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The Navigators Program

(age 11-13)

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For older boys in the Navigators and the Adventurers programs, the focus moves from creating foundational knowledge to helping internalize his faith, integrate it as his worldview, live with integrity, share with intentionality, and use his spiritual gifts to impact others through service.

In Trail Life USA, skills universally needed for godly manhood are developed through required Trail Badges as boys earn the ranks of Able and Ready, as well as the Journey, Horizon, and Freedom Awards. Elective Trail Badges help a Trailman
explore unique areas of gifting and come to understand the way God has specially created him. Trail Life has even created a unique Design-Your-Own-Badge program where Trailmen can work within a provided framework alongside a mentor to develop a Badge that is unique to their specific interests.


Trail Life USA is not just an outdoor program that incorporates a Christian experience. Trail Life is at its core a Christ-centered program that utilizes the outdoors to draw boys and their families into a closer relationship with their creator.

A Christian worldview is integrated into every part of the program because it is critical to both our mission and vision as well as to the spiritual growth of every Trailman who commits himself to the values we uphold. In the Navigators and Adventurers programs, the Branches from the Woodlands Trail program become Frontiers to be
explored as Trailmen continue along the trail.

Navigators is a program for boys in junior high school (6th thru 8th grades).



The Navigators are led by a Trailmaster who may also work with Trailguides to deliver some of the curriculum, and provide oversight of the program as boys learn to lead themselves. This learned leadership comes by accepting responsibilities within the unit and learning to work together as a team. Leadership is also learned through service projects and helping other people. 

Advancement in this program is focused on mastering a series of required badges, elective badges and completing service hours.

During their three years in the Navigators program, the boys work on rank advancement. Their ranks represent a growing ability to operate comfortably, safely, and confidently in the outdoors. These skills will form the foundation of later adventures and teach essential life lessons in character development.

Navigators participate in a true outdoor program with hiking, camping, and other activities. They are in more of a learning mode, developing their core skills with adequate supervision and easing gracefully into camping by patrols. As they climb through the ranks of Journey Trailman, Able Trailman, and Ready Trailman, they will lay
a safe and comfortable foundation for the challenges of the Adventurers Program. Navigators have nine required Trail Badges they must complete. Ideally, the Trail Badges will be taught over an 18-month period with the goal of covering each Trail Badge twice in the three-year Navigators experience.

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