Trail Life USA encourages fathers to mold boys into men of character
March 4 is National Sons Day, a day which encourages parents to consider the legacy they will leave behind for their sons and think strategically about lessons they desire to teach. Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com), the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country, exists to help fathers be intentional on that journey.
Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life, stated, "When engaged in outdoor experiences like cleaning fish, pitching tents, paddling canoes, and building fires it is natural for boys to look to men for answers. In an age of instant web-searched answers, the outdoors provide 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. As boys plan and lead in serving their community, solving problems, and experiencing adventure, they have the opportunity to learn from both their successes and mistakes. Boys come to realize that actions have consequences, that boundaries are put in place for a reason, and that absolute truth exists. As boys and men experience life together, life lessons are learned."
Hancock highlighted four pivotal areas that are neglected for boys in today's society. Hancock said, "Boys are particularly in trouble today, and there are four cultural challenges that they face. First, boys are unappreciated by a culture that is promoting girls and leaving boys behind. Boys are told to sit down, be still and behave like the girls. But boys aren't defective girls. Second, boys are unguided, meaning that there is a shortage of godly male role models for a large percentage of boys across America. Third, boys are ungrounded - as the cultural definition of 'truth' continues to shift, boys don't have a firm moral compass. And finally, boys are uninspired- without the challenges of risk and reward, boys are losing interest in things since there isn't anything at stake."
Hancock commented, "The challenges facing boys are daunting but the good news is dads don't have to do it alone. The value of having other men speak into the lives of my sons has been priceless. It is a relief to know that I don't have all the answers. The community of men I have experienced in Trail Life has been invaluable in seeking to grow boys to be men of character. As boys and men gather around the campfire and stories begin to be shared, truth comes to life and boys being to 'get it.' The Bible is such a practical book, and the Six Essential Concepts of a Christian Worldview we talk about in Trail Life are not abstract intangible concepts. Boys need a venue like Trail Life where they can rub shoulders with men, where leadership can be tested, where faith can be experienced, and truth can come to life."