WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- For decades, the Boy Scouts of America has taught young boys life skills and life-long lessons, but one decision has some families pulling their kids out.
That's what's happening in Winston-Salem right now. A brand new group that looks a lot like the Boy Scouts is getting a lot of attention this week.
The group is called Trail Life USA and it formed when Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay members. Troop 942 in Winston-Salem was affiliated with the Boy Scouts. Now, it switched allegiance to Trail Life. It's the only chapter in the state.
The Doan family knows what it means to be a scout. Louis's two sons have been members for years. "Troop 942 has been an influence on my guys' lives since they were 5 and 6 years old," said Doan.
But when their church, Calvary Baptist, split with the Boy Scouts, the future was uncertain. Now, they're focused on Trail Life USA. "It was an opportunity to be involved at the ground floor on something new, something that you can look back on decades later and be proud to have been a part of," said Doan.
Trail Life USA is a Christian leadership program for young men, similar to the Boy Scouts. The national program started just a few months ago. The Winston-Salem chapter is one of only a handful up and running.
"We're just watching people pour through the doors and enrollment is almost coming in faster than what we can handle," said Calvary Baptist Senior Pastor Rob Peters.
Trail Life USA differs from the Boy Scouts in that they don't allow gay members. So far, they've seen a lot of support from church members. "There are very few people who are willing to step out and say this is who we are, this is who we believe and we're going to stand by that no matter how society moves or shifts," said Peters.
An idea that aligns well with the Doans' beliefs. "The character and the values that they're supposed to be targeting are really to be consistent with the values they've been raised with as Christians for their whole lives," said Doan.
Trail Life staff say they retained all but eight members when they made the switch from Boy Scouts to Trail Life. They've also signed up 12 new families in the past week, with another 15 interested.
The Winston-Salem Trail Life chapter says they're helping launch chapters in Pilot Mountain and Clemmons.