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The Southern Hills Evangelical Free Church recently became home to a new Troop of Trail Life USA in Hot Springs. Trail Life is a Christ-centered outdoor adventure, leadership, and character development ministry. Its mission is to guide new generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure, resulting in Godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.

The values emphasized with the young men are purity in both thought and deed, service to the community and others, wise stewardship of our God-given time, talents, and finances, and moral integrity regardless of the cost. Every session begins with the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag. This is followed by reciting of the Trail Life Oath:

On my honor, I will do my best to serve God and my country;

To respect authority; to be a good steward of creation;

And to treat others as I want to be treated

Trail Life is an Outdoor-Focused program, and believes there is something special about being in the outdoors. This enables the program to instill “Adventure, Character, and Leadership” traits in boys and young men. Camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities help build deep relationships and provide a special context for leadership, problem solving, conflict resolution, and character building. The Troop also values the outdoor focus of the program as a unique means of helping a boy see and appreciate the wonder, majesty, and grandness of God as reflected in His creation.

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Youth membership in the program is open to biologically male children under the age of 18. While the program is undergirded by Biblical values and unapologetically reflects a Christian worldview, there is also a clearly defined inclusion policy for youth. Accordingly, all boys are welcome regardless of religion, race, national origin or socio-economic status. Its goal is for parents and families of every faith to be able to place their boys in a youth program that endeavors to provide moral consistency and ethical integrity in its adult leaders. The troop welcome boys whose parents are seeking a faith-based outdoor adventure program that places an emphasis on character development, leadership, and moral purity, and who aspire to live in accordance with the values expressed in the program’s Oath and Creed.

Weekly meetings are Tuesdays, from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm, with special events and field trips on select Saturdays.

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