Thank you to Troops across the country who partnered with Operation Christmas Child to spread good news of great joy that will change the lives of thousands of children around the world. This year 123 Troops signed up OCC Coordinators to lead shoebox efforts and reported packing more than 8,700 boxes!
On Saturday, Oct. 13, Josiah Meier, son of Thomas and Lori Meier, of Osage, Iowa, was awarded Trail Life USA’s highest honor – the Freedom Award – at a ceremony held at the Cedar Springs Camp and Retreat Center. Founded in 2013, Trail Life USA is a Christ-Centered, Boy-Focused ministry that emphasizes service, develops leadership, and grows character through outdoor adventure.
Trail Life is a Christ-centered, boy-focused character leadership adventure organization for boys and young men. It is “unapologetically Christian,” and tells the boys that the Bible is their compass that gives them their “true north.”
Ten-year-old Christopher Korfmann of Wilson is pictured in the photo above at center of the front row wearing a hard hat and holding a clipboard. Last month, this young man was featured in Wilson Times after leading a team of ten youth and seven adults in a service project to fulfill a portion of the requirements to earn the highest award in the Trail Life USA Woodland Trails program – the Timberline Award.
My son could easily earn an “ADHD” diagnosis if we sought one. But we will not seek one because the boy is not sick. He is not disordered. The boy is a boy. More of a handful than some boys, less of a handful than others. He has his own personality, and I cannot imagine treating it like the manifestation of a mental disease.
As a legal fight between America’s two long-time scouting organizations ensues, Trail Life USA is experiencing historic growth. “In the eight days following the announcement of the lawsuit we saw a 79 percent increase in inquiries into starting a troop and a 35 percent increase in traffic to our website, as compared to the eight days before the announcement,” explained Trail Life CEO, Mark Hancock.
Phil and Cheryl Smith have been involved with Trail Life USA since the Nashville Convention in 2014. Soon after the convention, Phil began talking with his church about starting a Trail Life ministry. The Troop was started with just a few boys who signed at a table in the church atrium. Since then the Troop has grown to 50 boys and 17 leaders and added a men’s backpacking ministry that partners with the Trail Life Troop to equip and train boys
I’m sitting across the dining room table from a 10-year-old Trailman asking routine questions as I wrap up our Troop’s Timberline Boards of Review for the year. I just asked a simple question and got a profound answer. I’m not sure I can process what I just heard coming from this 5th grader because in so many ways it’s more encouraging and insightful than what I hear from grown, godly men.