How does the Home Office of Trail Life USA quickly handle the initial processing of many Troops starting at the same time?
The charter and individual registration processes are managed online using our unique paperless charter and registration system.
The Home Office (National), Regional, and Area (local) staff and volunteers provide the required Troop support.
Program documents that guide registered leaders in implementing an effective Troop program are accessible at the start of the online charter process so Troops can begin planning immediately for their own launch.
How do I connect with people in my area if I am interested in joining a Trail Life USA Troop?
There are a number of ways to connect with people who share your desire to start or grow a Trail Life USA Troop:
Go to our Troop Locator page on the website. You can find Troops that are chartered or forming and register your interest.
Check out the many Trail Life USA Facebook pages that have started to gather people together from different areas of the country. Perhaps there is one for your area.
If you are a homeschooler, see if you can connect through your homeschool association, as many homeschoolers support the Trail Life USA program.
Talk to your own church or another church in your community about starting a Trail Life USA Troop. Perhaps you could even serve as their resource to help them start a troop. There are resources for starting a Troop here.
Is the Home Office working with various camps to provide locations for Troops to camp?
Yes. There are hundreds of Christian Reatreat and Adventure Camps all over the country. Trail Life USA Home Office will continue to evaluate and recommend camps, but Troop Leaders can conduct their own research. A good place to start is http://www.ccca.org
What makes this organization different from groups like Royal Rangers or Calvinist Cadets?
Although Trail Life USA is specifically Christian, it is interdenominational, with Charter Organizations representing Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox faith traditions. Plus, it has a strong focus on outdoor skills and camping. Our goal is to be the premier adventure, character, and leadership development organization for boys in the USA.
What is the end goal?
Our Vision is to build men of faith and character who will become godly husbands, fathers, and citizens
What is the emphasis of the Trail Life USA program?
Trail Life USA has 6 Program Emphases: Wisdom, Heritage, Teamwork, Leadership, Character, and Faith. Our program components support youth development, understanding, and practical experiences in these key areas.
How does faith factor into the program?
As a Christ-centered organization, our faith is woven throughout the program without being necessarily “religious” or “churchy.” From faith-building options in the advancement program, outdoor worship, to more in-depth discipleship opportunities, adult and youth members receive Biblical instruction and training in Biblical faith. As iron sharpens iron, so too will boys sharpen the faith of their peers. Adult Christian leaders will guide youth in the development of their faith and moral decision-making, as well as sharpen the faith of their adult peers.
Will the program be different if a Troop is chartered by a Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox Charter Organization?
From a faith perspective, each Charter Organization oversees its own program and emphasizes its own denomination-specific customs and theology. All Charter Organizations must accept the basic tenets of Trinitarian Christian doctrine and be in agreement with the Trail Life USA Christian Statement of Faith and Values. All adult leaders in a Troop must be Christian leaders selected by the Charter Organization and they must agree with and abide by that same Christian Statement of Faith and Values.
Are non-Christian youth permitted to join a Trail Life USA Troop?
Our Member policy allows for boys of any faith (or no faith at all) to participate in the program of Trail Life USA.
Local Charter Organizations satisfy the specific ministry goals of their church or organization. In some cases, that may be as an outreach ministry to boys in the community. In other cases, that may be as an in-reach ministry specifically to minister to the families or members of the local church or organization. Therefore, individual Charter Organizations may have more specific membership requirements that limit Troop membership to boys of a certain faith or membership in a certain organization.
Are Charter Organizations required to be Christian?
Yes. Our Charter Organizations are Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian churches and organizations. Messianic Jewish denominations that worship Jesus Christ as the prophesized Messiah of the scriptures may also charter Troops.
Could a non-Trinitarian denomination such as Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses charter a Trail Life USA Troop?
Non-Trinitarian denominations do not participate in our program because our specific Statement of Faith adheres to Trinitarian doctrine.
Is this organization limited to the United States?
Initially, the focus of program development is within the United States. Trail Life USA depends on God’s leading to determine the long-term reach of its ministry.
American citizens stationed on military bases and other outposts around the world are able to charter Trail Life USA Troops if they can provide the appropriate Troop structure.
Foreign citizens can contact the Home Office for information regarding the possibility of implementing the program in their countries.
What is the position of Trail Life USA regarding homosexuality?
We believe that homosexuality is sinful and immoral, as is any sexual activity outside of the sanctity of marriage between a Man and a Woman. Consistent with this belief, we have specific policies that address membership and sin in both youth and adult members.
Who interprets how the Core Values are implemented?
The program itself reflects the Core Values and is approved by the Executive Board. In fact, it’s impossible to separate the Core Values from the program. They are intrinsic throughout the program. The Executive Board resolves Core Value issues, and has the ability to revoke a Troop’s Charter if the Troop does not adhere to those values.
What is the relationship between the Troop and the Charter Organization?
The Troop is an active youth ministry of the Charter Organization, which owns the Troop and its assets. It is a true partnership that serves the Charter Organization, the Troop, and the community. The Charter Organization Representative serves as the facilitating church or organizational leader in overseeing the ministry, leadership, and activities of the Troop on behalf of the Charter Organization.
What is the basic Trail Life USA organizational structure?
A national structure is in place to support the efforts at the Troop level.
The national organization is divided into six geographical regions to assist with supporting the program on a regional basis.
Regions are further divided into Areas, within which a volunteer can assist Troops (generally within driving distance of his home).
The Area Team is overseen by a Point Man, who works with his/her committee of volunteers to oversee all facets of the program in that geographical area.
Is your program co-ed?
Woodlands Trail, Navigators, and Adventurers programs for ages 5-17 are only for boys. Our Guidon program is for young adult men and women ages 18-25.
Do you have or can you recommend a program for girls?
We recommend our sister program, the American Heritage Girls. You can find more about AHG at www.ahgonline.org.
What is Trail Life USA's policy regarding participation in political activities?
Trail Life USA encourages its members to be good citizens and to engage and participate in the political process. However, all Trail Life USA employees and members must ensure that their political activities and contributions are conducted as private individuals and do not appear to represent the opinion of Trail Life USA, being mindful that Trail Life USA does not, through its governing body or through any of its officers, its charter organizations, or members, endorse any particular political party or any specific political candidate.
Under the policies of Trail Life USA, with the permission of their charter organization Trail Life USA Troops, youth and adult members may appear in uniform at a nonpartisan and nonpolitical gathering in a way that gives them the opportunity to render service in harmony with the values and beliefs of Trail Life USA, including flag ceremonies at civic events and political gatherings provided that those events are consistent with TLUSA’s Statement of Faith and Values. However, because Trail Life USA and virtually all of its charter organizations are 501(c)(3) organizations, members are required to avoid involving Trail Life USA or their charter organizations in any activity that has the appearance of endorsing any political candidate or advocating on behalf of a candidate. (This specifically includes not campaigning or passing out campaign literature for any candidate or party while wearing any apparel referencing Trail Life USA.) Trailmen and their leaders may participate in single-issue or social advocacy events or activities in uniform that promote Biblical values, such as the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage. Outside of Trail Life USA, each member is free as an individual to express his or her thoughts or take action on political matters or on behalf of specific political candidates, but must not use Trail Life USA’s official uniforms, logos, brand or materials when doing so. The health and safety of all Trail Life USA members should always be considered in discerning involvement in any such activities or events.
What is Trail Life USA's policy on privacy?