Trail Life USA Kicks Off
Boy scouts in North Central Florida may want to "be prepared" to make a new choice. Stick with scouting or head out on a new trail. 2014 marks a new era for boy scouts. Starting today the group will accept openly- gay members. The policy was approved last May, and soon after a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts of America was created. Trail Life USA is official as of Thursday.
It’s motto is Walk Worthy. The Christian program focuses on adventure, leadership and character.
"The goal for Trail Life USA is to take boys and walk then into manhood in what we feel is a biblical accurate way,” said Larry Wagner who is a Point Man with Trail Life USA.
The group was created after the Boy Scouts of America National Council approved a new policy that no youth would be denied membership because of their sexuality. Wagner has been involved with BSA for nearly 20 years. Now he has decided also to be part of Trail Life USA.
"For many of us we needed a program that offered a bit more clarity about what we think Christ is leading is to be as men and so Trail Life USA was created for that purpose,” said Wagner.
The program was unveiled in September, but it launched on New Year’s Day. There are dozens of troops across the country, in states such as Texas, South Carolina, California Pennsylvania and Florida. Right now there is one active troop in North Central Florida.
"The closest one is up in Lake City. Troop 881 with Hopeful Baptist Church,” said Wagner.
The troop will hold its first meeting next Monday. Trail Life USA is designed for boys ages five to seventeen.
"Our program is fun. It’s exciting. It’s adventuresome. It’s in the outdoors where boys learn so many incredible great things,” said Wagner.
All boys are welcome, regardless their race, religion, socio-economic status or national origin.
"We do profess that gods expectations for us and is for sexual activity to be restricted between a man and a woman in the sanctity of marriage. We profess that and we expect our leaders to practice that,” said Wagner.
According to Wagner, a young man who is gay can be a member of Trail Life USA as long as they don't promote or participate in sexual behavior.
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