Trail Life USA
|Trail Life USA|
|Founded||July 31, 2013|
Trail Life USA is a Christian Scout-like organization for boys. The organization was founded in 2013 in reaction to changes in the membership policy of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to allow the participation of openly gay Scouts. All charters of Trail Life USA must pledge to follow a "Statement of Faith", the group specifically states that Jews, Mormons and those who affirm homosexuality are not eligible to lead or charter in the group as these beliefs contradict this statement. However, youths of all religious beliefs are allowed to join. The organization was launched on January 1, 2014.
OnMyHonor.net was a group formed by John Stemberger to oppose the proposed membership policy change in March 2013 and consisted of parents, Scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts and other Scouting leaders. In May 2013, Boy Scouts of America voted to change its membership policy to allow youth of any sexual orientation. Following the vote, John Stemberger changed the mission of OnMyHonor.net to start a new alternative Scouting program.
Following the vote, the Faith Based Boys (FBB) was founded. In May 2013, American Heritage Girls joined the FBB. FBB official Thomas Dillingham indicated that the group would start accepting applications in August for youth memberships and group leaders.
OnMyHonor.net, Faith Based Boys, TrailHead USA and Frontier Service Corps joined together to form the new group. A leadership meeting was held in Louisville, Kentucky on June 29, 2013 to discuss forming a new group. The AHG cofounder Patti Garibay was invited to the Kentucky meeting as an advisor. The organization would be based on the AHG program.
Trail Life USA was formed in July 2013. On September 6–7, 2013, a national convention was held for the new group where chartering rules, programs, rankings, and uniforms were adopted and its name revealed. Over 300 names were considered for the new organization, including Faith-Based Boys, and the top 10 included American Honor Corps, Young Adventurers, American Heritage Boys, American Rangers, American Sons of Liberty, American Trailblazers, Boy Warriors, Patriot Rangers, Young American Trailblazers, and Youth Rangers. The group selected Trail Life USA as its name and chose to start in January 2014 with an expected 1000 incubation troops formed by then. It was also revealed in September that Trail Life would be partnering with American Heritage Girls. During the national convention announcing Trail Life USA, Stemberger told the audience "Real men value truth over tradition," and "Real men value principle over program, and they value integrity over institutions."
Richard Mathews, BSA’s former general counsel, joined Trail Life USA as its acting general counsel.
Trail Life USA reported that almost 500 troops were chartered by January 1, 2014, official launch date. As of January 30, 2014, according to Trail Life USA's website, 112 troops have been chartered, and nearly 400 troops in various stages of progress towards receiving a charter.
By March 1, 2014, the organization was in 40 states with 600 registered or in registration units with half the interest members were not Boy Scouts before.
- Woodlands Trails; grades K-5
- Navigators; grades 6-8
- Adventurers; grades 9-12
- Guidon; age 18 through 25 years
- Colbert, Chuck (November 19, 2013). "Former Defense Secretary Gates to lead Boy Scouts". Windy City Times. Retrieved December 16, 2013. "In all, more than 1.9 million people have joined Change.org petition campaigns seeking a complete end to BSA discrimination based on sexual orientation."
- Kennedy, Dan (May 24, 2013). "The Boy Scouts' Half-Measure May Hasten the End of Discrimination". Huffington Post. Retrieved December 16, 2013. "More than 60 percent of the organization's national leadership voted to approve a policy ending discrimination against openly gay scouts while keeping in place the ban against gay adult leaders."
- "Frequently Asked Questions". Trail Life USA. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
- Lohr, Kathy (September 9, 2013). "Trail Life USA, The 'Other' Boy Scouts Of America". NPR. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Payne, Ed. (September 9, 2013) Trail Life USA launches a Boy Scout alternative. CNN.
- Davis, John W. (March 23, 2013). "Boy Scouts launching coalition to keep gays, lesbians out". Cfnews13.com. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- Respaut, Robin. (July 10, 2013). Faith-based group to start Boy Scouts rival. Reuters. MSN.
- Wetzstein, Cheryl. (September 7, 2013) Boy Scout alternative, Trail Life USA, launches ‘premier’ Christian group for boys. The Washington Times.
- Wiggins, Kimberly. July 16, 2013. Orlando group creates faith-based alternative to Boy Scouts. MyFoxOrlando.com (WOFL-FOX35).
- Miranda Leitsinger. (July 9, 2013) Faith-based group starting alternative to Boy Scouts — will allow gay youth, adults. NBC News. Accessed on December 16, 2013.
- Token, Jody. (May 2013) American Heritage Girls join Faith-Based Boys Coalition. American Heritage Girls. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
- Phil Gast., Greg Botelho and Devon M. Sayers. (May 24, 2013). Boy Scouts to allow gay youths to join. CNN.com. Accessed on December 16, 2013.
- Butts, Charlie. (June 14, 2013) Christian girls’ group founder advises new boys’ scouting group. OneNewsNow.com (American Family News Network). archived.
- Gross, Natalie. (September 22, 2013 ) Faith-based alternative to Boy Scouts emerging. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (A-J Media).
- Wetzstein, Cheryl. (September 5, 2013) Boy Scouts alternative to reveal name at full-capacity gathering. The Washington Times.
- McPhail, Carol. (June 27, 2013) American Heritage Boys, Boy Warriors among suggested names for Boy Scouts alternative. Alabama Media Group.
- Wetzstein, Cheryl. (October 7, 2013) Lutherans OK congregations affiliating with either Boy Scouts or Trail Life. The Washington Times.
- Parks, Scott (December 15, 2013). "After Boy Scouts’ vote to admit gay youths, rival group takes root". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- Banks, Adelle M. (December 31, 2013). Boy Scouts Christian alternative launches with 500 troops. Religion News. Accessed on January 9, 2014.
- "Troop Locator". Trial Life USA. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
- Merchant, Nomaan (March 1, 2014). "Trail Life courts those who oppose Boy Scouts' acceptance of gays". Mercury News. Associated Press. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- traillifeusa.com -official site