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A Strong Place for Boys to Grow Up As Men

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
July 26, 2022 6:00 am

A Strong Place for Boys to Grow Up As Men

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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July 26, 2022 6:00 am

Mark Hancock described how Trail Life USA (was founded in response to the Boy Scouts decision to step away from their moral and spiritual foundation). He described how many young boys don’t have godly male role models today, and how Christian Men can step up to help fatherless boys.

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This program is sponsored by Focus on the Family, a listener supported ministry helping families thrive in Christ is great reason one person you know he needs a male centric environment that celebrates who it is that he needs to be surrounded by other men. Share your value and you know you can tell your son something all day except time to come home and all mistress also said this until you left here you are in this environment were there man the values that you sent Mark Hancock is our guest today on Focus on the Family here to share why we need to pay special attention to the young boys and teens. Growing up in her home and in our communities. What kind of man will they become your host is focused president Dr. Jim Daly I'm John Fuller.

Thanks for joining us and we talked about this before why parents need to be so intentional about raising kids with the end in mind it's all about the launch that's for sure. You know when they're hitting 18 and finishing school there adults. That's the goal and in everyday business of life, we tend to forget that you know were just trapped in the things we gotta do.

Forget about concentrating on how organ to launch our young men, particularly with covered young ladies yesterday and we just wanted to really concentrate on this sooner would get involved with her homework and all the other things that's all good but how do we shape character and sometimes we forget the most important task.

Are we saved for last. I said we gotta put it right up there in the front of what were doing to cover that moms and dads today so you don't want to lean into this and sit alongside and listen our last episode. As I said, introduced the American Heritage girls national scouting program for girls in alternative to Girl Scouts and given the woke direction that they've gone they really disconnected from their beginnings and training young women how to be good Christian women right and what to look for and what their identity is locked in today were to cover the boys side of this and I'm excited to do that. As I mentioned, Mark Hancock is with us.

He's the CEO of trail life USA or church based Christ centered boy focused mentoring and discipleship organization. They've had a lot of significant growth since their founding in 2014, Mark welcome to the broadcast. Thank you's pleasure to be here and tell me okay so why did you do this while you know in 2013. It appeared that the Boy Scouts were beginning to choose a direction that we need a lot of churches and parents just couldn't can follow so about 300 volunteers across the country began to talk and connect through different social media forms and things talk about what to do about this mean boys need a character, leadership and venture organization that that that helps their maturing what was happening in the Boy Scouts that caught those people's attention those parents, those dads what was the alarm while the first target went up was the is they decided to open the organization to open in about homosexual boys now course or some such was our entire culture that would raise a flag but the challenges that that would cause for true Masters our scoutmasters in churches who are being required by the national organization to agree with something that wasn't consistent with their faith was going to cause a lot of trouble. In fact, churches would would cause trouble for churches because it he puts a threat on the 501(c)(3) standing if they agree with an organization that has different values and they do so we knew something was can be densely volunteers gathered across the country began to talk about the idea of an organization that would take the place of an organization over hundred years or be given as astronauts and in generals and presidents in and civic leaders but they were apparently losing their way in the secret sauce that they had masculinity in a biblical model they were abandoning you know we talked yesterday. As we mentioned to Patty about heritage girls and she made that connection. Then they started heritage girls in the 90s you're sitting there in 2013 2014 Boy Scouts are doing similar disconcerting things you decide to start trail life and your son was an Eagle Scout at the time he was and that had to be hard. I mean I mean that's really the mountaintop of the Boy Scout experience right becoming the Eagle Scout. I've signed a lot of letters to Eagle Scouts. We have done that her focus acknowledging their great achievement. How does your son feel and what did he say to you about the transition will it is. It is quite an achievement waypoint enunciates produced have a tremendous legacy and that over the years. I do need to catch up. I did not start the organization. All these volunteers or came to get a relocate will point to a founder this right I is scheduled for you're sitting at the table.

I was there, but my son you know that action when he left Boy Scouts they sent him an email. He said you know you have a rejoining here you're an Eagle Scout. Can you tell us why you haven't rejoined any sedan should I respond that it's what some pray about what would you want to say and he gave a simple three word response to the Boy Scouts. He said you weren't brave while and I thought yeah wow is right is your father, two sons, and you realize it is that the young man who is so much energy into this program into earning that very respectable achievement at the time was willing to walk away but it said to me as a dad, you better be brave because your son really values that and so that a course feeds into you know, the difficult decision that we had to leave that organization, but actually you might have a conversation with sensing this is what we do we we do hard things because the right and so it is what it was. It was a great.

