During the summer season, families make vacation plans with a singular aim: to get outside. And it’s little wonder why. In a culture where the day-to-day business is conducted inside and dominated by devices offering synthetic experiences, Americans are recognizing the value in genuinely connecting with people and the world around them.
This lack of engagement with the natural world is taking a particular toll on boys. The statistics are sobering. Over 75% of juvenile court cases involve boys. Seventy-four percent of teens in drug and alcohol treatment programs are boys. Men account for four out of five suicides in America, and the most rapidly growing suicide rate demographic is boys between the ages of 10-14.
Trail Life (TrailLifeUSA.com) CEO Mark Hancock stated, “That is why Trail Life USA has launched The Campaign to Rescue America's Boys, our efforts must go beyond preparing them only to survive these challenges. We must take on the greater challenge: to engage a generation, calling them forth as a remnant that will be equipped not only to survive the overwhelming rising tide, but to reverse the tide itself.”
Trail Life is the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country. In a world that diminishes the power of boyhood, Trail Life celebrates what makes boys unique and provides boys with a safe space to explore the concept of masculinity while building relationships, learning leadership skills, and exploring the great outdoors.
Hancock said, “We believe it is important to ‘let boys be boys!’ Research has proven that rough-and-tumble play develops the frontal lobe of a boy’s brain. Boys need to get outside, away from electronics, and spend time with men to become the men God created them to be.”
Hancock believes that an essential way to allow boys to thrive is to reconnect them to the great outdoors — in short, to direct boys back to their original design and environment.
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 notes that this crisis is nothing less than existential, with the next generation of men hanging in the balance.
Hancock stated, “We owe it to the next generation to reach back and lay claim to the time-tested generational biblical values that shaped the best of men, and then to model those values — values like courage, conquest, sacrifice, and truth. We need to deliver these values in a culture that is denying the potential in a generation of boys or, more darkly, a society that knows the potential and is out to suppress the difference these values can make. It’s not likely that boys will stumble upon these values on their own. It falls to us.”
Trail Life’s unique program is spreading rapidly across the nation. Trail Life recently celebrated its 1,000th Troop, with tens of thousands of boys and their families being positively impacted by the Trail Life message. Through tried-and-true methodology, Trail Life offers boy-focused, adventure-driven solutions delivered in the context of a Christian worldview that encourage boys to embrace what makes them unique and build strong relationships with other boys, mentors, and most importantly, Christ.
Story originally published by K-Love. Read Here