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  • Trail Life Program Overview

    This is an approx. 40 min video which gives a general overview of the youth program and it's features. Just wanted to post it for comparison purposes.

  • #2
    Thanks. Tried to watch, but lost patience. If they have the script somewhere, let us know.

    Comment


    • #3
      Watched a couple minutes of it,. no time right now for the whole thing.
      Is this a start-up thing? I never heard of it before.

      It seems like there are or have been a few of these scout spin off things trying to fill the holes that BSA creates in itself.
      I must say I like the idea, but then again no organization is going to be perfect for everyone. Still, it's clear that BSA is lacking in many ways for folks to even entertain such endeavors. It's gotta be hard to get enough traction to make a big enough organization to have meaning

      Comment


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes. This is a start-up. Definitely in reaction to BSA. I'm figuring it's success depends on lots of unkowns, like:
        - The number of churches who now feel it's inconsistent with their mission to house BSA unit(s).
        - The number of "expelled" units who still want to be associated with a particular church.
        - The number of potential scout leaders who have been in a church sitting on their hands waiting to contribute to a youth movement, just not something as inter-faith as the BSA.
        - The number of unchurched/non-Christian parents who feel their boys are better off in a movement with avowed (dare we say orthodox) Christian leadership.
        - The number of parents of girls who feel that their young women would be better off with American Heritage Girls than GS-USA or Venturing (AHG will encourage it's members' brothers to consider TL).
        And, finally
        - The number of youth who want to put their enthusiasm into a program like this.
        Last edited by qwazse; 09-23-2013, 09:47 AM.

    • #4
      Hey ya know what it might work for me.......

      No where in that video did it mention youth protection or background checks or Paper work, No mention of the Guide to Safe walking ......So all of me parents with records should be ok to sign up as leaders.....No more boring training


      I don't know sounds very churchy to me.....
      Last edited by Basementdweller; 09-23-2013, 10:19 AM.

      Comment


      • Jeffrey H
        Jeffrey H commented
        Editing a comment
        Only got through 15 minutes of it, but youth protection training is mentioned....

    • #5
      BD, when I watched that video I heard a specific reference to Youth Protection Training as part of the leader application process. (It must have been in the first two-thirds of the video because that is the point at which the tediousness of the endless diagrams comparing their advancement program to the BSA's overwhelmed my interest in learning more about the group, at least for that day. You may have to watch it again - if you can take it. I am not picking on TL for this, as the BSA has also produced some mind-numbing material in its time, the most recent strategic plan report comes to mind.) The reference to YPT kind of jumped out at me, probably because they are using the exact same name for the training (which shouldn't be a legal problem, as generic phrases like that usually cannot be trademarked.)



      As for background checks, I don't recall hearing about that in the video, but stay tuned. After 10 years of the BSA having background checks, and with the leaders of this new group being former BSA people, and in this day and age, do you really think they are NOT going to do background checks? I would be very surprised. They are a brand new organization, and all they need is one or two "bad publicity" incidents (not to mention big insurance claims) right as they are starting out, and they would be in deep trouble.

      Comment


      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        Ya I clicked off and probably missed it. It was running and I was listening while doing something else.

    • #6
      It appears that Trail Life USA with their anti-gay policies are too hot to handle and won't be endorsed by the ultra-conservative Southern Baptist Convention.
      The Executive Committee declined to recommend the creation of the task force sought by messenger Harold M. Phillips of Maryland, "believing it is not in the purview of the Southern Baptist Convention to create an alternative civic organization for boys or to have a task force expressly or tacitly endorse one scouting alternative over another."
      source: http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=41108

      Comment


      • WAKWIB
        WAKWIB commented
        Editing a comment
        SBC has made it pretty clear that they will leave the decision to stay or leave BSA (or adopt Trail Life) up to local churches and families. SBC also seems to be trying to invigorate their own youth programs, Royal Ambassadors/Challengers.
        Digi, In one post you tell us that Trail Life was started by Southern Baptists, and now you want to tell us Southern Baptists are giving it a thumbs-down. I wish you would make up your mind.
        This thread was started to discuss the program features. There is another thread specially designed to examine the "confusion" you wish to seek.

      • DigitalScout
        DigitalScout commented
        Editing a comment
        The TLUSA was specifically started as a counter to the BSA's inclusion of gay scouts. So I would say that their anti-gay policies would be a program feature. I fail to see how teaching kids gay-bashing is teaching good leadership skills. The TLUSA is just teaching hate and discrimination to the next generation and perpetuating the cycle of ignorance.

