- The Washington Times - Friday, January 3, 2014

A new group that formed as a counter to the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to let gays serve as scouts opened its doors this week, with a mission and motto to “walk worthy” in the path toward God.

“Our vision is to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces godly and responsible husbands, fathers and citizens,” Trail Life USA said on its website. Its motto, taken from Colossian 1:10: “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

The group is Christian-based, but will allow those of all faiths to join.

“While the program is undergirded by biblical values and unapologetically reflects a Christian worldview, there is also a clearly defined inclusion policy for youth,” the organization said on its website. “Accordingly, all boys are welcome irrespective of religion, race, national origin or socio-economic status. Our 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.”

As part of service, potential troop leaders have to agree to a statement that defines marriage as a union of a man with woman, said Larry Wagner, who is recruiting members and churches for the group in Northeast Florida.

“As a Christian, I see Trail Life USA as a way to be more explicit with my Christianity and imparting that aspect of it as they grow into manhood,” Mr. Wagner told a local news station in Jacksonville.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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