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Blazing his own trail
Boro’s Daniel McAlhaney earns ‘Freedom Award’
Daniel McAlhany received Statesboro's first Trail Life USA Freedom Award, the highest award attainable in the Trail Life USA organization, and is presented the award by Adventure Advisor Buddy Jameson.

Statesboro High senior and Trail Life Trailman Daniel McAlhany received Statesboro’s first Freedom Award from Trail Life USA during a ceremony on Sunday at First Baptist Church. The prestigious Freedom Award recognizes young men who epitomize the Trail Life oath and motto and is the highest award in the Trail Life USA organization.

Founded in the summer of 2013, Trail Life USA adheres to the mission “to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others and experience outdoor adventure. The motto, “Walk Worthy,” is taken from Colosians 1:10 that says “… that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” 

The relatively new organization now serves more than 30,000 boys in all 50 states with almost 800 troops nationwide. Boys begin as young as Kindergarten and earn badges and gain knowledge in outdoor skills, citizenship, character, friendship and faith.  Advancement through the ranks requires leadership positions, as well as project completions.

A recipient of the Worthy Life award, McAlhany used his multimedia talents to volunteer with a children’s choir and he said the humbling experience allowed all to grow in in their walk with Christ. An active member of First Baptist Church Statesboro, McAlhany said he tries to be an example to younger men in the way they live, act and lead others.

For his Freedom project, McAlhany constructed a pergola at a local homeless shelter. With other Trailmen, he cleaned up the area, giving the shelter residents a place relax and enjoy the outdoors for a meal, meet with mentors or a quiet space to work. McAlhany said he believes this effort will be continued through upcoming Trailmen as a place they can continue to keep clean for the homeless.

“I’ve had a lot of fun with other Trailmen and a lot of fellowship over the years that has strengthened my walk with Christ,” McAlhany said. “Trail Life USA has helped prepare me for the future and added achievements to my resume.”

That future involves shipping off in September 2020 to Lackland Air Force Base. As a graduating senior of Statesboro High, McAlhany has already taken his oath of office as a member of the Air Force where he will serve on special mission aircraft maintenance.

McAlhany, son of Trip and Marlene McAlhany, said that some of the highlights of his Trail Life USA experience include summer trip camps to places like New Mexico and West Virginia. As Statesboro’s first recipient of the Freedom Award and member of Trail Life since 2014, McAlhany has had the opportunity to mentor many boys and young men over the years. He said that he hopes to leave a legacy of “going for the gold, doing everything possible to reach the goal of the Freedom Award.”


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