Who We Are

Trail Life USA is a Christian Outdoor Adventure, Character, and Leadership Program for boys and young men.

Operating from Troops that are chartered through churches in 48 states, the K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills and allow him to grow on a personal level and as a role model and leader for his peers.

Living the Trail Life is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible.

Join The Trail

Want to spend time with families that share your values?

Want adventure, character, and leadership skills and opportunities for your boys?

You can locate a nearby Troop—or maybe start one yourself—pursue a partnership with us, make a donation to our 501c3 organization, or volunteer as an Area Leader!

Find out how you can get involved with the fastest-growing adventure organization for boys!

Trail Life USA Store

We sell great outdoor merchandise, Trail Life USA branded clothing and, of course the Trail Life USA Troop uniform!

Maybe you’re looking for a Navigators and Adventurers Handbook, flags, or our Troop Standard—quickly becoming a proud symbol of achievements in Trail Life USA.

We also have our Trail Leader Store (for registered leaders), where your Troop can buy awards and all sorts of Troop-specific merchandise!

Latest News

Growing Sons Who Walk Worthy
4/4/2018 7:30:00 AM BY Stephen Ashton

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

Colossians 1:9-10

Walk Worthy . . . It is the goal of every Trailman and serves as the motto for Trail Life USA. But how is this accomplished?  What are the fundamentals of the Trail Life program that train a boy to “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work” and how can you apply them at home? Colossians chapter 1 outlines three powerful principles from creation that point to concepts of the Trail Life USA spiritual character and leadership development program.

1. Fruit is Grown Through Patient Seasons of Repetition

The first principle is repetition. For a tree to produce fruit that is worthy, endless cycles of repetition must occur. Each day the sun shines forth and every night the moon takes its place.  Every year the sun warms the air, rain falls, and sap rises from the ground painting the forest with the glorious colors of spring. Then the air cools and the sap descends to prepare for a long winter rest, again setting the forest ablaze with color. It seems this repetition is the joy of creation. Similarly, in our lives, there are many seasons of repetition as we grow in the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding (Col 1:9).

The Trail Life program equips leaders to effectively use repetition to impart knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to boys in the Troop. The Woodlands Trail program focuses for six years on the same basic principles to provide the roots of knowledge.  The Navigators program builds on these roots of foundational knowledge to create a strong trunk of understanding (the application of knowledge). The Adventurers program culminates in developing wisdom (applying understanding) to develop men who bear fruit as godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.

Application Point:  As a parent, it often seems we never stop repeating ourselves. In what ways can you intentionally use routine and repetition to grow your children in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom? It may be as simple as intentional discussions on car rides, setting up chore schedules, spending time memorizing scripture daily to earn media time, or creating time each evening to gather as a family and talk about the day. Look for opportunities to create meaningful repetition to impart important Truths to your children.

          

2. Watered through Prayer

The second principle is prayer. Paul writes, “for this reason we…do not cease to pray for you.” Colossians paints a picture of the sapling of faith and love springing from hope (1:5).  Through prayer, it is watered (filled) with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom (1:9).  This healthy root system results in a walk that is worthy – growing, strengthened and bearing fruit of joy, steadfastness, thankfulness, and patience (1:10). The fruit is fully pleasing to the Lord and shows that we have been delivered from the power of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of the Son, redeemed and forgiven (1:12-13). 

Trail Life meetings open and close with prayer and provide opportunities both for boys to pray and for boys to hear the hearts of their leaders as they pray over the Troop. Adventure trips and Troop campouts also provide meaningful times for boys to pray and see God provide practical needs.

Application Point: How can you create time each day to intentionally pray with and for your children? It does not have to be necessarily long or involved.  Make time each day to let your children hear your heart and see your faith. Create a simple list of one or two items to pray for each day of the week.

3. Strengthened through Experience

This leads us to the third principle: experience. Just as in creation, real leaves must fall for fruit to be born. In boyhood, lessons must go beyond mental understanding to applied experience before they are truly learned and fruit is borne. Often these lessons are most clearly taught in the physical realm of God’s creation. In the outdoors, where we have to deal with physical realities, we learn to live with our answers. If a boy pitches a tent incorrectly, he gets wet. If he ties a fisherman’s knot incorrectly, he goes hungry. If his feet get wet in the winter, he gets cold.  Forgetting to soap a pot before cooking over a fire is not a lesson quickly forgotten. Boys live with their mistakes, but they also learn the feeling of doing a job right. The feeling of staying dry in a storm, catching a fish, or starting a one-match fire.

Life lessons are taught most clearly in the physical realm. As boys apply spiritual truths learned throughout the program they have the opportunity to test and see that they are true. As boys see their value, biblical truths become part of their character and boys grow in knowledge, spiritual understanding, and wisdom becoming “fruitful in every good work” (Col 1:10).

Application Point:  Look for opportunities to help your son make connections between practical realities and biblical Truths.  The Bible is an incredibly practical book. Find a time to connect with your son at least weekly and during that time help him connect successes in his life with biblical principles.  Help him to see the joy and success that is borne from applying the Truths of scripture in a growing relationship with the living God. 

          



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