        The reality is that there is no way that anyone can start an anti-gay scouting group today and have it be remotely successful. Readers of this forum have a right to know the facts about the TLUSA and not be snowed by their glitzy marketing videos.

      • WAKWIB
        WAKWIB commented
        Editing a comment
        The thing's barely hatched and you can only come up with ill-contrived attacks like "racist, elitist, gay-bashing, hate." I don't think that most of the members of this forum really walk away better informed when you resort to such rhetoric.

        Glitzy video...surely you jest. That was a pretty dry 40 minutes, in my opinion.

    • #7
      The Broncos destroyed the Raiders, so I watched the video.

      Things I like: Summer camp is less about achievement and more about adventure, some of the ranks require 15 hours of service a year, and merit badges appear to all have a component that requires a kid to do something rather than just discuss. Not sure about a uniform because they don't show anything and they talked about a walking stick with all the achievements put on that. I'd like to see the BSA uniform greatly simplified. The colors are nice.

      Things I don't like: Let's go to Paris for a high adventure trip! There is the equivalent to the BSA methods of scouting and the outdoors is not one of them. It's modeled after AHG, which is modeled after girl scouts, so it's really grouped by age. Something really goofy is the split of scouts in the middle school and high school age. There are middle school patrols and high school patrols. One week a month they will combine like a BSA troop (and combine the older and younger patrols) and the rest of the time they are split. This looks like a horrible committee tradeoff between AHG and BSA, not to mention completely impractical. Biggest con is this is really just a church youth group and will compete with the church youth group and require church personal to run. The focus is on church and not the outdoors. I can see more parents than kids that like this. I'm not sure how many church camps have shotgun ranges. They said leadership is a basic method but I don't see any evidence of that. Oh yeah, there's also the whole thing about my not being welcome.

      Advancement consists of several parts. The first part is 15 required badges. My guess is this is similar to first class requirements but maybe a bit more challenging (belt loops circa 1973). Beyond the 15 required badges there are 4 electives and a kid can make that into anything he wants. Literally, it's up to them to define what they want the requirements to be. Then there is something called experiences for the high school kids. These are probably more challenging than most merit badges. There are categories of subjects and a kid has to do one in depth and two not in depth. In general I like the idea but one could skip the outdoors doing these. There is also something like an eagle project. There are lots of religious requirements. I don't think there are any leadership requirements.

      One other observation is they're pushing for coed in the high school group along with AHG to mimic venture scouts. In fact, it seems like the older program is more venture scouts than boy scouts. But truth be told, until they start there's no way of knowing what's going on. Their presentation is very slick. There aren't many details yet.

      Comment


      • WAKWIB
        WAKWIB commented
        Editing a comment
        I haven't a clue as to what any of the requirements are, really. The video was not too deep. I'm looking forward to seeing the actual handbooks. The split between the middle school and high school groups is a bit odd. Don't know what that is supposed to accomplish. The outdoors will figure heavily into the program but won't be apparent until one sees the actual requirements. I can't see a program drawn up by veteran scouters abandoning that method.
        Although the video is entitled "program overview" it dwelt more on basic organizational structure than anything else.

    • #8
      Not sure why the middle school/high school split seems odd. Isn't that basically what Scouts UK and Scouts CA do? I think that's what BSA is headed towards with the move of Varsity scouting into the Venturing division (other than boosting Venturing Division enrollment artificially but that's subject for another thread).

      Comment


      • #9
        It doesn't appear to be possible to give a handshake and the sign at the same time (both are with the right hand).

        Comment


        • #10
          In the middle/high school split, I heard something on the video about the two groups meeting together once a month and separately the rest of the time. They even made a point of having the heavy line on the diagram, which separated the two groups, fade away when they were talking about how the two groups will sometimes work together. So it's actually a fairly creative solution to a problem that the BSA has been struggling with for years, and that is how to keep things interesting for the older boys while still having them around to work with, teach and assist with the younger Scouts. The BSA has gone from Senior Scouts to Leadership Corps to Venture Patrol and everything in between, and the solution is still difficult to find. What TL seems to be trying for is a sort of Venture Crew that functions on its own most of the time but also functions as part of the larger "troop". (They are using slightly different terminology, their "troop" seems to be from Kindergarten to age 25 (or maybe 18, I was a little unclear on where the 18-25's fit in and by that time I was done watching the video even though it wasn't over) with different sub-groups (also something the BSA has toyed with in order to minimize loss of boys at crossover time) but the middle and high school groups seem to have a closer relationship with each other than with the other groups. So I give them some credit for thinking about the problems the BSA has faced and trying to come up with solutions.

