About This Blog

This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts and opinions about Trail Life USA.  It is not an official blog of that organization, nor are my comments officially blessed by the organization.  To the extent information is published about the organization at this blog, we intend it to be accurate and promotional/educational, but offer no guarantee of veracity since it’s an unofficial fan site.

The image files used at this site are believed to be used with permission of their originators (our own family and TLUSA in most cases).  If there’s any question, the official image owner may contact us through the site for prompt attention as requested.  NOTE: “The producer of this material is a pre-chartered group/person and as such has no official affiliation with Trail Life USA”

Trail Life USA is:

  • an outdoor adventure program that provides youth development-youth leadership curriculum for ages 5 thru 25.
  • a Christian organization that welcomes youth participants from any walk of life, any faith background or even a no-faith background; however, all leaders must agree to adhere to a statement of faith which espouses distinctively Christian ideals.  This is not unlike other youth organizations sponsored by other faiths (where the leaders must represent that specific faith background while the youth may come from any background).
  • a new organization, launched officially on 1/1/2014
  • officially represented at http://www.traillifeusa.com

4 thoughts on “About This Blog

  1. In trying to understand what happened to the BSA, I’ve pulled back to a “bigger picture” look at culture and society. Rev. Albert Mohler’s observation of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism as the “New American Religion,” and David Goldman’s review of Joseph Bottum’s “An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America” (American Liberalism as the New Secular Religion of America and indeed the “West”) are instructive. It seems to me challenge for Christians remaining in the BSA, and those who have left to create TLUSA, is the same: To be the Mustard Seed Conspiracy, to subvert the new Secular Order as Christians did the Classical Pagan Order, to be transformed by the renewal of our minds and not to be conformed to the spirit of the world and present age, but conformed by The Spirit. I believe that, by and large, most of our people in the Churches do not see this. They are still under the delusion that we live in a society following Judeo-Christian norms, rather than one that has become pagan right under our feet. Our fellow Christians behave like the drowning man fighting the lifeguard who is trying to save him. We must prepare our children and grandchildren to live in this new reality, because pressure on the churches will increase as the new Secular Order will demand that the churches ratify what was formerly known as “sin.” Lord have mercy, I am on my knees pleading.

  2. Joe:

    Yes, what is the bigger picture? I worry that by just “turning back the clock” to a time we think was closer to what God desired for us, our Country, our Churches and out Boy Outdoor Youth Programs, that we think we will no longer be headed toward the same place we are at now. I think if we look back at the BSA , for example, we can see that TL might be headed for the exact same mistakes.

    I went to one of the TL info meetings and asked a Trailman in his early teens what he thought of this new program. His response was that he was disappointed that he wouldn’t get to be an Eagle, but hopefully the Freedom Award will some day be recognised as something just as valuable. Have you noticed the same emphasis on the award programs, and the summer camps, uh, summer adventures? (yeah, right!) Did you notice that the gay issue in the BSA was centered around who could become an Eagle Scout? But wait, why did they continue in Scouting at all? Oh, yeah. So they could become Eagle Scouts! I also see a greater emphasis on outdoor skills than on leadership development. We have numerous “64” programs to train adult leaders in camping skills, but only one “32” program for boy leadership.

    I think the gay issue with BSA was only the expected outcome from being “program focused” rather than “boy focused”. A similar outcome could happen with TL if we are not careful. Just what this might turn out to be I won’t try to guess, but it will probably have something to do with pharisaical doctrine, as I see the rift in the BSA to have been. They strained out a gnat and swallowed a camel!

    But if we remember that Trail Life was made for the boy, not the boy for Trail Life, we can stay away from the sort of legalistic issues that will only degrade what we are trying to do with this “Reset”.

  3. Joe,

    Thanks for your series on the Oath. As a TroopMaster my fall goal was to have my troop devotions explain the Oath. I planned last week (On my Honor) without any resources and it took me some time. This week after spending about 30 minutes starting my planning I decided to search the web…I found you right away and I am thrilled to use it to supplement my planning.

    Thanks Again,
    Jarrett Chapman

    • Jarrett, if there are any topics of interest you’d like to see here, please let me know. I have changed jobs this year and have had far less time available to concentrate on new blog postings, but I am trying to get back in the routine. Thanks for the encouragement!

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