Alternative Boy Scout Organization Is Growing In Arizona

January 04, 2014

Jan. 1 marked the change of Boy Scout Policy to allow openly gay members. Some scouts unhappy with the change started an alternative organization called Trail Life USA. 

Michael Ybarra is in the process of starting his own troop. He has five to 10 interested boys and parents but is looking for a chartering organization to serve as the legal sponsor. To be a member of Trail Life USA, the leaders and chartering organization have to sign a statement of faith saying they believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Ybarra said the Boy Scouts new policy is not acceptable to him and his family.

“They moved with popular public opinion they swayed with the current winds and that they caved into the social pressures that are about, and that’s not something that I, my family and the leadership team wanted to present to our boys,” said Ybarra. 

Trail Life USA has two chartered troops in central Arizona so far, one in Apache Junction and one in Maricopa, according to Northern Arizona Regional Organizer Larry Altman. Trail Life’s policy on their website said they do not allow a boy who is part of or advocating for the gay movement. Altman said there are 500 chartered troops in 48 states.