The Freedom Award

state topbanner

slashesThe Achievement

The Freedom Award will not be achieved by all Trailmen. It involves continued servant service, plus leadership as exemplified in the Freedom Servant Leadership Project, a faith-building requirement, as well as extensive community involvement through the Freedom Experiences of the Majors and Minors Program. There is also the deeper symbolic meaning of having obtained eternal freedom through a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Trailman's commitment to his relationship with God.

slashesRecognizing Freedom Rangemen

The following are Trail Life USA Youth Trailmen from the Northeast Region that have earned the right to be called Freedom Rangemen:

11/2017 - To be announced

New England's FIRST Freedom Rangeman from NH-0777 at First Congregational Church of Barrington

8/27/17 - Kodi Horst and Hunter Cleavland

Kodi Horst and Hunter Cleveland both from Mechanicsburg, PA, have been honored to become the first and second Trail Life USA Freedom Rangemen (respectively) from their Troop PA-0304 chartered by West Shore Evangelical Free Church, Mechanicsburg. Also, they are recognized as the fourth and fifth Rangemen from the State of Pennsylvania.

6/7/17 - Dylan Manns

Dylan Manns from Brookville, Pennsylvania, has been recognized to have become the first Trail Life USA, Freedom Rangeman from his Troop PA-0068 chartered by Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church, Sigel, PA. Dylan is the oldest son of Steve and Cindy Manns from Brookville, Pennsylvania.

Beyond Dylan's academic accomplishments he has completed several hours of community service and took on a leadership role in the program. Additionally, Dylan has competed in SkillsUSA for CPR/First Aid and this year will be a leading member of the Crime Scene Investigation team. Outside of the classroom, Dylan is an Airman First Class in the Civil Air Patrol which is the auxiliary of the US Air Force. A combination of intelligence, maturity, and respect can consistently be observed in Dylan.

Over the past year, you have been assisting the work as a volunteer on both Cook Forest and Clear Creek State Parks for Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Conservation with the construction of a ten-mile-long hiking trail. The Trail work included new construction of a bridge, along with clearing and blazing the trail. The trail is now open for visitor use, and without your help and the help of Trail Life USA the trail would not be complete.

He is one of the first to volunteer for ministry opportunities and is faithful in attendance to regularly scheduled church functions and Bible studies. He is polite, humble and always presents himself in a modest and clean-cut manner. I have heard his profession of faith in Christ as personal Savior and his desire to grow in that faith.

Since graduating high school, Dylan has begun the first step towards one of his life ambitions, to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. While in the Marine Corps. His other ambition and the most important is to become a better Christian and spread God's word to others who have not heard about His glory.

4/2017 - Elijah Barge

Elijah Barge earned his Freedom Award in May 2017. He's honored to wear the title of Freedom Rangeman, joining the ranks of a small elite group of excellent young men throughout the country. The son of Hezekiah & Dawn Barge, Eli has worked very hard since he joined troop VA-0110 at First Baptist Church of Woodbridge three years ago as a BSA transfer. He has pursued excellence in leadership, planning, outdoor skills, and lots of badgework. His Freedom project was challenging in many ways, but Eli persevered through difficulties and finished well, with the help of numerous younger Trailmen. His project has provided a great benefit to the community, a homeless ministry, and numerous churches in the area.

Just completing his junior year of high school, Eli looks forward to a summer of adventure and service - he will spend a month serving as the assistant activities director at a Christian camp and conference center in PA that focuses on military kids and families. His senior year looks to be full of new opportunities and challenges

As a homeschooled student, Eli has had many opportunities to excel in his educational pursuits as well as numerous extra-curricular and leadership activities. His favorite experiences have included: all the great camping trips with his family and his Trail Life troop, advancing to the regional competition in NCFCA speech, serving as a delegate at the state and national 4-H congresses, actively participating in political campaigns with Generation Joshua teams, playing varsity soccer, holding multiple offices in various clubs, and serving his community through numerous outlets and activities. He's earned many honors in public speaking, 4-H, and Trail Life. Eli's favorite subjects in school include science, math, and of course: PE.

Eli hopes to finish well in his last year of high school. As a young graduate next year, he plans to take a gap year to serve in some exciting Christian ministry capacity before joining the US Marine Corps, following in the footsteps of his father and great-grandfather in service to country. His many excellent experiences in Trail Life USA have prepared him in ways that will benefit him and others throughout the rest of his life. Thank you, Trail Life USA!

4/2017 - Samuel Barge

As the fourth child of a Christian military homeschool family of seven, Samuel Barge's life has been defined by the extraordinary. God's hand on Sam's life has been evident in many ways, and for this he is eternally grateful. From divine protection in difficult situations, to guidance by the Holy Spirit and a myriad of giftings and talents that could only have come from the Lord, Sam is well aware that there is a great calling on his life. His desire is to please his heavenly Father in all things.

As a student, he finds the most joy in reading, writing, and researching, however he certainly appreciates the value of learning math and science. Given incredible high school opportunities such as Trail Life USA, competitive speech and debate, 4-H (local, state, and national), varsity soccer, and an amazing Christian youth group, Sam has dedicated himself to pursuing excellence in all activities. While in many cases he achieved this goal, what has been more important is that he has grown in ways he never imagined. From gaining valuable public speaking skills to developing essential team-building abilities, Sam has been challenged throughout high school to push the limits of his mind, body, and spirit.

