It was Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 6, 2013. The huge hall was overflowing, the convention sold out. Over 1,200 attendees, with many spilling out into the foyer, eagerly awaited the announcement. What would this safe, moral and non-sexualized alternative to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) look like? With a stirring introductory video came the answer: “Trail Life USA” would now endeavor to “be the premier national character development organization for young men, which produces godly and responsible husbands, fathers and citizens.”
The reveal, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of Americans was met with rousing cheers. “Our mission is simple and clear,” came the official mission statement, “to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others and experience outdoor adventure.”
A brief summary from the new scouting-like organization’s website (TrailLifeUSA.com) reads as follows:
“Most guys want exciting outdoor adventure with their friends. We’ve got that! Trips and travel? That, too. Camping. Check. Physical and mental challenge? Yep. And awards? Of course!
“Trail Life USA is a Christian adventure, character and leadership movement for young men. The K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills and allow him to grow on a personal level and as a role model and leader for his peers. Living the Trail Life is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible.”