Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trail Marker Ceremony



Troopmaster: (Welcome)

Trailman: (Present the colors)

Troop Chaplain: (Opening prayer)
  
Candlea”Bro” (Chandelier) Lighting

Trailman: In the Trail Life logo, there is a trinity of mountaintops in the background that remind us of the Holy Trinity: The Father (light the upper white candle), the Son (light the right white candle), and the Holy Spirit (light the left white candle).  The white candles represent the purity, holiness, and goodness of God.  These peaks represent our ultimate destiny as we travel along life’s trail.

These peaks also remind us of the Trail Life goals for each boy and young man: Adventure (light the upper red candle), Character (light the right red candle), and Leadership (light the left red candle).  The red candles remind us that Adventure, Character, and Leadership are the lifeblood of Trail Life and flow through the veins of every Trailman. 

The trinity of mountaintops also represent the 3 units within each Trail Life troop, which starts with Woodlands Trail (light the lowest blue candle), then Navigators (light the next highest blue candle), and finally the Adventurers (light the highest blue candle).  The blue candle represents the sky, which reminds us to continue to climb to higher heights and to look up to God at all times so that we do not lose our way.

The red, white, and blue candles also remind us of the heritage of Texas and the United States of America, which were founded on Christian principles, and the brave men who have gone before us who defended our God-given rights.  May we never forget our past or fail to defend our Christian liberties.

Trailman: Please stand, give the Trail Life sign, and join me in reciting the Trail Life Oath.  (Lead Troop in Trail Life Oath)

Recap Spring Events

Troopmaster: This spring has been a busy one… (Review activities that we did this spring and any other important info and/or show PowerPoint presentation of past events)

Woodlands Trail Awards

Ranger/Troopmaster:  The Woodlands Trail curriculum is built, in part, around the instructional components of the Forest Badge Award.  The Forest Badge is the highest award for each age-level unit.  Trailmen can earn a Forest Badge as a Fox, Hawk, and Mountain Lion.  To earn the Forest Badge, the Trailman must complete the requirements for all 7 branches in his specific age group, which typically takes about a year and a half.  The 7 branches are:
·                     Heritage Branch
·                     Hobbies Branch
·                     Life Skills Branch
·                     Outdoor Activities Branch
·                     Pioneering Skills Branch
·                     Science and Technology Branch
·                     Values Branch

The Woodlands Trail Program grants basic credits, in the form of Leaves for participation in meetings, activities, and campouts.  The boys need to earn 9 Leaves for each Branch award.  The object of the program is not the amount of patches one may accumulate, but the character and faith built along the way. 

The Heritage Branch, which is brown, explores a boy’s family heritage, American heritage, and Christian heritage

The Hobbies Branch, which is black, explores various indoor and outdoor hobbies that demand varying levels of knowledge, skill, or aptitude.

The Life Skills Branch, which is burgundy, teaches life lessons ranging from the practical, such as food preparation or knowledge of safety practices, to higher-level interpersonal skill sets, such as dealing with difficult people or situations.

The Outdoor Activities Branch, which is green, focuses on having fun in the outdoors with sports and other activities. 

The Pioneering Skills Branch, which is blue, demonstrates a basic understanding of woodcraft, hiking, exploration, and camping skills. 

The Science and Technology Branch, which is yellow, explores physical and natural sciences concerning our created world

The Values Branch, which is red, instills biblically-based values within the boys regarding any number of pertinent topics.  A central focus of this Branch is the teachings of the Christian faith. 

Troopmaster: Will the adult leaders for the Fox patrol please come forward?  Will the following boys please come forward when your name is called to receive the branches that you have earned? (Call names off of program and mention awards for each boy.  Adult leaders help the boys put the awards on their uniform)

Troop, please join me in congratulating these boys for earning these Branches. (applause)  You may be seated.

Troopmaster: Will the adult leaders for the Hawk patrol please come forward?  Will the following boys please come forward when your name is called to receive the branches that you have earned? (Call names off of program and mention awards for each boy.  Adult leaders help the boys put the awards on their uniform)
Troop, please join me in congratulating these boys for earning these Branches. (applause)  You may be seated.

Troopmaster: Will the adult leaders for the Mountain Lion patrol please come forward?  Will the following boys please come forward when your name is called to receive the branches that you have earned? (Call names off of program and mention awards for each boy.  Adult leaders help the boys put the awards on their uniform)
Troop, please join me in congratulating these boys for earning these Branches. (applause)  You may be seated.

