The Navigators Program is designed for young men of middle-school age. The Trailmen are eager to move up from Woodlands Trail and take the outdoor program to the next level. They enjoy hiking and camping just like the older Adventurers but they benefit from more structure and supervision. It is good for these boys to get as involved in the planning process as they are able. They learn much from the decisions make by adult leaders, but they learn even more from the reasoning behind the decisions.

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.

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.

Boys in the Navigators Patrols range in age from 10 to 14 years old. You will notice fantastic personal growth in these boys as they progress in this particular age range. They will become competent in the outdoor program through learning the nine Ready Trailman required Trail Badges and participating in the outdoor program. They have great prospects for accomplishment and maturity if their energies are properly focused.

Navigators have a simple patrol structure. The youth leader is a Junior Patrol Leader, and members are called upon as needed to step up and handle certain jobs during meetings or
activities according to the duty roster. They should camp, cook, and eat by patrol during outings whenever practical. Junior Patrol Leaders should maintain order unless they encounter undue resistance from the patrol members in question. Preferably the Trail Guide or Trailmaster only gets involved when youth leaders are not making satisfactory progress and then, if possible, only to the extent of backing up the Junior Patrol Leader’s authority. Direct involvement in correction should be an avenue of last resort.


Navigators advance through three ranks: Recruit Trailman, Able Trailman, and Ready Trailman. If earned, they retain the rank of Ready Trailman when they become Adventurers:


    The Recruit has taken his first big step as a Trailman. He is starting out on the trail with a can-do attitude that will help him meet the challenges ahead. This is a joining rank that concentrates on being safe and knowing how to plug in to all the resources available in one’s Troop family. The Recruit attends his first hikes and camp outs, and makes new friends in his Troop.


    The Able Trailman is truly an able man. He knows how to hike safely and comfortably and handle a lot of situations that might come up. These skills are the foundation for the next ranks. This rank concentrates on being comfortable in the outdoors. The Able Trailman learns a number of things that a Trailman is expected to know about nature, America, and leadership.


    The Ready Trailman is ready for whatever happens. He has a full set of camping skills and does his fair share of the work as well as the fun. This rank concentrates on making a boy a useful fellow to have around camp. A Ready Trailman is competent in his outdoor skills and prepared for a variety of outdoor adventures. He will learn many things that will make him handy to have around. People expect a competent outdoorsman to have a successful attitude about most things in life, and the trail to Ready Trailman will help him develop that attitude.