Church-Owned & Operated
We believe there is something special about being outdoors. Camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities help build deep relationships and allow boys to develop character, practice leadership, and experience adventure. The outdoor focus helps a boy appreciate the wonder, majesty, and grandness of God as reflected in His creation.
Trail Life USA is committed to the health, welfare, and safety of our youth, volunteers, and staff. We aim to provide challenging, adventurous, and fun activities in a manner that no injuries occur beyond those that are readily treatable by simple first aid.
Male-Centered Adult Leadership
While women can serve in a number of roles in the organization, Trail Life USA is focused on turning boys into godly men. Our firm conviction is that this can only be done by allowing a boy the opportunity to be mentored by Christian men. All direct contact positions, other than in the Woodlands Trail unit, are filled by men.
Trail Life USA is boy-focused and encourages Troops to protect the male-focused emphasis in camping and adventure activities. We also recognize the family as the primary building block of society. In order to facilitate this, fathers are encouraged to participate with their sons, and Charter Organizations are encouraged to create a “family-centered” youth-enrichment experience where on one night, in one location, boys and their dads can participate in Trail Life USA, and girls and their moms can be involved with American Heritage Girls. There are many obvious strengths to this model, and those who are able to experience it will discover lasting impact and accelerated spiritual growth for every member of the family.
Since the founding of the organization by a wide coalition of leaders in Louisville, Kentucky in June of 2013, Trail Life USA has endeavored to operate under the principle of shared leadership. We appreciate the need for strong leadership at every level but recognize that the greatest strength comes when leaders serve through equipping and releasing others to lead along with them. Therefore, leaders throughout the ministry seek to intentionally involve others in decision-making and to collaboratively share influence.
Utilization of Patrol Method
Servant leadership is characterized by humility and a willingness to work alongside others and not just “boss” people around. Leading by example and sacrifice are also qualities of servant leadership.
Character-Focused, Not Awards-Focused
Although boys in Trail Life USA can experience a robust and challenging awards program, we are more concerned with building character. The focus should always be on building character over merely earning awards.
Pursuant to the Trail Life USA By-Laws, decisions regarding changes to the most important elements of the organization are made by each Charter Organization casting a vote, and not by professionals or delegates chosen by professionals. To ensure fidelity to the principles and values of Trail Life USA, any changes to the Statement of Faith, Statement of Values, or Membership Standards require an 80% acceptance vote by the Charter Organizations.
Debt Averse and Member Dependent
The National Board of Directors is committed to a debt-averse and member-supported organization. Trail Life USA is self-funded with the annual operating budget derived from member fees and store sales. Generous donations are generally used to pay for one-time planned expenses or to provide initial funds for initiatives that will be subsequently sustained by fees and sales. The organization will only accept gifts from which it can clearly benefit without incurring debt from operational or other costs associated with them. This commitment ensures that the primary “customer” of the organization is the enrolled member and not a corporation.
Trail Life USA maintains that integration of a Christian Worldview is essential in order to accomplish its vision and mission. Click here to view 'Trail Life USA’s Six Essential Concepts of a Christian Worldview'.
“… that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;…”