Thousands of Boys and Leaders Grow in Character, Leadership, and Faith
August 9, 2021
GREENVILLE, S.C.— Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com) Summer Adventures are bringing dads and boys together, building bonds, and growing boys into godly men.
“Boys are designed to embrace challenge, to rise to the occasion, and to overcome,” said Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock. “Their God-given drive is to get out in creation, to get wet, to get their hands dirty, to climb the tallest tree, to take the next hill. Away from daily duties and digital distractions, boys develop character, practice leadership, and experience the adventure every boy craves.”
Troops across the country have experienced amazing trips this summer. As one example, boys in Trail Life USA Troops OH-0013 and TX-1160 spent months planning and preparing for their treks to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota. Then, last month, Troop Dads and Trailmen created memories during a week of caravanning, canoeing, fishing, cooking, camping, portaging, and connecting on the water. After the trip, boys and dads returned home depleted of energy but filled with memories of scenes and conversations that will last a lifetime.
Another Troop, Trail Life Troop KY-0071, canoed 100 miles on the Current River, part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri. A third Troop from California recently completed a mission trip to Woody Island near Kodiak, Alaska, where they blazed a new trail, built a bridge, and assisted with several projects while honing archery, riflery, fire starting, and bushcraft skills while surviving in the backcountry.
One dad commented, “During the trip, my sons and I grew closer. The experience creates a strong bond that is deepened by overcoming shared challenges together. Upon returning home, my boys seem to stand a little taller, feel a little wiser, and exude more confidence. While on the surface, these trips may seem to be simple adventures, these experiences have created unique opportunities for my sons to prove themselves, prepare for life, and grow to be strong men of character.”
Hancock explained, “The reality is that boys need the examples and leadership of heroic men. Scripture, history, and personal experiences defy the untethered aims of culture and make clear the significant benefits of godly men who act as traditional masculine role-models for boys.”
At a Summer Adventure in West Virginia, one Troop leader observed, “The men get just as excited about Trail Life as the boys do. When we began this ministry, we thought it was just about preparing boys to become courageous young men. The secret was, as the dads got together, the dads bonded just as much as the young men did. I’ve heard men say, ‘Man, I’m looking forward to this weekend coming up, even more than my son is!’”
Another dad commented, “These experiences aren’t just for outdoorsmen. I am not a very good outdoorsman, but the good thing about Trail Life is that you don’t have to be. Experiencing adventure together has given me the opportunity to be around other Christian men who are sharpening me, challenging me, and showing me new ways to reach my son. The truth is, as we mentored each other’s sons, we got mentored ourselves.”
Trail Life USA is a Church-Based, Christ-Centered, Boy-Focused mentoring and discipleship journey that speaks to the heart of a boy. Established on timeless values derived from the Bible and set in the context of outdoor adventure, boys from Kindergarten through 12th grade are engaged in a Troop setting by male mentors where they are challenged to grow in character, understand their purpose, serve their community, and develop practical leadership skills to carry out the mission for which they were created.
Trail Life has experienced a 70% increase in new members compared to the previous year, adding dozens of new Troops and expanding total membership to over 30,000. In just the last month, over 300 individuals have reached out for information on starting a Trail Life Troop.
To interview Mark Hancock from Trail Life USA, contactMedia@HamiltonStrategies.com, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.