Trail Life USA: A Faith-Based Alternative to Boy Scouts

Stephen Ashton 10 Comments

Andre Davis from Good News Florida writes :

“For over a century the Boy Scouts of America has been the leading wilderness training program for young men across America and the World. Since its creation in 1910 over 110 million Americans have participated in the program and 2.7 million are participating currently. Without a doubt, many readers have either participated themselves or know someone who has. 

For those who have participated, many can agree that the experiences they had in the program have played a large part in shaping the type of man they are today. Many notable Americans have gone through the Boy Scout program such as American Filmmaker and Cinematographer Steven Spielberg, Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Charlie Duke, and even many American politicians such as Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, and 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford.

Such a core of alumni does not form out of coincidence. Many of the above men credit the experiences and training they received during their time as a scout for helping them become successful individuals.

However the recent policy changes the Boy Scouts of America have embraced … have given many current members and parents some concern that the group has lost many of the moral codes that once made the original Boy Scouts so upstanding. That is why in 2013 a group of Boy Scout leaders left the organization to form a new wilderness training program named Trail Life USA.

What is Trail Life USA?

Trail Life USA (TLUSA) is a Christian outdoor adventure program that emphasizes and teaches biblical moral values. Founded in late 2013 by Scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts, and other parents and scouting leaders who were concerned about many of the changes and decisions the Boy Scouts had made to their policies. They operate with the mission statement of “Walk Worthy!” This is based on the Scripture in Colossians 1:10: “… that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (NKJV).

TLUSA operates similarly to the Boy Scouts of America in the sense that both use camping and the outdoors as a natural teaching environment for boys in the United States. Unlike the Boy Scouts, TLUSA is operated directly as a ministry of the local church.

Essentially Trail Life USA was created as a Christ-centered alternative to the historical Boy Scouts of America, founded on biblical principles of male leadership and Christian family values.”

Get Involved

Currently, there are over 45,000 members in nearly 1,000 Troops in all 50 States. Those interested in joining an existing Troop can visit to get started. Alternatively, you can contact your local church about possibly starting a Troop for your community.

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Adapted from news article that originally appeared in Good News Florida.

About the Author
Stephen Ashton

Stephen Ashton

Stephen Ashton is the National Director of Marketing for Trail Life USA and serves as an adjunct professor at Clarks Summit University and Anchor Christian University. Prior to his work at Trail Life, he spent 15 years working with at-risk youth in residential therapeutic wilderness programs and served as the Vice-President of the Wilderness Road Therapeutic Camping Association. An author and a speaker, he has written for journals and published a book chronicling the foundations of therapeutic camping. He frequently speaks on the topics of fatherhood, biblical masculinity, outdoor education, and wilderness therapy. Stephen lives in South Carolina with his wife and 4 sons.

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