Trail Life USA CEO ‘Saddened’ by Boy Scouts Name Change, Stresses Need for Male Role Models

Mark Hancock the CEO of Trail Life USA, an alternative to what was formerly known as the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), expressed disappointment over the BSA’s recent name change to Scouting America. In a press release, Hancock criticized the organization for challenging the notion that “boys and girls are different” and abandoning a “male-centric environment.”

“We are saddened by the Scouts’ continued challenge to the truth that boys and girls are different and deserve different programs,” Hancock said. “Trail Life USA remains committed to recognizing the unique design of boys through our proven process that is growing them into godly men.”

Hancock’s comments come amid a wave of changes by the BSA in recent years, including lifting a ban on gay employees, allowing transgender boys to join, and, most recently, opening membership to girls in 2019. The organization also reached an $850 million settlement in 2021 over allegations of sexual abuse by former scouts.

In an exclusive interview with the Washington Examiner, Hancock stressed the importance of providing boys with strong male role models. He noted that one in four boys lack a father figure at home and that the majority of public school teachers are women.

“You can’t find them in sports, they can’t find them in politics, they can’t find them in front of them in the classroom and a lot of them don’t have them in their homes,” Hancock said. “So we surround them with these good and godly men to show them what it looks like to be a good man.”

Trail Life USA, which started in 2013, has grown to 60,000 members across over 1,200 troops chartered by churches of various Christian denominations. The organization focuses on outdoor adventures while providing a biblical foundation and male mentorship.

Hancock explained that teaching character and leadership is not possible without a foundation of truth, which Trail Life USA derives from the Bible. He called the BSA’s rebranding “tragic but not unexpected.”

“Trail Life isn’t just a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts; it’s an answer to the deep crisis affecting boys in America,” Hancock added. “While the Boy Scouts abandon their traditional boy-centered roots we are dedicated to providing boys and their families a space that is geared toward boys.”

As the BSA continues to evolve, Trail Life USA remains committed to its mission of guiding the next generation of young men. With a growing membership and emphasis on faith and male role models, the organization seeks to fill a critical need in society.