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Mark Hancock:‘Our future requires that men step up for the sake of not only their sons, but boys in their community’

October 10, 2022

GREENVILLE, S.C. There is a crisis in America. The 2021 U.S. Census reported that one in four children, or 18.4 million kids, live in a home without a father, step-father, or father-figure. Children who grow up without a strong paternal figure in their lives are more likely to have behavioral problems, have substance abuse issues, drop out of school, or have other concerning traits. The need for a godly role model is great, yet even many good fathers struggle to make a significant connection with the children in their lives.

Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com), the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country, provides a solution to this problem. Dedicated to building character, fostering leadership skills, and encouraging adventure in boys across America, Trail Life offers a safe place for boys and men to create meaningful relationships that will influence both fathers and sons.

Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock commented, “Willing men can make a difference. In the outdoors, the experience of adults is never obsolete; boys find mentors, fathers and sons connect, important relationships are fostered, and boys find opportunity to achieve significant accomplishment.”

While often times American culture paints men as disengaged, toxic buffoons, Hancock says he sees thousands of men who are filling a need and are dedicated to leading boys as part of Trail Life. “A great deal of attention has been given to the epidemic of absent or disengaged fathers. But a remnant is rising,” Hancock said. “In Trail Life USA, nearly 15,000 men across the country are standing in the gap and utilizing outdoor adventure as a tool to lead men and boys into a life of adventure, character, and leadership.

“Boys are searching for godly, masculine, adventurous men who are willing to lead them on the difficult journey into manhood. Boys need men who are enthralled by their exuberance, acknowledge their abilities, pursue their passions, celebrate their strengths, and nurture their independence. Our future requires that men step up for the sake of not only their sons, but boys in their community. I believe that any legitimate call to manhood MUST involve being a dad or dad-like to boys. 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’s unique approach is garnering attention from families across the nation. Trail Life has grown by over 17,000 new Troop members in 2022 alone. In just the last month, nearly 500 individuals have reached out for information on starting a Trail Life Troop, and more than 30 new Troops have been chartered in the past 30 days. With Trail Life’s success in growing to nearly 45,000 members in under ten years, boys and men are building meaningful relationships, growing in character, developing in leadership, and just having fun in the great outdoors.

Trail Life USA has received praise from some of the top Christian voices today, 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 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.    

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