Boy Scout dissidents form alternative organization

Now that the Boy Scouts of America have accepted homosexuality, veterans of the scouting movement have announced the forming of an alternative organization:  Trail Life USA. 

From Cheryl Wetzstein,  Boy Scout alternative, Trail Life USA, launches ‘premier’ Christian group for boys – Washington Times.

The newly announced Trail Life USA expects to become a “premier” Christian organization for boys and young men when it fully launches in the new year.

Its goal is to counter the “moral free-fall” of the nation, and “raise a generation of faithful husbands, fathers, citizens and leaders,” organizers told the national inaugural convention in Nashville, Tenn., Friday night

The group has captured widespread attention because of its other mission — to provide a robust alternative to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). . . .

Trail Life USA’s name, drawn from more than 300 options, was carefully vetted and is intended not to be political or controversial, organizers said.

“Trail” refers to a pathway and being outdoors, but also symbolizes the passage of life, where there are moral choices, and right and wrong paths, said Mr. Stemberger.

“Our whole life is about the trail, both in the outdoors and in the journey of life as believers,” he said. “So Trail Life is a way of life that is centered on following Christ in the outdoors.”

Organizers also unveiled the new Trail Life USA logo: It features a circle with a sun, mountaintops with a path, and a male figure with a hand extended over his head, beckoning others to follow.

Watchwords of the new organization are “adventure, character and leadership,” and “walk worthy.”

The genesis of the new group was the BSA leadership’s closely watched decision in May to change its membership policy and admit youth regardless of their sexual orientation or sexual preference.

In contrast, Trail Life USA will be inclusive of boys, regardless of religion, race, national origin or socioeconomic status, and accept boys who are experiencing same-sex attractions or gender confusion.

However, it will not admit youth who are open or avowed about their homosexuality, and it will not admit boys who are not “biologically male” or boys who wish to dress and act like girls.

Adult leaders of Trail Life USA will be Christians who sign a statement of faith and submit to background checks. Both boys and adults will be required to adhere to a code of conduct.

On Saturday, the attendees – many of whom have or had a connection to the BSA — are expected to hammer out details about the new organization.

Steering committees have created foundation documents, but they are only “etched in clay” and ready to be finalized before they are “set in stone,” organizers said.

The goal is to “become the premier organization that honors God and builds some great young men,” said Mark Hancock, one of the board members.

People from 44 states, including Hawaii and Alaska, are at the meeting, he said.

So this will be an explicitly Christian organization, at least for the leaders.  What do you think of this venture?

You Wisconsin Synod Lutherans (who don’t allow members to join the Boy Scouts because they put forward a generic deity rather than the Triune God), would this meet your objections to Scouting?  Or are there other issues at stake?

One I see:  Would Trail Life insinuate that the Christian life is all about following a “trail,” rather than living under the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X