Today, October 16, 2014 is the 288th day of this year. Today also marks a milestone for Trail Life USA — they’ve chartered their 500th troop today.
That is an average of 1.7 troops chartered per day, every day, since they formally began on January 1st, 2014. Or one troop chartered every 14 hours.
It’s a good start.
Back in 1908, Baden-Powell stated (in Scouting for Boys) that:
“I don’t mean by this the mere soldiering and sailoring services; we have no military aim or practice in our movement; but I mean the ideals of service for their fellow-men. In other words, we aim for the practice of Christianity in their [the boys’] everyday life and dealings, and not merely the profession of its theology on Sundays. … The co-operation of tiny sea insects has brought about the formation of coral islands. No enterprise is too big where there is goodwill and co-operation carrying it out. [500 troops is only the beginning, especially when we acknowledge the great percentage of units founded with no prior ties to any other youth organization]
Every day we are turning away boys anxious to join the Movement, because we have not the men or women to take them in hand. There is a vast reserve of loyal patriotism and Christian spirit lying dormant in our nation today, mainly because it seems no direct opportunity for expressing itself. Here in this joyous brotherhood there is a vast opportunity open to all in a happy work that shows results under your hands and a work that is worth while because it gives every man his chance of service for his fellow men and for God.” [it’s time for parents to step up and form more units — they can’t simply wait for someone else to do it for them]
IMHO, Trail Life USA isn’t (nor should it be) a one-issue, politically charged corporation — instead, much like BP defended early scouting as non-military and pro-service (pro-expressed, practical Christianity) Trail Life USA has the opportunity to bring scouting methods and respectful, reverent, love-filled faith building together into a package that is unrivaled in the USA (and perhaps to take it international at some point in the future).
So congratulations to Trail Life USA on this milestone, and may you continue to honor your heritage while raising the standard.