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Trail Life USA Draws 14,000 Members in Wake of Scout Boys Split over Gay Youth

Carrie Dedrick | Thursday, September 11, 2014

Trail Life USA Draws 14,000 Members in Wake of Scout Boys Split over Gay Youth

Trail Life USA, the Christian alternative to Boy Scouts of America, launched in January; the organization has now attracted over 14,000 members in 47 states. The group formed after the Boy Scouts lifted its ban on openly homosexual youth in 2015. 

Mark Hancock, chief executive officer of Trail Life USA said, "... [W]e are adding a couple hundred members a week...We would have grown a lot faster if we weren't so strict with our chartering requirements, but we're building a strong foundation of troops that are aligned with the Christian principles we uphold.”

Hancock says that there are 300 troops in the pre-charter stage and are awaiting evaluation. 

About half of Trail Life’s members were not previously involved with the Boy Scouts. 

"Initially people would say that is what got us launched (the Boy Scouts decision), because a lot of people were not happy with that decision and were looking for an alternative. As it turned out, though, almost 50 percent of our troops have never been involved with Boy Scouts of America," said Hancock.

"Although I can say that back in the beginning pieces of the [Trail Life USA] coalition were in response to that (Boy Scouts decision), now we're pretty much running on our Christ-centered model. We're not running really in competition with anybody. … We are unapologetically Christian. We are male focused. Our values are drawn from the Bible.” 

Publication date: September 11, 2014