Boy Scout alternative, Trail Life USA, launches ‘premier’ Christian group for boys


Leaders of newly announced Trail Life USA said they expect it to become a “premier” Christian organization for boys and young men when it starts fully running in the new year.

Some 1,200 people attended the group’s national inaugural convention in Nashville, Tenn., which ended Saturday with a prayerful call for volunteers and donations.

Trail Life USA’s goal is to counter the “moral free fall” of the nation, and “raise a generation of faithful husbands, fathers, citizens and leaders,” organizers said. Its other mission is to provide a robust, Christ-centered alternative to the Boy Scouts of America.

At the opening session, John Stemberger, chairman of the board of Trail Life USA, teased the crowd that he would not be surprised if there were “spies” from Grapevine, Texas — BSA’s home base — in the audience.

That would make sense, since everyone from supporters to the curious want to know what’s being planned, he said, adding that Trail Life USA will not be “anti-BSA.” The conference’s theme was “Honoring the Legacy, Raising the Standard.”

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.

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