Trail Life USA Founded After Boy Scouts of America's Acceptance of Gay Youth

By Courtney Burris |

Published 01/08 2014 10:28PM

Updated 01/08 2014 10:52PM

Beginning in January of 2013, several national organizations began planning for alternatives in the case that the Boy Scouts of America voted to change their membership standards to allow gay youth to participate. 

In May of 2013, the BSA did decide to change their policy to allow gay youth, but not gay leaders. The following month, the initial organization meeting including national organizations and former scouting leaders took place. Trail Life USA was born. 

On January 1st, 2014, Trail Life began their nationwide program roll out. The very same day BSA's policy change went into effect. Trail Life USA is founded on many of the same principles that BSA is, however, all adult leaders must sign a Christian statement of faith. All boys, are welcome regardless of race, religion, national origin, or socio-economic status. 

The adventure and outdoor learning are still very much a part of the organization, however, all program elements are taught from a Christian worldview.

Some Abilene locals think that Trail Life USA is a great idea, while others stand with BSA. Whether a person is for or against this alternative to Boy Scouts, one thing that most can agree on is that they believe that this program will go over well in Abilene.

Scott Scarborough, High Plains Area Point Man of TLUSA, explains that their purpose is not to convert, but to instill moral principles into young men. He unashamedly explains that they got their roots from BSA, and says that in forming TLUSA, they took the good from BSA and left the problems behind.

While Scarborough explains that they are not "haters," they want to be certain that parents know what their young men are being taught. 

Currently, there is not an official Abilene area Trail Life USA troop in place. If you are interested in the program, email You can also visit their official website.

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