Trail Life USA Honors American Veterans and Encourages Patriotism in Boys

Stephen Ashton 0 Comments

CEO Mark Hancock: ‘We think the drive and daring of boys is exactly what’s responsible for producing winning, determined, respectful, honoring men, and we are proud to foster that in boys across America’  

As America takes the time to honor the men and women who sacrificed so much for our country, Trail Life USA ( CEO Mark Hancock encourages all Americans to honor our veterans on Veteran’s Day, and reaffirms Trail Life’s dedication to inspire patriotism and build character in boys across America. 

 Hancock stated, “Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘No one can be a good American unless he is a good citizen, and every boy ought to train himself so that as a man he will be able to do his full duty to the community …[to] act in a way that will give them a country to be proud of.’ This is a philosophy we at Trail Life have lived by since our inception in 2014. It is fundamentally important that we instill character, honor, and a sense of duty to God and others. These are key foundations in the mission of Trail Life USA.”

 “Every year on November 11, Trailmen across America honor those in our military, both active and retired, who put their lives on the line to defend our country and our freedom. We hold those men and women in the highest esteem. Rather marching in a parade, cleaning a monument, or serving meals, young men are engaging with veterans, learning about our heritage, and honoring the proud legacy of our country.”

 “The Trail Life USA oath begins with the words, ‘On my Honor.’ As boys engage with our veterans and witness character in their leaders, they come to understand the meaning of the phrase ‘On my Honor.’ It is lived out by the rest of the Trailman Oath, ‘I will do my best to serve God and my country; To respect authority; To be a good steward of creation; And to treat others as I want to be treated.’ As these Truths are lived out, the notion of honor is understood, ‘On my Honor’ takes on meaning, and boys grow to become honorable men.” 

 Hancock concluded, “Here at Trail Life, we challenge boys to grow as courageous men of character as they discover, learn and grow through outdoor adventure and intentional mentoring. We think that the drive and daring of boys is exactly what’s responsible for producing winning, determined, respectful, honoring men, and we are proud to foster that in boys across America.” 

 Trail Life’s unique approach is garnering attention from families across the nation. Trail Life has grown by nearly 20,000 new Troop members in 2022 alone. In just the last month, nearly 500 individuals have reached out for information on starting a Trail Life Troop, and more than 30 new Troops have been chartered in the past 30 days. With Trail Life’s success in growing to over 45,000 members in under ten years, boys and men are building meaningful relationships, growing in character, developing in leadership, and just having fun in the great outdoors. 

 Trail Life USA has received praise from some of the top Christian voices today, including Focus on the Family, Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Family Life, Promise Keepers, the American Family Association, and many others.   

 Trail Life USA is the premier national character development organization for young men, producing godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens. Trail Life’s mission is to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure. Troops exist in all 50 states and are growing as Trail Life USA expands around the country. Find a Troop today, or Start a Troop in your community. Find out more at   

 Trail Life USA’s K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills. A robust awards program motivates young men to grow on a personal level to become role models and leaders among their peers. Living the Trail Life USA is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible.     


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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