Critics say the Boy Scouts of America has changed over the past several years, but unfortunately, not for the better. That’s why alternative, Christ-centered, boys-only scouting groups are gaining ground.
As CBN News has reported, a series of transitions began in 2017 when Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that girls would be allowed to join the group. The following year, the group changed their name to Scouts BSA to reflect their inclusion of girls since the “Boy Scouts” would no longer be about boys.
This change caused a huge backlash from parents looking for a boys-only space for their sons to experience scouting.
Despite the criticism, earlier this summer, Scouts BSA announced that co-ed dens are now authorized for every level of Cub Scouts through 4th grade.
Meanwhile, the time-honored gathering of Scout troops across the nation at the quadrennial National Jamboree that once featured former U.S. presidents and male celebrities from all walks of life, hosted a three-day inaugural “Women of Character” event, “designed to foster thought leadership, generate support for female-centric Scouting units across the United States, and ensure that young women have the opportunity to participate in the life-changing experiences that Scouting provides,” PJ Media reported.
Athena Thorne, noted in her column for the outlet last month how attendance had dropped at the first Jamboree featuring the new, “inclusive” Boy Scouts.
“Scouting was one of the last existing organizations dedicated exclusively to boys and their particular inclinations, interests, and development for a successful future. So naturally, the organization was under attack,” Thorne wrote.
“In truth, the Scouting movement was ebbing because society was changing: young people were growing more self-absorbed, spending time online rather than outdoors, and becoming reliant on ‘the government,’ not one’s self, to take care of everything,” Thorne pointed out.
“If Scouting had stuck to its original founding principles, it may have persevered indefinitely, smaller but still highly attractive to those boys and their families who valued the Scout Oath and Law. Pretending Scouting can be all things to all people, however, will do nothing but make it common, nothing special, and not of particular interest to anyone,” she explained.
As CBN News reported, the BSA’s shift toward political correctness, along with its sexual abuse scandals, has reportedly led to the loss of 425,000 members.
Christ-Centered Alternative Has More Than 50,000 Members in All 50 States
With many families opposing BSA’s progressive shift to a gender-neutral and pro-LGBT direction, a new faith-based scouting group was formed in 2013 called Trail Life USA.
Now, 10 years later, the organization is the largest boy-focused, Christ-centered scouting organization in the country. Last May, Trail Life announced it had officially chartered its 1,000th local chapter with more than 50,000 members in all 50 states.
“While the Boy Scouts abandon their traditional boy-centered roots, we are dedicated to providing boys and their families a space that is geared towards boys,” Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock said in a press release. “It may make financial sense for them (BSA) to allow girls to join the ranks, but how is this beneficial for boys in a time when so many statistics point to boys losing ground?”
“This is why Trail Life is so unique — we are providing an uncompromising boy-focused program designed to let boys be boys, accentuating their strengths and allowing them to feel understood and appreciated. Trail Life USA aims to restore the wonder and winning elements of boyhood so boys can have a sure and secure future through our Proven Process,” Hancock continued.
“We guide them with vetted male mentors. We ground them in biblical truths. We appreciate their strengths. And we inspire them with outdoor adventure, character, and leadership challenges,” he added.
Trail Life USA has received praise from some of today’s top Christian voices, including Focus on the Family, Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Family Life, Promise Keepers, the American Family Association, and many others.
The organization’s mission is to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure.
Meanwhile, other Christ-focused, boy scouting groups are also doing very well. The Royal Rangers reports over 200,000 current rangers in more than 90 nations, and the Christian Service Brigade says it has impacted the lives of more than 1 million men in 84 years of ministry.