In a Culture Diminishing Masculinity, Courageous Men are Still Raising Up Courageous Men

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CEO Mark Hancock: ‘The challenges facing boys are daunting, but men are stepping up to make a difference. 

GREENVILLE, S.C. — March 4 is National Son’s Day, a time when we recognize and celebrate boys everywhere. According to Trail Life USA ( CEO Mark Hancock, the day also reminds us of a father’s vital role in helping today’s boys become tomorrow’s men.

Hancock said, “The reality is that males and females are fundamentally different in many ways – physically, emotionally, and relationally. Pretending otherwise in the name of progress or permissiveness might be culturally acceptable, but it does both sexes a disservice. Boys need time to learn to be men alongside men who are involved, engaged, and intentional.”

Trail Life believes that boys today face unprecedented challenges on their path to manhood.

Hancock noted, “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.”

But across the country, the men of Trail Life are making a difference. A remnant is rising up that is committed to Letting Boys be Boys. They are engaging in the things boys love and moving them from apathy to adventure. As the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country, Trail Life celebrates what makes boys unique and provides them with a safe space to explore the concept of masculinity while building relationships, learning leadership skills and exploring the great outdoors.

Hancock observed, “What can boys and men do to recapture this sense of adventure and purpose and witness biblical masculinity in action? I believe this is found in Christ-centered, boy-focused, male-centric activity in outdoor adventure organizations like Trail Life USA. As boys and men hike, camp, canoe, solve problems, and develop skills, mentors are found, fathers and sons connect, purpose is discovered, and boys encounter the unchanging biblical foundations upon which leadership and character are built.”

Hancock concluded, “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. 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.”

Trail Life USA has received praise from some of today’s top Christian voices, including Focus on the Family, Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, Alex and Stephen Kendrick, Family Life, Promise Keepers, the American Family Association, and many others.    

Trail Life USA is the premier national character development organization for young men, producing godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens. Trail Life’s mission is to guide generations of courageous young men to honor God, lead with integrity, serve others, and experience outdoor adventure. Troops exist in all 50 states and are growing as Trail Life USA expands around the country. Find a Troop today, or Start a Troop in your community. Find out more at    

Trail Life USA’s K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills. A robust awards program motivates young men to grow on a personal level to become role models and leaders among their peers. Living the Trail Life USA is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible.      

Discover more about Trail Life USA, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or Vimeo.


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