The Boy Scouts of America have competition from a new Christian organization forming an alternative group to teach youngsters leadership skills and offer outdoor adventures in an atmosphere that excludes openly gay participants.
The newly created Trail Life USA begins operations next year and hopes to counter the "moral free-fall" and "raise a generation of faithful husbands, fathers, citizens and leaders," organizers told the national inaugural convention in Nashville, Tenn., Friday night.
The goal is to "become the premier organization that honors God and builds some great young men," Mark Hancock, one of the board members told The Washington Times.
The new group was formed after the Boy Scouts changed its policy in May to admit young boys without regard to their sexual orientation or sexual preference.
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Trail Life USA says it will include boys who are experiencing gender confusion or same-sex attractions, but it will not admit boys no longer "biologically male" or those who wish to dress and act like girls, the newspaper reported.
"Our whole life is about the trail, both in the outdoors and in the journey of life as believers," said John Stemberger, chairman of the board of Trail Life USA.
"So Trail Life is a way of life that is centered on following Christ in the outdoors," Stemberger said.
Adult troop leaders must also sign a statement of faith, adhere to a code of conduct, and undergo background checks.
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