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.
This unassuming, rather quiet 5th grade boy, isn’t the usual high achiever, go-getter we see earning so many of our top awards and ranks, and yet he’s earned it. He’s done all the work of the Woodlands Trail, plus four rather challenging and time-consuming extra tasks that focus on growing faith, service in the community, and learning about heroes of the Bible like Timothy and Peter. I asked him, “of these extra four tasks, which one do you think makes you a better Trailman overall, or maybe makes you more prepared to enter the Navigator program?” The young man looked at me, writhed his fingers a little bit, pressed them against the edge of the table, and said, “I think the Worthy Life was the best part of what I had to do, and I think it was the hardest because it took a lot of time to do all the lessons. But it was my favorite because I think it just helped me to walk closer to God.” He said, “we should advertise the Worthy Life to more people because it will help more people to walk closer to God.”
That’s exactly what Trail Life does best, but especially Worthy Life. From the son’s perspective, we create opportunities to be with other boys, to be one on one with his dad, and provide an opportunity for personal growth. On the flip side, dads love Worthy Life because someone has provided the platform to walk shoulder to shoulder with other godly men to raise their sons together, and the content to engage one-on-one with his own son about some of the most important things he could ever impart as a father. Many dads tell me it’s eye-opening to do Worthy Life because they continue to be amazed at what their boys can do, how deeply they can think and understand, and the level at which they can rise to exceed our expectations.
Taking Advantage of Trail Life
If it sparks an interest in you as a boy, a boy at heart, or a mother of boys to experience what so many others have in their own adventure, I challenge you to find out more at www.traillifeusa.com. The website also has a “Troop finder” to help you get plugged in close to home. Trail Life can be a powerful tool to equip families to prepare their young men to impact the world for Christ.
Tim Owen is a husband with 14 years inexperience and is a father of four children age 8 to 13 living and serving God in their local church and community in Woodbridge, VA. His wife is Shepherd of their local American Heritage Girls (AHG) troop, his two daughters are AHGs, his two sons are Trailmen, and he serves as Chaplain of a local Troop, as an area Point Man, and as the chairman of Trail Life USA’s National Advisory Council’s Spiritual Emphasis Committee.