Trail Life USA, Troop GA-3252, sponsored by Statesboro’s First Baptist Church, kicks off a new year with the first night set for Monday at 6:30 p.m. on the second floor of Kidz Place at First Baptist Church. The troop meets every Monday night and the month of September is active recruitment month across the nation for Trail Life USA.
Trail Life USA is a Christian outdoor adventure program that emphasizes and teaches biblical moral values, and the general focus of the organization is on outdoor adventure, character and leadership.
The organization is fairly young, originating in 2013. Statesboro’s Troop GA-3252 – the only troop in Statesboro – was one of the first in Georgia, receiving its charter in February of 2014. Roughly 30,000 men and boys across the nation are now members of Trail Life USA, according to Trip McAlhany, troop master for the Statesboro troop.
McAlhany chose the troop number as a reference to the verse in the Bible that is found in Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke is the third book of the New Testament.
Trailmen are categorized by grade level and can begin participating in Kindergarten as Woodlands. Middle School participants are called “Navigators,” and high school boys in the program are called “Adventurers.”
Participants work through various requirements and levels to advance in rank, with the highest award being the “Freedom Award.” For that award, boys have a major study and a minor study that involves sharing their faith story and completing a community service project.
Over the summer, three boys and two adults took part in the Trail Life USA National Summer Adventure, a high-adventure camp, in Glorietta, N.M. Daniel McAlhany and Jarod Horton,both rising tenth graders at the time, and Brantley Wood, a rising ninth grader, attended the camp, along with Troop Master Trip McAlhany and Trail Guide Buddy Jameson.
The boys worked on clinics that taught skills like knot-tying, lashing and tarp survival. Trailmen McAlhany and Horton white-water kayaked down the Rio Grande River, and Wood participated in white-water rafting.
All three boys hiked the Pecos Baldy Summit, camped by a lake, continued hiking to watch the sunrise from the peak, and then hiked out.
Daniel McAlhany said of the trip, “Seeing the sunrise from the top of Pecos Baldy was one of the top experiences of Trail Life. Being able to have this experience with fellow trailmen from Statesboro, as well as across the nation, made the experience even more special. “
Boys or parents in the community wanting more information about Trail Life USA are invited to attend a meeting, visit the Trail Life USA Troop GA 3252 Facebookpage or call Trip McAlhany at (912) 489-7917.