Trail Life

Trail Life Tennessee Troop 1149


Welcome to TN Troop 1149! 

My name is Matt Rankin and I am the Troop Master for TN Troop 1149. We are sponsored by Emmaus Abbey Church who chartered TN Troop 1149 on 1 April 2020. Our Mission: “To is to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure. If you wish to register your child, he can be contacted by phone at: 423-907-4159. We have two locations in which we meet: 

1) 7317 Glastonbury Road, Knoxville, TN 37931

2) 162 Foxglen Lane, Andersonville, TN 37705

3) We also have 240 private acres in Kingston, TN for camping, training, orienteering, canoeing, hiking, archery, shooting, practicing first aid and conducting our yearly jamborees.

Motto: Walk Worthy

 “… that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;…” Colossians 1:10


On my honor,
I will do my best
To serve God and my country;
To respect authority;
To be a good steward of creation;
And to treat others as I want to be treated


Trail Life USA (TLUSA) is a Christian outdoor adventure program that emphasizes and teaches biblical moral values. The program is apologetically Christian, but is intended to be presented without feeling overly “churchy” or “religious,” focusing on outdoor adventure, character, and leadership development. The essentials of a Christian worldview are present throughout the entire program.

Church-Owned & Operated

The Christ-Centered program of Trail Life USA is delivered to families through local Troops, each of which is owned and operated by a Charter Organization (typically a local church). Charter Organizations vet and select Troop leaders. Each Charter Organization is expected to run its Troop as a ministry of the church. So long as it remains true to the general Trail Life program guidelines this ministry may be uniquely expressive of the Charter Organization’s Trinitarian faith tradition.

Male-Centered Adult Leadership

While women can serve in a number of roles in the organization, Trail Life USA is focused on turning boys into godly men. Our firm conviction is that this can only be done by allowing a boy the opportunity to be mentored by Christian men. All direct contact positions, other than in the Woodlands Trail unit, are filled by men.


Societal shifts and challenges will require the increased demonstration of Christlike character and courage by both adult and youth members as they stand for the timeless values articulated in the Trail Life USA Statements of Faith and Values, which originate from Scripture. With this cultural pressure in mind, we will continually commit ourselves to biblical truths that we are to fear God and not man and that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and understanding.


Trail Life USA is operated and supported by volunteers at every level. Troop leaders utilize levels of support through Area and Regional volunteer committees. By design, Home Office staff will be kept to a minimum. This is not only good stewardship, it also allows the members to fully invest their passion, skill, and expertise.


Trail Life USA is boy-focused and encourages Troops to protect the male-focused emphasis in camping and adventure activities. We also recognize the family as the primary building block of society. In order to facilitate this, fathers are encouraged to participate with their sons, and Charter Organizations are encouraged to create a “family-centered” youth-enrichment experience where on one night, in one location, boys and their dads can participate in Trail Life USA, and girls and their moms can be involved with American Heritage Girls. There are many obvious strengths to this model, and those who are able to experience it will discover lasting impact and accelerated spiritual growth for every member of the family.

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership is characterized by humility and a willingness to work alongside others and not just “boss” people around. Leading by example and sacrifice are also qualities of servant leadership.

Character-Focused, Not Awards-Focused

Although boys in Trail Life USA can experience a robust and challenging awards program, we are more concerned with building character. The focus should always be on building character over merely earning awards.

Shared Leadership

Utilization of Patrol Method

In order to deliver on our promise of “Leadership,” youth should be given every opportunity appropriate to their age and development to lead others. We encourage Troops to use the Patrol Method, which puts leadership squarely in the hands of patrols of Trailmen. While adults can and should advise, counsel, make suggestions, and provide oversight to youth leaders, beginning at the Navigator level and fully-implemented at the Adventurer level youth should be planning, organizing, making decisions, and leading in the Troop.

Program Flexibility

The flexibility principle behind our program elements allows local Troops to adapt the program to fit the needs and teachings of their Charter Organization. Mission-critical and foundational program elements are unyielding and mandatory, but there is sufficient flexibility to fit the needs, culture, and faith traditions of the local Troop and Charter Organization.

Trail Life USA’s Six Essential Concepts of a Christian Worldview

  1. TRUTH:
    1. There are absolute and unchanging truths about God and life.
    2. Morality and moral law are absolute and unchanging because they proceed from and reflect God’s unchanging nature and character.
    3. A Trailman should show respect, understanding, and charity to others different from him, while maintaining firm Christian convictions.
    1. The eternal God created the universe for His purposes and according to His plan which is evident by the design, order and complexity found in all of creation.
    2. All of God’s creation is good. The entrance of sin into the world has affected every part of creation such that it is now fallen and imperfect.
    3. Because man is sinful and imperfect, he is in need of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
    1. Out of all of God’s creation, human beings are uniquely made in His image and likeness, and therefore all human life, from conception through natural death has unquestionable value, worth, and dignity.
    2. Because each human person is sacred and has intrinsic value, worth, and dignity, they should receive proper respect and protection regardless of age, disability, economic status, ethnicity, location, race, sex or sinful tendencies.
  4. FAMILY:
    1. By His design, God created men and women different from each other and uniquely for His purposes.
    2. God’s design for marriage and family is that one man and one woman be united in marriage, and from that union, the blessing of new life comes forth.
    3. Natural marriage which unites one man and one woman before God is an earthly reflection of God’s Triune nature. Marriage also depicts the loving relationship between Christ and His church.
    1. God has given all human beings dominion over His earth and commanded us to use its natural resources.
    2. Therefore, each human being must be a good steward of the resources God provides and responsibly cultivate and conserve them for His glory.
    1. God is sovereign over all history.
    2. God actively intervenes in peoples’ lives for His purposes. He mysteriously uses all things, good and bad, for His glory.
    3. God is good and can be trusted in all things.