The Nine Methods of Trail Life

The methods of Trail Life USA work well together because they return boys to an environment where comfort or misery, safety or danger, and success or failure depend on skills they can master. It is an environment where fathers can teach their sons skills that are still relevant. The Trail Life is one of the last refuges of capable self-reliance where boys can learn important lessons about life through experiential learning. Our nine methods are:

  1. Patrols – A patrol is a group where every boy can play an important role, make friends, and learn the connection between preparation and success. A patrol is a small family within the larger family of the Troop.
  2. Leadership – When boys realize that a leader gives the gift of guidance, they will give it without arrogance and receive it with gratitude. Boys learn that they not only are called upon to lead others but to also lead themselves. Self-control is the first great leadership skill.
  3. Advancement – The recognition of personal and practical growth to reward past performance and predict future success.
  4. Adult Association – Trail Leaders are the greatest role models in the world. They give freely of themselves to help great boys become great men through purposeful fun.
  5. Outdoors – Blessed with equal measures of beauty and challenge, peace and excitement, God’s great out-of-doors offers uniquely fulfilling experiences for all. It is an environment that encourages the sharing of skills and heritage.
  6. Uniforms – The uniform and standard (staff) display the goodwill of Trail Life USA to the community. They represent the family bonds of the Trail Life and are a canvass upon which boys tell the story of their unique achievements, interests and goals.
  7. Opportunity – Placing young people in an exciting and challenging environment lets them make discoveries about the world and themselves that cannot be learned any other way. We cannot guarantee what you’ll find or when you’ll find it, but if you don’t get out and look, we guarantee that you’ll never find it.
  8. Standards – The Trailman Oath and Trailman Motto clearly state what is expected of a Trailman in thought, word and deed.
  9. Spiritual Development – The ultimate health and safety issue that we can address is protecting the image of God within us. Spirituality is the key to a fully-realized manhood