On the journey to manhood, boys need men who are involved, engaged and intentional. This Father's Day, Trail Life USA encourages men to make time as a dad (or as a dad-like figure) to make a difference by entering a boy's world.
"Boys need a place where it is safe to be a boy!" says Trail Life USA CEO Mark Hancock. "They need a place where they are free to conquer and explore. A place where a boy's impulse to cover himself in mud and crawl through a creek is understood and appreciated. A place where mud turns into war paint, a stick becomes a sword and an impression in the ground just may be a telltale sign of a dragon they could tame if they only keep hunting.
"Boys will follow a man who dares to enter their world and helps them celebrate being a boy," Hancock continues. "Boys need men who are enthralled by their exuberance, acknowledge their abilities, pursue their passions, celebrate their strengths and nurture their independence."
The outdoors, with all its inherent adventure, creates a unique opportunity to teach responsibility, forge leadership, impart masculinity and mold boys to become biblically bold and courageous men of character. "In the outdoors, the experience of adults is never obsolete," Hancock says. "There, boys find mentors, fathers and sons connect, important relationships are fostered, and boys find opportunities to achieve significant accomplishments. The outdoors is a place for boys to mature and become men in community with godly men."
Hancock continues, "Our society is plagued by absent or disengaged fathers. But we can fix that. Trail Life USA uses outdoor adventure to lead men and boys into a life of adventure, character and leadership. This is a chance for courageous men to engage with boys in a way that is natural, and do their part to raise up the next generation of godly leaders.
"Boys need godly, masculine, adventurous men who are willing to lead them on the difficult journey into manhood," he adds. "Any legitimate call to manhood must include a call to be a dad or dad-like to boys. Our future requires that men step up for the sake of not only their sons, but boys in their community. When a man takes time out of his schedule to engage with a boy and speak encouragement, he creates a golden opportunity to reflect Christ and speak truth and meaning into his life."
Trail Life deliberately structures programs with these truths in mind, then rewards boys who accept the challenge to reach new physical and spiritual heights. Boys strategically advance to greater challenges and greater accomplishments with each adventure.
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 are growing as Trail Life USA expands around the country. Get involved in a troop near you, or start a troop in your community today.
Since Trail Life USA launched on Jan. 1, 2014, it has grown to nearly 30,000 members in over 850 Troops across the nation. The 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.
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