Our number one thing is being unrepentant Christ-centered.Stuart Beasley, former troop leader
RINCON — Trail Life USA is solid to the core. The outdoor adventure program for boys and young men emphasizes and teaches biblical and moral values. "Our number one thing is being unrepentant Christ-centered," said Stuart Beasley, former troop leader of Trail Life USA Troop GA-0127. Trail Life USA, which formed in 2013 and has 26,000 members in the United States, is designed and intended to be presented without being “churchy” or “religious,” focusing on outdoor adventure, character and leadership development. Current Troop GA-0127 Troop Leader Shane Emmett said, "We try to teach good citizenship plus things you don't see a lot anymore — how a compass works, how you navigate with a compass and how to read a map, basic knots, tool crafts, how to sharpen a knife, how to care for a shovel or an ax, proper safety techniques for all those tools. It's a lot of fun to work with the older boys because you can say, 'Hey, guys. I need a fire pit here and let's put our tents over there,' and they just start doing it." Emmett's troop meets each Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. in First Baptist Church of Rincon's Memorial Chapel. Church membership isn't required to participate. "Trail Life troops have sponsors," Emmett said. "It can be a company or whatever. It doesn't necessarily have to be a church like ours." Trail Life USA has rankings and awards but they never take precedence over building character and helping others. It abides by Colossians 1:10: "... that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing the knowledge of God. ..." "We do take on a lot of service projects for the community," Emmett said. "We find things that we can do, even if it's just cleaning up a yard for a person who is shut in. As soon as we hear about those projects, we put them on our schedule. "The boys are required to do so many service hours." In order to advance through the Trail Life USA ranking structure, boys also have to meet a quota of camping hours. Outdoor activities are viewed as a way to help members see and appreciate the wonder, majesty and grandness of God as reflected in His creation. "We've been very blessed to have church members who let us camp for nothing on their property," Emmett said. See the Aug. 22 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.