Time with family and father figures is essential for young boys. One in four children, or 18.3 million kids, live in a home without a father, stepfather, or father-figure. Children who grow up without a strong paternal figure in their lives are more likely to have behavioral problems, have substance abuse issues, drop out of school, or other concerning traits. The need for a godly male role model is great, yet many men struggle to make that connection with the children in their lives.
Trail Life USA, one of the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organizations in the country, is proud to foster meaningful connections for families across America. For Trail Life, the goal of inspiring men to be godly fathers and mentors is key to the development of boys of all ages. Dedicated to building character, fostering leadership skills, and encouraging adventure in boys across America, Trail Life offers a safe place for boys and men to create meaningful relationships that will impact both fathers and sons.
Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life, commented, “Our society is plagued by absent or disengaged fathers. But willing men can make a difference. Boys need men who are enthralled by their exuberance, acknowledge their abilities, pursue their passions, celebrate their strengths, and nurture their independence.”
Recently, Trail Life hosted its largest gathering of men and boys yet. Trail Life's Daniel Boone Base Camp in Central Ohio saw over 1,500 fathers, sons, and mentors from seven different states gather and pitch tents together for a weekend of axe throwing, pugil stick battles, friction fire-starting, monkey-bridge crossing, archery, riflery, sling-shot firing, atlatl throwing, cooking, camaraderie around a campfire, and more.
Hancock continued, “When engaged in outdoor experiences like these, it is natural for boys to look to men for answers. In an age of instant web-searched answers, the outdoors provides a venue where time slows, relationships form, and dads and mentors find a natural voice. Here problems need solving — and it is clear when mistakes are made. The Trail Life program functions as an intentional catalyst to capitalize on those opportunities.
“In Trail Life USA, boys are mentored by caring adults who intentionally equip them to rise to the occasion and lead in moments where preparation meets opportunity. The dedication and preparation that went into this event was truly remarkable. I often say that Trail men are the best men I know, and events like this are why. One of our volunteer leaders in Ohio, Eric Tanner, led a remarkable team to put together a world class event.”
Tanner commented, “As a team, we worked through all the details for each event, took care of safety, made facility agreements, and planned every detail down to microphones, speakers, signage, parking, campfires, schedules — and most importantly, a coordinated emphasis across events and large group gatherings on spiritual and personal growth components. One of the best parts of the event this year was watching the young men step up. The spiritual emphasis and worship times during the weekend were led by teenage Trailmen. The theme was Psalm 37:3-5. ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.’ The boys did a great job of driving home the truth of what it means do delight in the Lord, commit to him, and trust God even when life doesn’t make sense.”
Regional Trail Life volunteer Kent Marks added, “The Daniel Boone Base Camp began in 2013, when my friend commented to me that Trail Life needed a great kick-off event to welcome boys into the Trail Life program and equip them with the skills they needed to thrive in the outdoors.”
Tanner continued, “This event that began with 119 boys has grown to over 1,500. It really is a testament to the hard work and dedication of so many leaders who have come together to make this a reality. Troops are able to come together, enjoy camaraderie, compete, experience adventure, grow in faith, and be part of this great introduction to the Trail Life. That’s really what it’s all about!”
To read the original article by K-Love, click HERE.
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