Trail Life USA Building Bridges and Building Men

Trail Life USABridging the Gap, Showing the World How to Turn Boys into Men 

July 12, 2021

GREENVILLE, S.C.—In Trail Life USA( Troops in all 50 states, boys are becoming men, led on a mentoring and discipleship journey through outdoor adventures, community projects, practical outdoor training, Bible study, and conquering real-life challenges. Each level attained is rewarded, celebrated, and honored with attained badges and recognition as boys walk worthy and learn what it means to become men.

Boys progress from Adventurer to Trailman, celebrating the final passage with a bridging ceremony. The Bridging Ceremony recognizes their achievement and provides an opportunity for the entire Troop to pause and reflect on what they accomplished together and individually as they figuratively cross the bridge and reach new milestones of manhood together.

One Troop based in Denton, Texas, designed and constructed an actual bridge.

Troopmaster Clint Webb, leader of Trail Life Troop TX-1160, recalled moments from their bridge-building adventure to commemorate boys who bridged into the Navigators Program. “We must do the work of showing the world how to turn boys into men. We teach, we’re involved, but at some point, we have to get out of the way so these boys go on a discovery journey. These boys made plans…worked together to lift the heavy logs…float them downstream, and as a team, mentors and boys set the pilings, added girders, and assembled the bridge… It’s amazing to see what these boys were able to accomplish.”

The Trail Life mission is to guide generations of young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure.

“The visible project was a fully assembled and structurally sound walking bridge, but the spiritual accomplishment was a lesson in faith – following a plan to see a dream through to reality,” said Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock. “The bridge is sturdy enough to support a grown man, but what the boys learned were lessons that will support them through life: to work together, pray together, plan and win and lose together. They will look back at that log bridge at moments of challenge and remember the teamwork, tenacity, and faith it took to see it through. The biblical principles learned through building their bridge will support these boys throughout their lives – bridging gaps to reach the goal of godly manhood.”

Read the full story of Troop TX-1160 in Building Men: Milestones on the Journey to Manhood.

Trail Life USA is the premier national character development organization for young men producing godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens. Trail Life’s mission is to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure. Troops exist in all 50 states and are growing as Trail Life USA expands around the country. Get involved in a Troop near you, or Start a Troop in your community today.   

Since Trail Life USA launched on January 1, 2014, it has grown to over 30,000 members in over 850 Troops across the nation. The K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills. A robust awards program motivates young men to grow on a personal level to become role models and leaders among their peers. Living the Trail Life USA is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible.

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To interview Mark Hancock from Trail Life USA,, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.