Woodlands Trail

In Trail Life USA, troops are organized according to biblical principles in Proverbs 24:3-4, reflecting developmentally appropriate groupings of boys (K-U-W-L): Woodlands Trail (Knowledge), Navigators (Understanding), Adventurers (Wisdom), and Guidon (Life).

The Woodlands Trail Program is designed for boys of elementary-school age, comprising two-year programs for three age groups:

  • Fox (Kindergarten-1st grade and 5 years old by October 31)
  • Hawk (2nd-3rd grade and 7 years old by October 31)
  • Mountain Lion (4th-5th grade and 9 years old by October 31)

To ensure that activities are age-appropriate and progressively challenging, for the Woodlands Trail Program, boys are grouped together with boys of their own age:

Boys in kindergarten (must be 5 years old by October 31) and first grade are grouped together in the Fox Patrol. During this two-year program, Foxes are introduced to Trail Life USA, learn new skills, and have fun. Due to age, Foxes may only camp overnight with a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult.

Boys in second grade (must be 7 years old by October 31) and third grade are grouped together in the Hawk Patrol. Hawks learn quickly and demonstrate increased alertness and eagerness to contribute. Hawks typically camp with a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult.

 The Mountain Lion Patrol includes boys in fourth grade (must be 9 years old by October 31) and fifth grade. Mountain Lions show signs of greater independence, physical strength, and confidence, but still require strong adult guidance. Mountain Lions may camp with members of their patrol or with a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult.

Program Branches

During each two-year program, the Trailmen (boys) participate in activities from among seven areas (known as branches), including:

  • Heritage Branch. An exploration of American Heritage, Christian Heritage, and a boy’s own family heritage. Emphasis is placed on upholding the finest traditions of the heritage we obtain from our forefathers.
  • Hobbies Branch. An exploration of various indoor and outdoor hobbies that demand varying levels of knowledge, skill, or aptitude.
  • Life Skills Branch. Teaching life lessons ranging from the practical and mundane to higher-level interpersonal skill sets.
  • Outdoor Skills Branch. Gaining basic understanding of woodcraft, hiking, exploration, and camping skills.
  • Science and Technology Branch. An exploration of physical and natural science concerning our created world.
  • Sports and Fitness Branch. Having fun in the outdoors with sports and other activities.
  • Values Branch. Instilling biblically based values in the boys. The central focus of this branch is teaching of the Christian faith.

Branch Pins and Forest Awards

To recognize the progress of Trailmen through the Woodlands Trail program, a Trailman can earn the Forest Award for his age group: Fox Forest Award, Hawk Forest Award, or Mountain Lion Forest Award. To earn the Forest Award, a Trailman must first earn a branch pin for each of the seven branches listed above. Each branch pin includes requirements for core steps and elective steps, which are typically completed at troop meetings or camping trips, and a “Hit the Trail” activity taking place at a community site away from the troop meeting. To allow a Trailman to make up missed requirements, a series of Family Home Activities have also been developed.

Timberland Award

The Timberline Award is the highest award that a Trailman, having earned the Mountain Lion Forest Award, can achieve in the Woodlands Trail Program. The Timberline Award is designed to celebrate a boy’s entrance into the Trail Life USA Navigators program, and its requirements are aligned to four Manhood Principles:

MANHOOD PRINCIPLES

  • To live boldly and avoid being passive
  • To live responsibly
  • To live courageously
  • To live for the greater rewards of God