Some of Sam's favorite moments are spent serving others in the community, whether privately or with his clubs. For example, he and his family have visited the Veterans' Hospital every Veterans' Day since 2015. This annual trip is a special reminder of the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans and how much they need our support. On another occasion, when Sam was attending the National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, GA, he enjoyed the opportunity to speak to an eager class of 4th grade students at an elementary school in the inner-city. He has thoroughly enjoyed his experiences and unlimited leadership opportunities as a Trailman in Troop VA-0110 at the First Baptist Church of Woodbridge. As the oldest boy in the troop, he has held the position of First Officer for the past 3 years and has gained loads of experience helping, teaching, encouraging, leading, and motivating the talented younger Trailmen of his troop.

As he heads off to the US Naval Academy at the end of the June, Sam foresees an exciting college education, training, and career of service in the intelligence field of the Marine Corps. No matter what he does, he hopes he will be serving his country or his fellow citizens in some significant way. Among these aspirations, he looks forward to being a husband, father, and adult Trail Life leader someday. While it is certainly not a popular lifestyle, Sam has challenged himself to overcome all obstacles between him and his destiny to become the best that he can be. Samuel Barge is honored to wear the title of Freedom Rangeman.

2/23/2017 - David Marshall Bornn III

Marshall is the son of David & Kandi Bornn. He is a member of Trail Life Troop PA-2611, chartered by Captivate Community Church of Hanover PA. Marshall transferred as an Eagle Scout into Trail Life USA, where he has completed the Freedom Award requirements. He is now recognized as the first Rangeman in his Troop, the second in the State of Pennsylvania, and the third Rangeman (1st 2017) in the Northeast Region.

Marshall stated that his first life ambition is to keep God first in my life, always. I have learned that no matter how hard you try to do stuff yourself, doing it with God always makes it better. I know even if I don't achieve any of my other life ambitions, as long as I achieve this one I will be a success. I will achieve my life ambitions by first studying the word of God, and by being an active member of my church, and a warrior for Christ.

References stated that Marshall: ** is a very personable young man! He easily engages folks in conversation and has a good sense of humor. He is interested in what the other individual is sharing as they speak. ** stands head and shoulders above his troop peers (both physically and morally), while presenting a polite and caring nature, along with courteous and respectful qualities. ** I appreciate how he tries to share his faith in Jesus with those he meets online, boldly and honestly, and his great love of and respect for our country. I would call him a Patriot! ** I have witnessed firsthand Marshall's humility and commitment to Walking Worthy in the sight of the Lord. ** He was confident, prepared, and obviously comfortable in the leadership role--even with known and unknown peers. I found him to be a great communicator and well-spoken, as well as organized and knowledgeable regarding the subject on which he taught. Marshall presented himself as a worthy candidate for the Freedom Award.

12/7/2016 - Benjamin "Ben" D. Padgett from MD-0518

Ben is the son of Stephen & Mary Padgett. He is a member of Trail Life Troop MD-0518 that is chartered by his church Forge Road Bible Chapel located in Perry Hall, Maryland. Ben is being recognized as the first Rangeman in his Troop MD-0518, the first in the State of Maryland. Ben is our second Rangeman in the Northeast Region.

References have stated that Ben: ** is faithful to attend and anxious to be in the middle of everything. His ability to address groups, and even groups of adults, is impressive for someone his age and I believe the skills he has learned through Trail Life has aided him in this and other areas. ** has proven to be a great asset to us. Ben is dependable, always arriving for work at least 5 minutes before his scheduled time. He has never called out sick. Ben is always willing to stay and cover any shifts we may need help with. His uniform is always neat and professional looking. ** is a great team player. He is always offering to assist others in anything they may need. He has been trained on multiple areas of our frontline. He learns quickly and always excels in any area he is taught. He is very adaptable to changes in the business, always remaining calm and being effective no matter what position he is assigned. Ben has a great attitude. He is very respectful towards fellow team members and our guests. He displays a high concern for the service he provides to our guests. It is a pleasure to have Ben on our team. ** was somewhat shy but friendly kid. He made friendships quickly and jumped right in with everyone else being a part of other middle school and later high school groups at Forge Road Bible Chapel. ** is unique in that he consistently puts the interests of others above his own and has taken many steps to enhance his own leadership qualities to further impact the lives of others. For these reasons, he is a worthy candidate for the Freedom Award.

5/5/2015 - Skylar Pilgram from PA-0002

Skylar is especially being recognized as the first Rangeman in his Troop PA-0002, the first in the State of Pennsylvania, and our first in the Northeast Region. We are currently attempting to obtain information about this historic first in the Northeast. PA-0002 is chartered as a youth ministry of Emmanuel Christian Church, Stoneboro, PA.

slashes Video of Award's Symbolism & Document Links

Take a minute and view the Freedom Award video (left) and review the official documents. The video includes the specific Bible scriptures that provide greater meaning behind each symbolic element of this award.


A Freedom Trailman is distinguished by the title of Freedom Rangeman, as he has now successfully traversed the trail to Christian manhood and possesses the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom to strike out on his own as a young man while holding firmly to his character and the morals that he has incorporated as part of his identity. A Freedom Rangeman remains committed to the values that have come to define his walk on the Trail Life!

A Freedom Rangeman understands and appreciates his freedom as a gift given all mankind by God. He also understands that the chance to enjoy that freedom was bought by the hard work, courage, and sacrifices of men just like him.

Walking Worthy Together In HIS Service and for HIS Glory