Woodlands Trail Forest Awards

Troopmaster: Trailmen who earn all 7 Branch Awards for Foxes, Hawks, or Mountain Lions plus an additional 18 leaves on any combination of branches for a total of 81 leaves will earn their Forest Badge for their respective age group.  A separate Forest Badge is available for Foxes, Hawks, and Mountain Lions, and this award represents the pinnacle of each patrol rank.  Forest Awards are displayed on the Troop Uniform, hanging on the right pocket.  Once a Trailman earns the Forest Award, they can earn Sylvan Stars for each branch by earning 9 leaves for each branch.  The Trailman can continue to wear their Forest Badge when they move up into the next patrol level until they earn the Forest Badge for that level.

Will the following boys please come forward when your name is called to receive the branches that you have earned? (Call names off of program and mention awards for each boy.  Adult leaders help the boys put the awards on their uniform)

Troop, please join me in congratulating these boys for being the first Trailmen in our troop to earn their Forest Badges. (applause)  You may be seated.

Navigator Trail Badge Awards

Trailmaster: Where the Woodlands Trail program focuses on gaining knowledge, the Navigators program emphasizes understanding.  The primary aims are to achieve mental, moral, emotional, and physical fitness through adventures in God’s great outdoors with the guidance of Trailman ideals.  Navigators participate in a true outdoor program with hiking, camping, and other activities.  

During their three years in the Navigators program, Trailmen work on various activities and trail badges to achieve rank advancements.  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 important life lessons in character development. 

As they climb through the ranks of Recruit Trailman, Able Trailman, and Ready Trailman, they will lay a safe and comfortable foundation for the challenges of the Adventurers Program. Navigators have 9 required trail badges and 5 elective trail badges of their choice they must complete.  They must also complete 15 hours of service projects each year.  The highest rank also requires leadership and faith-building activities.

Will ______________________________________________, come forward to receive the trail badges that you have earned? (hand out awards).  Please join me in recognizing the boys for these achievements. (applause)  You may be seated.

Navigator Rank Awards

Trailmaster: The first rank that the boys achieve is the Recruit Trailman.  To earn this rank, they have to memorize and agree to live by the Trailman Oath as well as the motto, sign, and salute.  They form their own patrol, elect their Patrol Leader, and create their own patrol flag and yell.  They also have to participate in an annual Troop safety program.

Will the following members of the Patriot Patrol please come forward to receive your Recruit Trailman rank?  ___________________________. (present awards to be placed on the right pocket)

Please join me in congratulating these boys for this achievement. (applause)  You may be seated.

The next Navigator rank is the Able Trailman.  After they earn the Recruit Trailmen rank, Navigators have to earn 4 required Trail Badges and 3 Elective Trail Badges.  They also must complete 15 hours of service for each year since joining Navigators and participate in at least 8 troop activities in addition to regular weekly meetings.  In addition, the boys must complete an Advancement Conference with their Trailmaster.  Perhaps the scariest part is that they have to go before a Board of Review made up of adult leaders and parents in our Troop.

Will __________________ with the Patriot Patrol please come forward?  To earn the Able Trailman rank, _________________ completed the (list required Trail Badges earned) required trail badges.  They also completed elective trail badges in (list elective Trail Badges earned)

When the boys in our troop achieve this rank, they reach a special milestone.  In addition to receiving their Able Trailman medallion, they also receive their Troop Ceremonial Standard.  This is where they will display their ranks, trail badges, and service stars.  The Troop Standard is to be used when in full uniform at formal occasions such as Trail Marker ceremonies, parades, National Day of Prayer, and other special ceremonies.  You will be instructed on how to properly place your medallions on your Standard.

When you started your adventures as a Navigator, your father or mentor gave you a Trail Standard to assist and protect you in the outdoors as you hike along the trail to manhood.  You will keep and cherish that standard for the rest of your lives and remember what has been handed down to you by your parents.  This standard you have earned for yourself.  Humbly use it to show your parents and others what you have achieved and your ongoing commitment to make God you true Standard, Guide, and Protector.  Gentlemen, face the audience and raise your Standard!  Please join me in congratulating these boys for this achievement. (applause)  You may be seated.

Troopmaster: (Closing announcements/Troopmaster minute)

Troop Chaplain: (Closing prayer)

Trailman: (Retire the colors)



Submitted by W. Todd Watson TX-1836

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