Skip to comments.Christian Alternative to Boy Scouts Launches On New Year's Day With Close to 500 Troops
Posted on 01/02/2014 3:45:09 PM PST by SeekAndFind
An organization formed in the wake of the Boy Scouts of America's decision to allow openly gay members officially launched on New Year's Day.
Trail Life USA now has nearly 500 troops that have either entered the pre-charter process or are fully chartered and are already registering members, according to Mark Hancock, the organization's chief operating officer. Most of the troops are chartered to churches, he told The Christian Post, though some are chartered to Christian homeschool associations, camps and other organizations that agree with Trail Life's faith values.
Troops are being organized in at least 42 states, Hancock says, and estimates suggest there is an average of between 25 and 30 boys per troop, though Trail Life does not have precise numbers at this time.
"We purposefully have not been focused on numbers," he says. "What we're really focused on is building a quality program for families to help their boys become good, godly men."
It was never voiced, Hancock says, but he believes Trail Life's leaders all expected a vast majority of the new troops to be former BSA troops. About 40 percent of them, however, are being chartered to churches that did not previously have a Boy Scout troop.
The most challenging part about starting Trail Life, Hancock says, was how quickly it was put together.
At the end of June a group of about 50 people met in Louisville, Ky., and agreed to start a new organization, and from that meeting a six-person steering committee was formed. Approximately two months later 1,200 leaders gathered for the organization's first national convention, and the program officially launched on Jan. 1.
"There's an expectation that we've put on ourselves to be all that we're used to. And to do all that in six months has been challenging, but it's amazing the progress that has been made," he said.
The organization currently has "hundreds" of volunteers across the country and is shipping handbooks to members and leaders, says Hancock.
Trail Life programs are divided by age group. The Woodlands Trail program includes Foxes (grades K-1), Hawks (grades 2-3) and Mountain Lions (grades 4-5). Other programs include Navigators (grades 6-8), Adventurers (grades 9-12) and Guidon Units (ages 18-25).
The BSA began accepting openly gay members on Jan. 1, though a ban on openly gay leaders still exists. Scouts are permitted to acknowledge their own sexual orientation, according to one BSA document, though in doing so they may not "reach the level of distraction, which may include advocacy, promotion, or the distribution of information of a sexual nature." They are also not permitted to use scouting to push a political or social agenda.
Trail Life affirms that any sexual activity outside of a marriage between one man and one woman is sinful, according to the group's membership standards. The organization accepts "adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind, or engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the program" as members.
The organization is also "undergirded by biblical values and unapologetically reflects a Christian worldview," though it accepts boys as members regardless of their religion, race, socio-economic status or national origin.
Hancock says Trail Life's attitude toward the BSA is to "honor their legacy," but the new organization wants to "raise the standard" in 2014. BSA troops have become groups that "meet in a church," he says, though Trail Life leaders hope their troops become an "extension of the church."
"We want to be the type of organization that parents want to enroll their sons, because they like the character and the leadership development, and boys really want to be a part of because they love the adventure," he said.
I wish them well.
May God bless and protect them.
As we FReep, there are evil sicko’s out there who are plotting ways to destroy them.
Likewise. Where can we donate.
Sounds good. Need an alternative for my 3 sons.
500 is a good start
might not want to associate too much with people like Mike Huckabee though. lol
Sad too that the Boy Scouts were forced to accept gay scout masters all because of an agenda.
It is a recipe for disaster and the parents of first young boy who is molested because of the permissiveness should go for blood.
Godspeed to them!
And good luck to the BSA too, I think it is very telling about the sexualization of children - my gay brother was a boy scout for many years and this was never an issue. I don’t see how this can even be an issue for anyone under the age of, oh, 15 or so.
But now everyone should be sexually oriented and/or gender identified in kindergarten.
This is the destruction wrought by the Left.
I was going to say, by the Communists, but maybe some of these people have gone beyond Communism, they’ve taken destruction to a whole ‘nother level.
My first thought, too.
For Pete's sake, what does he bring to it that he won't recant when it's inevitably criticized.
Yep. Thought the same thing. Huckabee? Please.
Wonder if they can siphon off money going to the Scouts. The Scouts get millions.
No, that is mean spirited and the Scouts are just victims of the Gay Agenda.
The Scouts are/were a great organization. Sad.
I like the logo. Very contemporary yet at the same time a throwback to Americana.
Say what you will, but the man was at the forefront of the fight for Chick-Fil-A when the gays attacked the company.
It’s good someone is putting forward alternatives to the Gay Scouts.
How long until the Obama Justice Department declares this a “hate group” and the IRS raids them?
I do believe Robert Baden-Powell would agree with this new endeavor.
You just know their goal was never to be admitted into the Boy Scouts - they probably don't even like being outdoors - but to destroy the Scouts as they were founded (kind of like their agenda for the United States).
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