Troop FAQ


Trail Life Troop 1613 
Frequently Asked Questions

These are the most frequently asked questions we get regarding our troop. Most of the questions in this list are concerned with our particular troop. For general questions related to Trail Life USA, please visit


What is Trail Life and is it related to the Boy Scouts?

In 2013 the Boy Scouts of America decided to change their national charter in ways that came into direct conflict with Christian faith and values. In response to these changes, a large group of men consisting mostly of Boy Scout leaders, Boy Scout national executives and former Boy Scouts decided to form a new, solidly Christian scouting organization for boys that would not force them to compromise their Christian faith. The result was Trail Life USA. While we do not use the same terminology as the Boy Scouts of America, the methodology and spirit are the same with an emphasis on living Christian lives of faith. As we like to say, we are "honoring the tradition while raising the standard".

How is the troop chartered?

Trail Life Troop IN-1613 is chartered as a youth ministry of Our Lady of Hope and operates entirely under the authority of and within the statues of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church and the Diocese of Evansville.

What do all the terms mean?

  1. Trailman - A young man who is a registered member of the troop
  2. Registered Adult - An adult who has received proper background checks and has received Child Youth Safety Training.
  3. Patrol - A group of 5 to 8 Trailmen, all of the same rank
  4. Trail Guide - An adult troop leader who guides and mentors one or more patrols
  5. Troopmaster - An adult appointed by the charter organization to direct the entire troop
  6. Patrol Leader - A youth who has been elected to serve as the leader of his Patrol
  7. Class A - The official Trail Life USA uniform
  8. Class B - T-Shirt or meeting polo that bears an official Trail Life USA Logo
  9. Woodlands Trail - Youth members in grades K-5
  10. Navigator - Youth members in grades 6-8
  11. Adventurer - Youth members in grades 9-12

What parts of the official uniform is required?

Only the official uniform shirt and shoulder loops are required by our troop. The belt, hat, pants and socks are NOT required but are certainly encouraged. 

My son is new in the troop. When does he need to have his official uniform shirt (Class A)?

New members in the troop have until December 31 of his joining year to acquire his official uniform shirt and shoulder loops. Until then he may wear Trail Life USA branded t-shirts/polos or, if necessary, a dark green t-shirt with no logo or branding. This gives the Trailman's family time to acquire the funds to purchase his uniform.

What is the cost to get my son started in the troop?

When becoming a member of the troop for the first time, Trailmen will be required to purchase a uniform shirt (either Class A or Class B), shoulder loops for his patrol, a handbook and pay the Trail Life USA membership fee. The membership fee is $26 and is due when registering with Trail Life USA and every year after. The handbook costs $17 and the uniform shirt costs $45 (see note below!). The shoulder loops cost $10 per pair. You should know that the Trail Life Store charges $10 shipping regardless of how much you purchase. For this reason, we often organize group purchases from the Trail Life Store and our church pays for the shipping.

NOTE: The uniform shirt and shoulder loops are NOT required for new members until December 31 of the year he joins, during which time he may wear a dark green colored t-shirt.

So the initial cost at the time of registering is $26 (registration) + $27 (handbook and shipping) = $53 

Is the handbook really required?

Yes. The Trail Life handbook is necessary to guide the young man in the Trail Life. A good Trailman reads a little each night along with his bible. 

There are two handbooks in the Trail Life Store. Which one do I get?

If your son is in the Woodlands Trail (K-5th grade), then get the Woodlands Trail Handbook.
If your son is a Navigator (junior high) or Adventurer (high school), then get the Trailman's Handbook.

Can I pay the registration fee with cash or check?

No. Trail Life USA requires all registrations and renewals be done online through Trail Life Connect, which requires a debit/credit card. You should receive an email with a link where you can register. 

I don't have a password for Trail Life Connect. How do I get in?

Use the password reset feature on the login page and they will send you an email to reset your password. Troop members who used the old TroopTrack system will already be in Trail Life Connect and can request a password reset to get access to Trail Life Connect.

When and where does the troop meet?

Our troop meets every Monday in the WC Cafeteria from 6pm to 7pm. One Monday per month there will be no troop meeting. These are for troop leader meetings and are noted on the troop calendarPlease consult the troop calendar to know which Mondays we meet.

Are troop dues required?

Yes. Every Trailman is required to bring $1 to each troop meeting (unless otherwise directed). We use these funds to pay for various events and troop outings.
Additionally, all Trailmen are required to bring one canned/dry food item to each meeting, unless otherwise directed. These are collected by the Trailmen and delivered to local food pantries each month.

I think this Trail Life thing is awesome. How can I help?

The single best way to help our troop is to become a Trail Guide in the troop. Not only will your son see you in a whole new light but you can rest easy knowing you are helping young men to become the best version of themselves! We can offer a great deal of support and knowledge to help you as a leader! If you do not have a son in the troop, you can still help in other ways, such as fundraising, organizing, mentorship, etc... Contact us if you would like to help us turn our boys into godly, Christian men.

What equipment are Trailmen required to have for camping/hiking?

Please refer to the Trailmen's Equipment List page

How can I view the official troop calendar?

The troop maintains a calendar of events for all troop members and parents to use at anytime. This calendar is kept updated at all times. If you have a Google account, you can include our troop calendar in your own calendar. If you don't have a Google account, you can still view the calendar by clicking here.

How does the troop notify me of new information?

We make every effort to notify parents when we have new information. We post new information simultaneously on the private facebook group, by email and also by text message. Not everyone uses all of these services so we hope our information reaches everybody.

How can I stay connected to the troop so I don't miss any information?

Parents and leaders communicate and share information with each other in a private facebook group for parents. Just click the link and ask to become a member.

My son is missing events because we don't know about them!

Contact us to let us know the best way to get information to you. You should also check the calendar. You can also join our private facebook group for parents.

Do you accept donations?

You bet we do! Because we are a youth ministry of the church, your donations are 100% tax deductible too! Drop your check off at the Parish Center or call 812-254-2883 for information on how to donate to our troop. 

Will he have to sell popcorn like the Cub/Boy Scouts?

You won't have to sell popcorn but we will have fundraisers from time to time. Please be prepared to assist your Trailmen with meeting his goals. We encourage a strong work ethic among our Trailmen. All funds raised through fundraisers go toward making his experience in the Trail Life the best it can possibly be!

I have a question that isn't answered here. How do I contact you?

Easy! Fill out and submit the form on our Contact Us page and we will call you.