How the Program Works
The Trail Life USA program is designed for boys from age 5 - 17. Program participants are referred to as "Trailmen". The "Troop" is the primary unit of organization and provides programming for boys of all ages. Each chartered troop is further segregated into "Units" as follows:
The Woodlands Trail Unit provides programming for boys ages 5 - 10 (K - 5th grade). Within the Woodlands Trail Unit, boys are further segregated into patrols according to age as outlined below:
Fox Patrol - Ages 5-6 (K - 1st grade)
Hawk Patrol - Ages 7-8 (2nd - 3rd grades)
Mountain Lion Patrol - Ages 9 -10 (4th - 5th grades)
The Woodlands Trail programming is delivered by Registered Adult Leaders, who are overseen by the Unit Leader, referred to as the Ranger.
The Navigators Unit provides programming to middle school aged boys (ages 11 - 13; 6th - 8th grades). Within the Navigators program, the boys are segregated into smaller patrol units which are youth led. Activities are directed by a adult leaders referred to as Trail Guides, who are overseen by the Unit Leader, referred to as the Trailmaster.
The Adventurers Unit provides programming to highschool aged boys (ages 14 - 17; 9th-12th grades). Within the Adventurers program, the boys are segregated into smaller patrol units which are youth led. Activities of the Adventurers unit are overseen by an adult leader referred to as the Advisor.
Achievements and Advancement
Within the Woodlands Trail Program, achievements are participation based. Trailmen earn "leaves" for participation in troop meetings, events and outdoor activities (i.e., campouts, service progrjects, etc.). There are seven core areas of focus within the program, which are represented by branches of a tree. As leaves are earned, they are credited toward an applicable branch. At the end of each two year program (i.e., fox, hawk, mountain lion), if a boy has earned all leaves on all branches, he is eligible to receive the Forest Badge as a sign of his achievement.
Within the Navigators and Adventurers Program, achievements are merit based. Trailmen work toward the development of life skills in various areas (i.e., outdoor skills, first aid, emergency preparedness, citizenship, family values, etc.). As they complete their training, they earn Trail Badges. Successful completion of required and elective Trail Badges, along with completion of certain other requirements allows a Trailman to earn ranks in progressing fashion. The ultimate goal is to earn all rank advancements and achieve the highest rank, known as the Freedom Award.
Boy Scouts of America Transfer Credit
Trail Life USA has developed a program to allow previous participants in BSA to transfer their achievements into Trail Life USA. The BSA rank advancements do not correlate precisely to the Trail Life USA ranks, but there is a system to ensure transferring Trailmen receive credit for work done in the BSA program. Our Advancement Coordinator can talk with you and your Trailman about the requirements to transfer achievements from BSA to Trail Life USA.
Trail Life USA Program Overview Video
For those who want more detailed information than is presented above, this 39 minute video provides a deeper overview of the Trail Life USA Program.