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  • Churches Evicting Troops, and a new organization

    Recently a Troop in COL was evicted from their meeting place due to the new policy change, is this happening all over the country or is this just a few incidents? I also found a very interesting site, http://www.traillifeusa.com/ this is an alternative to the BSA do you think that this is stealing many boys or just a few? I personally find this new organization disturbing for many different reasons.The first is their oath which is a dead ringer of the boy scout, and then their "to respect authority" and then their accepting, any religion even for example a Muslim Wahabist but not allowing a Christian homosexual boy in. This was also one of my issues with BSA before they changed it. So my question is, what has the fallout been in your area due to policy change and will this new organization hurt the BSA?

  • #2
    Around here only a few BSA troops have been asked to find a new sponsor and they have been able to. Very quickly and usually right down the street.

    I've not heard about any trail life units forming locally.

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    • #3
      I've only met two Scouts who went to a Trail Life unit. The gay issue was a cover for people dissatisfied with the BSA to start a strictly Christian. Youth group.

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      • #4
        So far very few TLUSA have started around here - NH, MA.

        If the theory was that CO's who asked their BSA troop to leave would automatically replace with a TLUSA unit, that is not happening here. The BSA unit finds another sponsor and/or the scouts leave or find another troop. Seems the TLUSA units are being formed by disgruntled scouters who are finding they need to reach out over a larger geographic area for members. Just an observation, it has been less than a year since they started.

        My $0.02

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        • #5
          A friend's grandkids are joining one down in TX. If his boy's any indication of the talent they're drawing, it's going to be a top-notch organization.

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          • qwazse
            qwazse commented
            Editing a comment
            Oh, and they don't have any policy explicitly excluding homosexual boys from membership.

          • nextgenscouter1
            nextgenscouter1 commented
            Editing a comment
            I took this to mean they wouldn't allow in homosexual boys. "The basis for the program’s ethical and moral standards is found in the Bible. In terms of sexual identification and behavior, we affirm that any sexual activity outside the context of the covenant of marriage between one man and one woman is sinful before God and therefore inconsistent with the values and principles of the program.
            Within these limits, we grant membership to adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind"
            Maybe I misunderstood this. However, if we follow the reasons that this is why they left the BSA and the quote above, then I would think otherwise.

        • #6
          Originally posted by nextgenscouter1 View Post
          The first is their oath which is a dead ringer of the boy scout
          What's wrong with that?

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          • #7
            A friend of mine is hosting a "Trail Life USA Town Meeting" this Wednesday at 6 PM at the church which hosts our BSA Troop. I plan to attend.

            The name "Trail Life" is promising but the slogan "Adventure, Character, and Leadership" is troublesome, since the BSA has used the slogan "Character and Leadership" to explain why they took the Adventure (and the "Real Patrol" Method) out of Scouting in 1972.

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            • Sentinel947
              Sentinel947 commented
              Editing a comment
              Or join them since the BSA drives you up a wall.

            • Kudu
              Kudu commented
              Editing a comment
              I will definitely join at some level if they try fill the vacuum left by the BSA's turn away from Hillcourt's Real Patrol Method, which was based on the "Trail Life" of Patrols.

            • Scouter99
              Scouter99 commented
              Editing a comment
              I have a feeling that Royal Ambassadors Outside isn't going to fill any voids.

          • #8
            We've lost one CO that I know of and a few district people resigned post-vote.

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            • #9
              I find the Trail Life oath rather lacking, myself. There's no mention of helping others or of obeying the Law. Indeed, I can't really tell whether they have a Law.

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              • #10
                So for all purposes this organization was created, by people who already wished to leave and make a more faith based organization. Following that then they policy change was just an excuse to leave.

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                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  It's fair to say it's a little of both. There have been a growing number of Christian youth leaders who have been less comfortable with working in traditional models. The thought that "we can do something like this on our own" has been festering for a while.

                • EmberMike
                  EmberMike commented
                  Editing a comment
                  TLUSA had all the pieces in place to get started long before the vote on gay scouts was cast. So yes, they used it as an excuse. They would have gone ahead with this either way, most likely. If the vote failed, they then probably would have had some other reason for breaking away.

              • #11
                Trail Life doesn't appear to be growing where I live. There are no units within 50 miles as best I can tell.

                I think they'll end up about the size of American Heritage Girls, which has the same outlook as they do.

                Just another choice for a kid's time, no great threat to BSA.

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                • #12
                  I see a lot of opinions of why folks are leaving the BSA for Trail Life and likely they are all correct depending on the unit. The local Trail Life near me organized as a result of the BSA membership decision. There was no thought of changing before. I know of a couple of Texas units considering Trail Life because the church has asked the BSA units to leave. I know of another boy run unit looking into Trail Life to get more freedom in there program. I don't think there is one main reason. But if Trail Life can get their feet under them, they might make a go of it. I don't feel Trail Life will hurt the BSA program. But it might keep them from going more liberal with membership like allowing atheist. Barry

                  Comment


                  • EmberMike
                    EmberMike commented
                    Editing a comment
                    For an organization that just formed in the last few months, I find TL's growth rather impressive. They're highly organized, have a pretty complete looking program, handbooks, uniforms, units, leadership, members, they're hitting the ground running. It may seem like basic stuff to us, but think about how much time and effort it takes to start something like this, write the program, get all of the materials made, get the organizational and business stuff sorted out, etc.

