The boys came prepared in teams of four for a highlight challenge of the Daniel Boone Base Camp Event. Each year Trailmen compete to build a fire tall enough to burn a marker string, boil water, and steep coffee for their Troopmaster to drink. This year, however the planning team added a twist. The fire had to be started by friction.
As parents, we have a choice to teach our boys to live in fear or teach them to rise above life’s challenges and act in faith. COVID-19 has added many obstacles to boys getting together to do the things they love. But right now, our boys don’t need to hear more “you can’t do XYZ.” They need opportunities to positively overcome the restraints imposed by the pandemic... creatively, safely, and responsibly.
1. Cultivate Relationships
Boys need dads who remember the world of backyard matchbox cars. Who can recall the time when dirt roads were carved from mulch beds, rocks became doughnut shops, cars drove to the tops of trees, and perils awaited in the grass jungles.
Manhood is in crisis today. The increasingly accurate term “perpetual adolescence” is not a reference to girls failing to grow up. We intuitively know it refers to 20- and 30-something men. Men are falling behind women in college enrollment and graduation; they’re increasingly unemployed; and traditionally male-dominated industries are disappearing. They are more likely to be homeless and to use and abuse all almost all types of illicit drugs and alcohol. Ninety-nine percent of all prison inmates are male, as well as 98 percent of death-row inmates. Men are not doing well. In many ways, they are becoming the “weaker sex.”
In a culture that declares masculinity is toxic and struggles to provide any coherent definition of what a courageous manhood is or should be, Christmas is an incredible opportunity to talk with boys and young men about the example of Christ. What did it mean for him to become a man? What character traits did he display? What was unique about the life he lived? What implications does his life have for us as men?
A RETURN TO SCOUTING’S ROOTS
The Trail Life movement represents a return to the founding principles of youth scouting as articulated by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, a British army officer and founder of the modern youth scouting movement.
Trail Life USA ® CEO Mark Hancock talks about the differences between boys and girls and the need to have boy-specific activities in scouting. Trail Life USA, he explains, is a boy-focused scouting organization that gives boys plenty of outdoor activities to challenge them and call out their inner competitor. Click below to download the podcast or read the transcript that follows.
These days there is a lot of pressure to “civilize” boys, to make them less strong and aggressive. Today we we want to talk about the uniqueness of raising boys in this culture, where there is confusion about masculinity and femininity, where there is confusion about what it is supposed to look like.
It isn’t politically correct to say so, but reality is what it is: Boys and girls are different. Physiologically, psychologically, and emotionally. They learn differently and have different motivations. And these days, in a world that is increasingly designed for girls, boys are suffering—in education, socially, and especially in maturity