          Comment


          • NJCubScouter
            NJCubScouter commented
            Editing a comment
            You may be right. But a new organization would have a lot more flexibility to try something for their first couple of years and then if it doesn't work, change it. Plus, since the different age levels in TL will technically be part of one "troop" with one CO, one overall leader ("troopmaster") and one committee (I believe), it would be easy for their National to hand down a directive like "Ok, from now on the 11-17 year old groups meet together every week and go on most outings together", and have it implemented on the local level. Not so easy in the BSA where you might have one CO with a troop and another with a crew.



            It is funny to me that I am sort of "defending" this new group, when it is not an organization that I would ever be involved in myself. I guess I just find it interesting to watch how a new group like this goes about organizing itself, and what they choose to do the same as the BSA and what they choose to do differently. And I can sort of watch it from "afar", since I will never have anything "vested" in it, as I do with the BSA.

          • Eagledad
            Eagledad commented
            Editing a comment
            I understand your interest in the organization, it's fun to watch when emotion is left out. I also don't see you defending it so much as just assessing it, from afar. I admit you have been pretty pragmatic about it. From my pragmatic observation, I don't think the organization will change from it's current design of splitting the program between middle school age and high school age because if they don't understand the effects it has on the program now, I can't imagine what it would take to change their thinking. Since older scout roll models don't seem to be influencing their design, I imagine they are looking more at age based patrols as well. Barry

          • WAKWIB
            WAKWIB commented
            Editing a comment
            This is the type of discussion I was hoping to see! Thanks!

        • #11
          NJ, I tried something similar a few years ago, matching an older patrol with a younger patrol, and it didn't work very well. First of all, there weren't enough older scout patrols to match the younger scout patrols so the older patrols had not just one younger patrol, but usually two. So now the patrol is huge. Next, the older scouts never understood that they were responsible for the younger patrol. My patrols met every week and they never gelled. If in TL they only see them once a month, camaraderie will be difficult to develop between the younger and older kids. TL might know more about this than I do but I suspect this is an idea that hasn't been proven.

          I agree that the tradeoffs between the younger and older kids are a challenge. We have high adventure trips and a few other activities just for the older scouts. On the other hand, every time I talk to a scout ready to age out and we reminisce about when they first joined the troop they always talk about some other scout that was 6 or 7 years older and just seemed like a hero to them. When I tell them they are now some other kid's hero they look at me and say really? Nobody ever talks about how an adult was a hero. That interaction seems real important to the whole scouting experience. Working with the younger scouts is also a great introduction to leadership. Scouts know a made up job when they see it and everyone knows that taking responsibility for the younger kids is important. I've asked several older scouts what makes a program interesting for them and their responses are fairly similar. While they want high adventure they also want something meaningful and important. They want, they need, they crave respect from the adults in my troop. Having an adult tell them they did a nice job on something they know is important to that adult is pure gold.

          This isn't to say the BSA has it all figured out. Does the BSA try anything before they roll it out? A little competition sounds good.

          Comment


          • #12
            http://www.traillifeusa.com/wp-conte...oChart-2.0.pdf

            You can see where the zealous have attempted to right the perceived wrongs in the BSA program.

            How long before the Horizon Award mills are cranking out paper Horizon Awards...

            Comment


            • King Ding Dong
              King Ding Dong commented
              Editing a comment
              I must say I like seeing that they will have troop meeting attendance and participation requirements. If the unit sets those requirements...meh

          • #13
            Originally posted by dcsimmons View Post
            Not sure why the middle school/high school split seems odd. Isn't that basically what Scouts UK and Scouts CA do? I think that's what BSA is headed towards with the move of Varsity scouting into the Venturing division (other than boosting Venturing Division enrollment artificially but that's subject for another thread).
            I don't see why a new organization would want to imitate Scouts Canada as it is dying a slow death. But yes, Scouts Canada does split youth between middle school/high school/post-high school (scouts/venturers/rovers). UK seems to be similar with scouts/explorer scouts/network. But I think that's a rather recent change in the UK.

