great outdoor adventure program for boys and young men.” – Dr. James Dobson, Psychologist & Author, Founder of Focus on the Family
“Trail Life USA is one of the most important organizations in modern American history. An organization that teaches young boys how to Walk Worthy.” – Todd Starnes, Radio and Television Commentator and Author
The Boy Scouts of America created the need
Allowed Gay Scouts in 2013
Allowed Gay Adult Leaders in 2015
Allowed Transgender Scouts in 2017
Announced in 2017 that girls will be allowed In the organization in 2018
Announced in 2018 that their name is hanging to “Scouts BSA “in 2019