Many are aware that recent changes by the Boy Scouts of America have now allowed the participation of openly gay leaders. They have allowed gay youth in their organization since 2013. What you may not know is Trial Life USA offers an alternative to participation in the boy scouts. Trail Life USA is a Christian adventure, character and leadership program that emphasizes and teaches biblical moral values. This program is unapologetically Christian.
Trial Life USA was founded in 2013 in reaction to the changes in the membership policy of the Boy Scouts of America. All charters of Trial Life USA must pledge to follow a statement of faith. The organization states that non-Christians and those who affirm homosexuality are not eligible to lead or charter in the group. Adults in Trail Life USA must sign a statement of faith and make a commitment to purity. That means scouts are taught that any sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin.
Trail Life USA’s motto is “walk worthy.”
Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:10
After its first full year of operation, Trial Life USA has 524 troops in 48 states and just under 20,000 members. Another 300 troops are in the process of becoming officially chartered.
Trial Life USA is focused on turning boys into godly men. They believe this can only be done by other Christian men. Trial Life USA is more concerned with building character than with earning badges and ranks, however, they do have a ranking and awards structure, but this is not their main focus. Leadership with a servant’s attitude by both adults and youth is a core value of this program. Servant leadership is characterized by humility and a willingness to work alongside others.
Trail life USA will allow any boy of any faith into their program. They even allow a boy that has a same-sex attraction or gender issues. Their goal is to influence boys to know God and to serve Him.
There is also an alternative to the girl scouts called American Heritage Girls. This program was founded in 1995 and was formed by parents as a Christian alterative to girl scouts after allowing the substitution for another word for “God” and the banning of prayer at meetings. American Heritage Girls had a working relationship with Boy Scouts of America, but dissolved its relationship in reaction to their policy on gay youth. The American Heritage Girls now is in partnership with Trail Life USA.
What are your thoughts on having a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts? Is this encouraging to you? Why or why not?