The Woodlands Trail program has been carefully constructed with several goals in mind. First, the program is designed to provide a curriculum-based youth development
program focused on active cumulative learning rather than on earning the next uniform
insignia or emblem. Success is not measured in the quantity of insignia but in the quality
of the young man. Second, the program has been intentionally crafted to create a sense
of belonging and familiarity among all Woodlands Trail program age groups. A young boy joining the program at the kindergarten level will understand common terms, customs, and awards that extend to his fifth grade year. Third, the program was developed to encourage multi-age groupings of boys. This allows the boys to interact with older youth who may encourage the younger boys. It also affords an opportunity to older youth in the program to learn about leadership of those younger than themselves. Finally, the program was written so that it may be easily administered by adult leaders in a variety of circumstances and geographic locations.
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.
During their three years in the Navigators program, Trailmen 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 important life lessons in character development.