Many youth development programs (especially those which follow “scouting methods” originally outlined by Lord Baden-Powell) include an advancement program with a series of stages, ranks or awards.
Trail Life USA has incorporated advancement processes in its curriculum for elementary (Woodlands Trail), junior high (Navigators) and senior high (Adventurers) participants.
Graduating from group activities (earning leaves) to individual learning with older mentors (required trail badges) to self-led instruction in specific topics of interest (elective and “create your own” trail badge program), boys are provided with surmountable challenges to help them grow in confidence and capability.
Adventurers are presented with the option to pursue their Freedom Award following the completion of their Journey and Horizon Awards. TLUSA characterizes the Freedom Award this way:
The Freedom Award is meant to recognize young men who epitomize the Trail Life USA Oath and Motto. These young men have followed a predetermined and well-marked trail during their time in Trail Life USA. However, a Freedom Award recipient demonstrates that he is thoroughly equipped to chart his own course across the open rangelands and beyond the observed horizon.
Beyond completing trail badges, the candidate for Freedom Award pursues a number of electives:
- Service projects during each year of participation and a self-led project to demonstrate leadership cababilities
- Specially crafted service and learning projects called “Freedom Experiences” outside of the TLUSA program
The Freedom Award program is an exciting part of the TLUSA curriculum, and we’re anticipating great things from those boys who pursue and complete the award’s requirements.
To learn more about the award program, check out these links: