Trail Life CEO: ‘Boys long to be heroes — they need an established, unmoving foundation of right and wrong to thrive’
June 20, 2022
GREENVILLE, S.C.— A recent Pew Research Center study revealed a troubling truth about the state of the faith of Americans — from 2009 to 2019 the percentage of Americans who described themselves as Christians was down 12% while the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” was up 17%.
This news corresponds with the overall decline in traditional morality in America. Clear lines of right and wrong are becoming increasingly blurred. Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com), the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country,believes that time-tested answers are clear. For boys to thrive, they need to understand the immovable moral compass provided by the principles of Scripture.
Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life, stated, “Boys long to be heroes! They need clear definitions of right and wrong to realize those desires. That is why boys love stories of heroes and villians, good and evil, triumph and defeat. Clear boundaries and rules inspire boys and help them feel secure.
“Until recently, generations of Americans found these uncompromising principles in Scripture. However, the generational norms that boys could always count on are eroding as the majority in America no longer believe that God is the center of truth. The truth presented in Scripture is being undermined at every turn in our schools and in the media. Tragically, fifty-eight percent of Americans no longer believe that God and the Bible are the means for determining truth. Boys can’t operate at their best in that environment.”
Hancock continued, “The result of this is that boys are ungrounded and searching for the truth to guide them. Boys need an established, unmoving moral foundation in order to thrive — where good behavior is encouraged and bad behavior discouraged. Without a strong moral code to rely on, the law must seem like a random set of rules with no foundation or some sort of mystery with no real solution. So then why are we surprised that 93% of incarcerated adults are men?
“In the cultural slide away from established morals and principles, boys are adrift in a sea of relativism. The result is that boys and men increasingly see themselves as victims of chance rather than creations of purpose. Without a foundation for truth that speaks to the dignity and value of every person, culture is left with a shifting standard of right and wrong.”
In response to this need, Trail Life has implemented their “Proven Process” to best mentor young men and allow them to fully experience the wonders of boyhood as they grow to be godly men. Trail Life offers boy-focused, adventure-driven solutions that reinforce a Christian worldview, encourage boys to embrace what makes them unique, and to build strong relationships with other boys, mentors and most importantly — Christ.
For boys who are struggling with the constantly shifting morality of the culture, Trail Life provides an unmoving foundation for the development of their character. Hancock stated, “In Trail Life, a boy learns through experience that he was created on purpose for a purpose. As he works alongside friends and mentors, he comes to understand that through loving others, standing for truth, and serving in his community, he can make a difference.” Trail Life offers an unapologetically Christian stance, with the Bible as the foundation for truth.
Hancock commented, “Trail Life’s motto is ‘Walk Worthy’ and this phrase has layers of meaning in how we live our daily lives. At its simplest level, it means to behave in a manner that is consistent with our ideals. As Christians, our ideals come from the Bible. This is one of the reasons why the Trail Life USA program has faith interwoven throughout the curriculum as well as supplementary curriculum designed to help boys learn more about God.”
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.