            Interesting how the talk of getting back to the basics has led to a thoroughly modern structure.

            Comment


            • #14
              Took me a while but I finally finished watching the video, did it in fits and spurts over a few days. I would agree with the assessment that it isn't really an overview of the program but more an overview of the structure of the program and organization.

              The other thing that occurred to me is that if I had any doubts that the purpose of the organization was to indoctrinate youth into evangelical Christianity those doubts are now gone.

              Comment


              • Peregrinator
                Peregrinator commented
                Editing a comment
                WAKWIB, I don't necessarily mean it in a pejorative sense. If that's what parents want for their sons then who am I to disagree? (Well, I might disagree but my disagreement would have no effect whatsoever. ) But what I see is a program that would be problematic for Catholic families.

              • WAKWIB
                WAKWIB commented
                Editing a comment
                There are quite a few American Heritage Girl units sponsored by Catholic Churches. Trail Life is using AHG as a pattern for a number of things, including the Statement of Faith. This is what TLUSA subscribes to:

                "We believe there is One Triune God – God the Father; Jesus Christ, His one and only Son; and the Holy Spirit – Creator of the universe and eternally existent. We believe the Holy Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We believe each person is created in His image for the purpose of communing with and worshiping God. We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, Who enables us to live godly lives. We believe each of us is called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

                We believe God calls us to lives of purity, service, stewardship and integrity:

                Purity – God calls us to lives of holiness, being pure of heart, mind, word and deed. We are to reserve sexual activity for the sanctity of marriage, a lifelong commitment before God between a man and a woman.

                Service – God calls us to become responsible members of our community and the world through selfless acts that contribute to the welfare of others.

                Stewardship – God calls us to use our God-given time, talents, and money wisely.

                Integrity – God calls us to live moral lives that demonstrate an inward motivation to do what is biblically right regardless of the cost."

                It's distinctively Christian, but not exclusively "Evangelical Christian" (a loose term that means different things to people both in and out of the Christian faith). I have been a member of Catholic, Lutheran, and Baptist congregations, and nothing in the statement, as it stands, is in conflict with the teachings of any of those three congregations.

              • Peregrinator
                Peregrinator commented
                Editing a comment
                There are quite a few American Heritage Girl units sponsored by Catholic Churches. Trail Life is using AHG as a pattern for a number of things, including the Statement of Faith.
                Yes, I know, and I'm not referring to the "Statement of Faith" ... I was thinking specifically of the "Christian Service" Freedom Experience which -- if one is to major in it -- requires a trip to the Summit Ministries Worldview Conference, which is very much evangelical Christian. The whole tone of the video was also un-Catholic (and I don't mean that in the sense of being "anti-Catholic") ... again, that's fine if that is what people want for their children -- but the constant harping on boys learning to be good Christian family men and leaders of their communities was grating on my ears. Maybe that's what God wills for my sons and maybe it isn't -- who knows, maybe they have vocations?

            • #15
              One thing they appear to be trying to get away from is the whole summer-camp-as-merit-badge-mill thing. I suppose that is as much by necessity as by choice since they don't have long-established camps to go to. I'll be interested to see what some of these groups will do to take it's place. That would be a big hurdle to jump in my area among those who leave BSA as our summer camp program is almost an end to itself and the capstone experience on the annual schedule.

              Comment


              • RememberSchiff
                RememberSchiff commented
                Editing a comment
                I read Trail Life wants to be decentralized and not own real estate - no councils, no camps. Meanwhile many of our summer camps often rent out to different groups (hopefully they will not exclude Trail Life troops) if that is what a TL troop wants, but from their marketing I think Trail Life troops will get out on the trail and plan their own treks (hopefully patrol-based).

                It will be interesting to see what and how many things Trail Life does better or whether they just repeat many of the BSA's same mistakes in addition to their own mistakes. For example, I have heard a rumor that youth protection, including background check, training, etc, will be the responsibility of the chartering church.

                My $0.02
                Last edited by RememberSchiff; 09-29-2013, 12:00 PM. Reason: Fixed my error pointed out by KDD

              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                Where did T2L come from ? I have not seen them use the "to".
                Last edited by King Ding Dong; 09-30-2013, 09:38 AM. Reason: Grammer

              • RememberSchiff
                RememberSchiff commented
                Editing a comment
                Oops, did not have my coffee - Trail Life not Trail to Life (another program), thanks for the save KDD.
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