A youth scouting group formed in response to the controversial changes within the Boy Scouts of America has reported an increase in the number of chapters during the pandemic.
Trail Life USA, launched in 2014 and headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is reporting dozens of new chapters and more than 30,000 members.
Trail Life USA CEO Mark Hancock told The Christian Post that 65 new troops have been created thus far in 2021, with over 100 in the process of being chartered.
“So far this year, we have seen a 70% increase in new members over this time last year and a 30% increase over the same period the prior year,” explained Hancock.
“Just this year, we have seen over 65 new troops started as men across the nation have stepped up to lead and make a difference in the lives of boys in their churches, their families, and their communities.”
The launching of Trail Life USA came partly in response to the Boy Scouts voting in 2013 to allow openly gay males to become scouts while maintaining the organization’s ban on openly gay scout leaders.
This change prompted many churches — a significant source of support for the Boy Scouts — to sever their ties with the prominent scouting organization.
Later, the Boy Scouts announced further changes, such as allowing openly gay scout leaders in 2015. BSA also expanded membership to include girls, prompting a lawsuit from the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
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