How to Charter a Troop with Trail Life USA


  1. Talk with the leadership of your church or Christian organization.  The Pastor of your church (or, in some cases, the leader of a Christian organization aligned with our mission) is also known as the Institutional Head ("IH").  The IH must be willing to agree to the Trail Life USA Statement of Faith.  He can find this and begin the “pre-charter” steps at  [Some churches require the approval of a board, Deacons, or Elders before entering this agreement—so plan accordingly.]  
  1. Your Pastor/organization leader ("IH") will then appoint his liaison (known as the Chartered Organization Representative, or “C.O.R.”).  The IH or C.O.R. will then select the rest of the “core leadership team” consisting of a Committee Chairman, a Troop Chaplain, a Treasurer and a Troopmaster.  See the Troop Level Positions document for general position descriptions.
  1. The C.O.R. and other core leadership team members meet and discuss the Adult Leadership positions needed, the skills and talents required for each, and who (usually from within the church/organization family) will best fill each role.
  1. Core leadership team members approach these potential leaders, asking them to serve.  Once they agree, leaders complete an Adult Membership Application online (which includes acceptance and agreement with Trail Life USA policies and the Statement of Faith and Values), consent to a criminal background check, and submit payment of the membership fee. 
  1. After successful completion of the Adult Membership Application, applicants will receive an e-mail invitation from so they can complete the Child Safety Youth Protection Training online. 
  1. Adult leaders are only approved by Trail Life USA after an approved criminal background check and their successful completion of the Child Safety Youth Protection Training. 
  1. Once the appropriate leadership is secured, youth and their families are invited to participate.
  1. Schedule a special informational meeting (a “Join Trail Life USA” event), where participants will sign up, submit fees, and become members.

See the TRAIL LIFE U.S.A’s Chartered Organization Agreement for additional details.  Additional resources are available through


Click here for: Frequently Asked Questions