A project of the National Catholic Committee for Trail Life USA

The Catholic Trail

About Trail Life USA

Beginning with Kindergarten and ending in a service oriented program in the early twenties, Trailmen learn age appropriate lessons in the context of a rugged outdoor adventure program. Younger guys learn new life skills through community outings and camping. Middle school aged Trailmen grow in their knowledge of outdoor and mountaineering skills and go on monthly excursions together to build character and teamwork. Older high school aged Trailmen encounter ever more ambitious and challenging outdoor adventures as they work to achieve the organization's highest rank.

And be assured that Trail Life USA is not in the business of bricks and mortar stores or a "dollars for badges" summer camp scheme. Trail Life troops execute a "Summer Adventure" program, and the entire program culminates when a boy earns his Freedom Award, with a Servant Leadership Project, major and minor areas of focus, and an exclusive Freedom Experience.

Adventure. Character. Leadership. This is Trail Life USA.

For more information about Trail Life USA, consult our Resources Download Page.


On my honor, I will do my best
To serve God and my country,
To respect authority,
To be a good steward of creation,
And to treat others as I want to be treated.


Trailmen encourage and support each other to adhere to the exhortation in Colossians 1:10, i.e., that Christian believers "walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him." Trail Life works to develop young men who will strive to walk through their lives in a manner worthy of their faith.

Adventure. Character. Leadership. This is Trail Life USA.

To get started chartering a troop, click on the Trail Life USA logo in the masthead above, or go to the website at www.TrailLifeUSA.com.

A Christian program that fosters robust Catholic participation

There is a basic "floor" of Christian belief to which all Trail Life leaders and chartering organizations must adhere. This floor does not preclude Catholic participation in Trail Life. More significantly, there is no ceiling to how robustly Catholic a particular Trail Life troop may be. For further assurances in that regard, please consult the section of this website, Catholics in Trail Life.

All chartering organizations and adult leaders in the Trail Life program must be able to attest in good conscience a Statement of Faith and Values, as follows:

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."


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.


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


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


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

Adventure. Character. Leadership. This is Trail Life USA.

To get started chartering a troop, click on the Trail Life USA logo in the masthead above, or go to the website at www.TrailLifeUSA.com.


In early 2013, several national organizations began planning for alternatives in the event the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voted to change its membership requirements as it had proposed. That is, these groups sought a plan of action if a scenario unfolded in which the BSA ceded any role in instilling in boys the Teachings of the Church regarding acting on same sex attraction. In May of that year, BSA indeed voted to adopt membership requirements that the organization described as a departure from its previous practice. Viewed most charitably, the new policy was at the very best ambiguous about the immorality of acting on same sex attraction.

Accordingly, in June of 2013, representatives from various Christian religious faith communities, including several lay Catholics with experience in the scouting movement, gathered for an initial organizational meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. Those gathered forged broad agreement regarding the parameters of an alternative organization that would preserve the legacy of boys' adventuring and the methodologies popularized by Robert Baden Powell -- without sacrificing clarity in the teaching of virtue.

In September of 2013, the first national convention was held in Nashville, Tennessee, where it was first announced that the new organization would be called Trail Life USA, that the Trailman motto would be to "Walk Worthy", and that the organization's dedication to "Raising the Standard" would begin with the most fundamental place, the wearing of Trail Badge plates attached to a ceremonial walking stick, or "standard", as opposed to a sash. The program is for boys throughout the years as they mature into men.

By January of 2014, the new program was released, the Trail Life Handbook was available, and hundreds of new troops were chartered or in the process of chartering. Trail Life USA is present in nearly every state, and the enthusiasm of the boys for this program is contagious. Trail Life USA is well on its way to ending its first year in existence with one thousand troops.

Adventure. Character. Leadership. This is Trail Life USA.

Join us in Raising the Standard, and Walk Worthy!

The Catholic Trail

National Catholic Committee
of Trail Life USA
c/o WitnessWorks Foundation
for a Culture of Life

4 Family Life Lane
Front Royal, Virginia 22630
Tel 540.622.8070
Fax 540.622.2247