                    Based on how far they've come in just a few months, I'd regard TL as a major threat to the BSA in some areas.

                  • Eagledad
                    Eagledad commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Good point Mike, we will have to see how it goes. What I think will slow their growth is TLs strict use of using religious institutions for COs. Barry

                  • chrisking0997
                    chrisking0997 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    well, yeah....when you have a 100 year old preexisting program, handbook, uniform, units, leadership, members to base your organization off of, you're gonna look like you've hit the ground running.

                • #13
                  Our BSA Troop lost a fantastic leader, and his son, a fantastic Scout (best knot tyer in the Troop). The leader is now the "Troopmaster" (probably the equivalent of SM) in Trail Life Troop TN - 0122, here in Murfreesboro.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Looking at 25-mile radius, I've found one unit of Trail Life and the CO evidently dumped the scout unit to start this one. The scouts, most of them, were not members of the church and most are moving to other units in the area. Here is an excerpt from a newspaper article about that unit:
                    "...adult leaders in the program will be Christian and must sign a statement of faith and submit to background checks. Both boys and adults will be required to adhere to a code of conduct. The full membership policy, Statement of Faith and Statement of Values can be read online at www.TrailLifeUSA.com. Membership in the program has both youth and adult elements.The adult applicant must also be at least 18 years of age and subscribe to and abide by the statement of Christian faith and the oath and creed of the program.The group welcomes boys whose parents are seeking a faith-based outdoor adventure program that places an emphasis on character development, leadership, and moral purity, and who aspire to live in accordance with the values expressed in the program’s Oath and Creed.The program is under girded by Biblical values and unapologetically reflects a Christian worldview. The group’s goal is for parents and families of every faith to be able to place their boys in a youth program that endeavors to provide moral consistency and ethical integrity in its adult leaders."

                    Now I realize this sounds a lot narrower than what I'm reading in this and related threads but I suspect that this particular rural church is narrowing the rules to suit its own particular needs. Anyway, it's the only Trail Life unit I can find. The little town this church is in is also where I have lived so I know the people fairly well. This church is a perfect fit for Trail Life.

                    So I Googled a line from the article and quite a few different web sites popped up indicating that this wording is being used fairly widely. I really enjoyed this site: http://victoriajackson.com/9771/new-boy-scouts
                    especially the comments

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                    • #15
                      From what I understand, although excepting boys of all faith, and boys of little faith (as long as not atheist).. Their acceptance of adult Leadership is stricter and more intolerant.. If not serious Christians then you can not be an adult leader.. And they will not accept faiths like LDS as Christian because it doesn't strictly follow the bible.. I stumbled upon some discussion with an LDS mother who was upset with the rules, and many people who I assume were interested in founding TL's in their area, were trying to defend TL's rule on adult leadership became pretty nasty to her..

                      It might be a rule made in fear of LDS moving over and changing the program to be different as in BSA, but I think they could have easily prevented that by welcoming them, but making rules and making it clear that they would have to follow the program everyone else did..

                      Anyway, definitely not a secular organization.. The only reason I can assume they put out a welcome mat to the youth of other religions while barring their parents is some insane notion of trying to convert them.

                      Comment


                      • Peregrinator
                        Peregrinator commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The problem is not that the LDS has additional scriptures but that they don't believe that God is a Trinity.

                      • moosetracker
                        moosetracker commented
                        Editing a comment
                        If that's it Peregrinator, then it's a cop out.. I looked around & the LDS do believe in the trinity, they just call it by a different term.. Here is one explanation.

                        Do Mormons believe in the Trinity?

                        Mormons most commonly use the term “Godhead” to refer to the Trinity. The first article of faith for the Latter-day Saints reads: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” Latter-day Saints believe God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one in will and purpose but are not literally the same being or substance, as conceptions of the Holy Trinity commonly imply.


                        Whether it be they don't follow the Bible exclusively, or whether it is not believing in the trinity.. It is a cop out.. Why not have Catholic denounce protestants as true Christians because they don't believe in saints or elevate the mother Mary to the heights Catholics do... Why can't Protestants denounce Catholics as a true Christian because of all the statues they kiss the feet of..

                        The definition of a Christian is one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ Regardless of how they vary in the way they choose to interpret those teachings.

                      • Huzzar
                        Huzzar commented
                        Editing a comment
                        How can an organization setting its own rules be "copping out?"

                        If an LDS person can read their statement of faith and sign it they're in, right? If an LDS person reads it and says that's not what we believe, they don't.

                        Trail Life moved on from BSA, why are you so insistent they're doing something wrong?
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