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

Sometimes Goliath Wins (And That's Okay)
7/22/2016 12:00:01 AM BY Guest: Jim Mitchell, FamilyLife

Have you ever looked across the field before your son’s game and seen giants?

As the father of a skinny 11-year-old, I often wonder what kind of exotic super fruit or growth veggie the parents are feeding those boys. “We’re David – they’re Goliath,” I think to myself.

Apparently it’s not just my imagination. Researchers have studied what’s been called the “birth month effect” in baseball and found a direct correlation between birth month and player advantages in size, strength, and maturity levels, all the way from little league to the major leagues.

The boys notice too. I’ve literally watched the intimidation factor defeat us before the first pitch is even thrown.

Which brings me to an interesting parenting moment before many games where I try to decide how to encourage my boy. Here are two approaches to this conversation that I’ve found helpful in removing performance pressure and building character.

Acknowledge the obvious… sometimes Goliath wins.

When telling the story of David and Goliath, how easy it is to emphasize David winning against all odds. But slaying Goliath didn’t validate David’s courage. Remember, as a young shepherd he had slain lions and bears long before he took center stage to face the giant. 

Furthermore, ask yourself: What if David had lost? Was he not still a leader among his peers? Goliath had slain many foes before David. Was God not righteous then too? Surely courage was David’s part and victory God’s alone.

One practical way I’ve modeled this attitude for my son is to clap for the opposing players when they do well. This honors the other parents and casts a vision that’s larger than the scoreboard.

Draw attention to the heart rather than the performance.

Scripture says, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” So I try to admire things like the composure my son has shown when facing a big moment in the game, regardless of the outcome. Or when he’s handled a tough loss without grumbling.

Unfortunately, many parents believe the lie that their kid needs the best opportunity and a winning experience all the time every time. But the truth is, whether your kid is into sports or clubs or school or music, there will always be Goliaths – kids bigger and better and more talented, with better coaching and more funding.

Don’t let your son think that defeating Goliath is the only value worth celebrating. Sometimes Goliath wins, and that’s okay.

Note: One practical thing I did this summer with the baseball season in full swing was to carve out a weekend and take my son on a Passport2Purity trip. This amazing father-son experience allowed me to take the focus off of athletic performance and place it on things of more lasting importance.

In addition to “the sex talk,” which every parent dreads, Passport2Purity opened up easy, non-threatening conversations with my boy about what’s facing him in the coming middle school years: peer pressure, puberty, pornography, etc.

Learn more about Passport2Purity and Passport2Identity, a sequel resource for older teens to help them learn how to root their identity in Jesus Christ.

 

FamilyLife offers 25% off to Trail Life USA (and American Heritage Girls) members with the code TRAILLIFE.



Events

July

Equip & Equip Youth NW
@ Clear Lake Outdoor Rec Center


August

September

EQUIP DFW/OK
@ Princeton, TX