Trail Life USA CEO Mark Hancock: “We must mold men of character and conviction who will stand for truth, preserve liberty, and be a light to the nations.”
February 22, 2022
GREENVILLE, S.C.— On the third Monday of February, America pauses to remember and respect all the presidents who led this country over the past 245 years. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, the holiday was expanded to recognize of all America’s presidents and to thank them for their service to the country.
Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com), the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country, encourages its’ Troops to respect and honor America’s heritage year-round. The great American presidents understood the importance of boyhood challenge and adventure in raising up godly men of character. Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock pointed out, “Theodore Roosevelt rightly noted, ‘The same qualities that mean success or failure to the nation as a whole, mean success or failure in men and boys individually.’”
Hancock continued, “It is imperative that boys know and read America’s founding documents—the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, the preamble to the Constitution, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These texts provide guidance for molding the sort of men who will continue to lead our country with courage and character. Founding Fathers like George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson enshrined in our Constitution biblical principles of freedom, equality, fairness, opportunity, and human dignity that are endowed by the creator.
“James Madison wrote, ‘We have staked the whole future of American civilization not on the power of government, far from it. We have staked the whole of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the commandments of God. The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.’ These are the principles we must teach our boys.”
In Trail Life USA, as boys engage with experiential program elements to earn badges like Citizenship and Our Flag, they are grounded in foundational biblical truths. Together boys vote on leaders for their Troop, plan their program, and live with the results of their choices. Ranks and badges are not simply bookwork. The nature of a boy is appreciated. For boys to grow, they have to experience. The Trail Life program is designed to engage boys with the same principles that guided the Founding Fathers. As boys band together and work with leaders to achieve goals, experience adventure, and make a difference in their community, they are inspired to greater achievement.
Hancock concluded, “Let us strive to engage, to inspire, to appreciate, to guide and to ground boys in the truth—that they may grow to become men of character and conviction who will stand for truth, preserve liberty, and continue by faith to raise the banner of freedom and be a light to the nations.”
President Herbert Hoover concluded, “The glory of the nation rests in the character of her men. And character comes from boyhood. It is for them that we must win the war…For the world of tomorrow, will be carried forward by the boys of today.”
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 TrailLifeUSA.com.
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.