At Trail Life, Outdoor Experiences Cultivate Leadership Skills, Character Building, and Stronger Relationships
As boys across America head back to school, many are reflecting fondly on their summer adventures. Many went on vacations, family trips, or had summer jobs. But for some, the summer was full of character-building adventures, cross-country treks, and good old-fashioned outdoor fun.
Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com) is the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country. Focused on building leadership skills, creating meaningful connections, and fostering deep relationships with Christ, Trail Life is growing boys into men through outdoor adventure. As they are led by strong male role models, boys are learning biblical principles that have endured the test of time.
To get an idea of some of the impressive adventures Trail Life Troops experience, one need only look to the several Troops who spent time in Alaska this summer. Troop CA-0210 spent 10 nights in Kodiak, Alaska serving the Kodiak Baptist Mission on Woody Island. The Troop set a new trail, built a bridge, improved the camp with a bench and a picnic table, and assisted with other projects as part of their Mission Trip Summer Adventure. Along the way, they also experienced horseback riding, riflery, fishing, and blacksmithing. Boys created knives, practiced shelter building, and applied their survival skills as they lived in the backcountry of Alaska.
Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock stated, “Boys are designed to embrace challenge, to rise to the occasion, and to overcome. Their God-given drive is to get out in creation, to get wet, to get their hands dirty, to climb the tallest tree, to take the next hill. Away from daily duties and digital distractions, boys develop character, practice leadership, and experience the adventure every boy craves.”
Boys and mentors from Troop KS-0007 also had life-changing adventures in Alaska this summer, including jumping into a 200-foot deep glacier pool, hiking across a glacier, and rafting through deep wilderness on the Kennicott River. The eight-day trip helped forge deep relationships between the boys in the Troop as well as the among the Troop leaders, and the Troop is already looking forward to their next trip to Alaska.
In another Troop, AK-1001, leaders created the “Trailman Games.” Designed to test the Troop’s skills in the wilderness, the games engaged problem solving abilities, Biblical knowledge, teamwork, physical fitness, and other backcountry skills learned in Trail Life. After the games, Troop AK-1001 had the distinct honor of naming a hill on Kodiak Island that the boys conquered over the summer. After careful consideration, the Troop named the hill “Trailman Hill” in honor of the recent “Trailman Games.”
Experiences like these are what boys need to become godly men—activities that bolster a boys’ confidence, leadership skills, and relationship with Christ and others. “Trail Life USA supplies the place, the programs, and the outdoor adventures to connect boys to other boys, to adult mentors, and to their God-given purpose to become godly men,” said Hancock. “This is our moment to show the kind of positive, meaningful impact that Trail Life Troops can make in boys’ lives, and to inspire them to strengthen and maintain those friendships with fellow Troop members and mentors into their adult years.”