Boys learn honor through their response to failure
March 21, 2022
GREENVILLE, S.C.— Trail Life USA (TrailLifeUSA.com), the largest Christ-centered, boy-focused scout-type organization in the country is dedicated to raising godly boys to become faithful leaders and men of integrity. Trail Life’s leadership model builds character and instills a sense of honor in boys.
Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life, stated, “The Trail Life Oath begins with the words, ‘On my Honor.’ Honor is a word seemingly forgotten in our culture. Instead, daily we are bombarded with stories of celebrities’ bad behavior. Worldly heroes are expected to behave badly— they are held to a different standard and rarely are held accountable for their poor choices.
“However, the heroes of scripture are painted with a different brush. In scripture, honor and biblical manhood are synonymous. While it is true that biblical heroes at times failed spectacularly, their failures were not celebrated, were not excused, and did not define them.”
Hancock continued, “To have honor does not mean we never fail; rather, honor is measured by our response to failure. In Trail Life USA, the patrol structure gives a boy an opportunity to develop an honorable reputation. Boys who prove themselves by handling failure with integrity, taking corrective action, and learning to put their own needs aside to care for others in the Troop are given leadership and the opportunity to model the notion of honor to others in the Troop. As boys witness character in their leaders, they begin to understand the meaning of the phrase ‘on my honor.’ It is lived out by the rest of the Trailman Oath: ‘I will do my best to serve God and my country; To respect authority; To be a good steward of creation; And to treat others as I want to be treated.’ As these Truths are lived out, the notion of honor is understood, ‘on my honor’ takes on meaning, and boys grow to become honorable men.”
To encourage boys to learn responsibility and become men of character, Trail Life implements their “Proven Process” to best relate to young men and allow them to embrace what it means to be a boy.
The “Trail Life USA Proven Process” addresses four significant problems that are plaguing boys as they seek to navigate the perilous journey to manhood: they are unappreciated, unguided, ungrounded, and too often, uninspired. First, boys are unappreciated by a culture that is promoting girls and leaving boys behind. Boys are told to sit down, be still and behave like the girls. But boys aren’t defective girls. Second, boys are unguided, meaning that there is a shortage of godly male role models for a large percentage of boys across America. Third, boys are ungrounded—as the cultural definition of ‘truth’ continues to shift, boys don’t have a firm moral compass. And finally, boys are uninspired—without the challenges of risk and reward, boys are losing interest in things since there isn’t anything at stake.”
Through this tried-and-true methodology, Trail Life offers boy-focused, adventure-driven solutions delivered in the context of a Christian worldview that encourage boys to embrace what makes them unique and build strong relationships with other boys, mentors and most importantly, Christ.
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.