Following God’s lead in the proposal of new members is of paramount importance in the long-term development of the Trail Life USA Board of Directors. The election process is broken down below into several steps, each of which is meant to enhance the process of correctly identifying and selecting Directors who will best meet the needs of the organization.

 ///// Identification of Requirements. The Governance/Board Development Committee will annually assess Board needs in terms of the factors defined in the General Criteria paragraph below, and provide recommendations to the Board.


 ///// Establish Expectations. The Governance/Development Committee will propose to the Board the expected criteria for Board membership. These will include ability and willingness to contribute to furthering the mission of Trail Life USA, through networking and/or direct action.


///// General Criteria. The Governance/Board Development Committee will consider the following factors while searching for, recruiting, and evaluating potential Board members:

  1. Compatibility and Maturity: Prospective Board members must agree with the Trail Life USA Statement of Faith and Values and demonstrate this through their lives. While other factors are of varying importance this criterion is of the utmost importance and is completely non-negotiable.
  2. Profession and Skill Sets: There are likely to be various professions whose skills will be of particular value to the Board at particular times.
  3. Diverse Representation of Christian Faith Traditions: Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant (mainline and non- denominational) representation on the Board is desirable.
  4. Age: A range of ages is desirable.
  5. Strategic Partnerships: The Board will seek members whose background shows they bring with them the ability to grow and nurture relationships with like-minded groups so that, together, the sum of their efforts serves to advance the cause of Christ.


///// Search. To meet these needs, the committee will participate in an ongoing search for Board members whose personal statement of faith is consistent with the Trail Life Statements of Faith and Values and who have the necessary skill sets and giftedness as well as a passion for Christ and for the mission of Trail Life USA.


/////Identifying Candidates. The Committee has chosen to adopt a very open process for identifying potential Board candidates. Candidates may be brought to the Committee’s attention via a number of mechanisms, including but not limited to the following

  1. Field Submissions: Any registered member of Trail Life USA may submit the name of a potential Board member candidate via a developed online mechanism. Each person will be reviewed by the committee for possible submission to the Board.
  2. Stakeholder Submissions: Troop Ministry Liaisons, Troopmasters, and Troop Committee Chairs may submit a potential nominee’s name using the online suggestion box like anyone else. However, they will receive an annual reminder and a special request for their input.
  3. Board Member Submissions: Any Board member may submit a candidate’s name to the Committee at any time.


///// Subsequent Evaluation. An initial evaluation of each candidate will include research into the candidate's character and compatibility with the General Criteria for Board membership listed above. This review may be performed by the Committee or by local, area, or regional leaders familiar with the candidate or any combination thereof that the Committee deems best facilitates a proper assessment. Those candidates that pass this initial review will be asked to complete the TLUSA National Board Application. The Committee shall obtain responses to all the following questions and requests for information from each nominee:

  1. Please describe your experience in Youth Programs (including Trail Life USA, scouting, Youth Ministry, and Sports).
  2. Please describe your career or work history and describe the skills you have developed and honed through that history.
  3. What previous experience have you had serving on governing Boards (including non-profit and for-profit)? In describing your experience, please include the name of the organization, approximate dates of service, and any offices held.
  4. What other non-profits and professional organizations are you affiliated with? In what capacity?
  5. What is your church background?
  6. Please provide your personal Statement of Faith.
  7. Are you in agreement with the Trail Life USA Statements of Faith and Values?
  8. Please describe why you are interested in serving on the Trail Life USA Board of Directors?
  9. Please disclose any existing or potential conflicts of interest related to your participation on the Board.
  10. Is there anything else that you would like the Governance/Board Development Committee to know?
  11. Please provide three references. None should be a relative. We encourage that one should be your pastor.
  12. Please forward this document with a brief resume to the Chairman of the Governance/Board Development Committee.

The Committee will review the answers provided in response to this Application form along with all other data gathered to determine which candidates are most likely to be good candidates who meet the current needs of Trail Life USA. Those candidates will advance to the next step in the process.


///// Interviewing and Elections. The interviewing phase will occur through a process approved by the Trail Life USA Board of Directors. At a minimum, the members of the Governance/Board Development Committee and the CEO will interview the candidates by teleconference/videoconference. The Committee will submit the slate of candidates to the full Board for nomination. Elections will take place in the manner prescribed in the Bylaws.


FAQs provided for candidates:

What happens to the information I submit? Once a proposal is submitted via the online suggestion box both the CEO and the Chairman of the Governance/Board Development Committee (G/BD) will receive all the information that was submitted.

When will I hear back from you? The G/BD Committee Chair will acknowledge receipt of the proposal within 2 weeks via email.

What happens next? After you hear back from us, a member of the G/BD Committee will be assigned the task of overseeing your candidate’s vetting. If you have not indicated the candidate is willing to serve if elected the committee will seek to verify that the candidate is so willing.

How long will it take to vet candidates? The time required to vet individuals will vary a great deal depending on a number of reasons that are not always under the committee’s control. The committee will strive to review every candidate within 120 days of receipt of the proposal, especially if the next election is within 180 days of the time of submission.

What happens once vetting is complete? Once the vetting is complete you should receive a note indicating whether your candidate will appear on the slate.

What if my candidate is selected to stand for election? The Troop Ministry Liaisons can look forward to seeing your candidate’s name on the next Board election ballot.

What if my candidate is not selected to stand for election? If the Board has concluded that the candidate was not among those proposed, yourcandidate will not appear on the slate of candidates. We are unable to release the specific reasons why any given candidate has not been chosen to appear on the slate. Occasionally, confidential issues may come to our awareness that disqualify an individual for Board membership but would not otherwise affect that person’s standing in Trail Life USA. If we made a general habit of releasing the reason a candidate did not appear on the slate (beyond a simple unwillingness to serve), such occasions would stand out.

What are the Deadlines? There are no hard and fast deadlines. We take proposals year round. Candidates that pass the initial review, complete the application, successfully interview, and are nominated by the Board will be placed on the next ballot.

Ballots are annual. The dates of the elections have not been set yet for future years, but are likely to be around November.


Please submit your proposal for Board Membership here.