It was a great lesson for me as a dad and a course was great demonstration. See my son's faith and I think you know one of things John one accomplishes alerting people to the opportunity of trail life USA and what they provide in no part of it is your growing you've been at it now in a number of years and have a lot of family young men are active in the program on 40,000 members in all 50 states, all 50 states and so it's active and we do want to introduce people because it is biblically based, it is Christian in its value structure and that's one of the reasons we want to stand with you and make sure that everybody knows about it. But in that context. Let me let you describe what trail life USA does and what you're hoping to achieve in the lives of these boys and young men while were Christ centered boy focused character leadership and venture organization from kindergarten through 12th grade and were active in all 50 states over 900 Churches Trl. life USA troops and we are using a male centric environment, which is important for boys 90 centric and again we see crazy things like boys and girls are different. We actually believe. I'd say you know I'm not a scientist.

Yeah but but we recognize that at the needs of boys and girls and are different in that boys need an organization that's focused on their strengths that's built for who it is that they are as a boy. You boys are under some so much attacking us like boys or to some sort of social disease.

It needs to be eradicated or toxic masculine yeah and so this generations of the discounting of of men that's beginning to show in our boys like to the canaries in the coal mine and they stop singing because of the culture, the way that it is handled boys just really check in and out three times more likely be be in special education twice is like to have ADHD. They have fallen behind girls in every single academic category. The fastest rising statistic in suicide rates is boys from 10 to 14 years of boys are in trouble and they need somebody that organization for over hundred years that stood for boys just decide to leave that path and now it's not a boy centric organization more so trail a step in the capsid. We are a champion for boys. We believe in what it's right we think that we think their amazing creations created in the image of God, and they need to be recognized for that. I love it have been a father to boys, but we have some of the young men right here in the studio with John working to get to some your comments or questions will be thinking about that. Let me ask you, you have a story about a trail life troop member or troop.

Actually that leapt into action. I love these these success stories but there's a forest fire and they jumped in. Now were their moms and dads aware that they had done this. Probably not at the time I have stage badges that surely her the story afterwards with their out camping and and they notice a red glow and miles and miles from anyone doing something bad with the boys and the adults jumped in action and an put this this fire out. That would've spread for possibly hundreds of acres because would've been so long before for some. He stepped in to our boys Fox and focused on that we understand the outdoors Weaver. We have our worldview essentials in one of those talks about creation and and respecting unit with the place that we live in. So they have they have a love for the outdoors, so they jumped into action and make sure that fired and spread is great. Now I wish I would've been there kind of adventure. I would love to do something to explain why you believe male role models and men touring from men is essential and even that is so loaded today because of you because of people that abused kids Say it speak to the mentoring ID and then how you safeguard sure. Well, you know that toxic masculinity is pretty broad brush adjustment pain and role all men in the in the next generation so soul restoring the biblical masculinity of men who can be trusted to mentor and and in and help boys long unit one and a four households of her boys just have a father and there is one out of four for him talking and and 78% of teachers are female. So for the most part boys have as a model FEMA not single moms are doing a Herculean task in that household.

But that's boy in the household doesn't have somebody looks like him, whose whose leading right and then he goes to school and estimate again. So girls have these wonderful role models and boys are just lacking these were among soul restoring those role models in our leaders and their all background checks and child safety youth protection training personal references from the church representative. They pass the test and this is wonderful brotherhood of man across our country of 15,000 men serving serving boys into trail.

If USA and they have this beautiful brotherhood were there holding each other accountable your member in the 80s with this accountability movement. He had to sit across the table with a guy and drink a cup of coffee and share your heart that's hard for us is that you put two men hiking on a trail next to each other much better for the boys all bed down in the got the dads around the fires in St. Vincent. I saw the way that you spoke to your son today.

How did you get a relationship like that with him.

How can I build and so that's where these men are connecting the mentor each other in their building just one of best-kept secrets is that were also ministry to men is a men in our program have this tremendous brotherhood where there were there sharpening each other ironing shop you have an example of think it's a trip in Texas were that group really identifies the fatherless boys and concentrates on bringing fatherless boys into that troop and then men touring them speak to that specificity of liberal heart for that which we love the fathers and sons participate and give that's a great way for dads to connect her sons, but we also have a heart for these published boys about dads and I was speaking in Texas an event a trellis event and man pulled me aside.

He said see that boy over there us again. He sits.

I connected him with that man over there because he doesn't have a father how it's really nice and he said see that bow this again is I connected him with that man over there because he does not father anxious when I stopped to sit. Who are you he said when I was nine years old my father passed away and I ended up in of and youth boys organization surrounded by men who helped mentor me and I told myself at that time that I would do that when I got older and make sure the boys had a dad or dad like and I honestly believe that any legitimate called manhood must include a call to either be a father to natural sons or to be a dad like to these boys so many boys without a good solid Christian role model and I think any legitimate call has to include paying attention to those boys who don't have well I sure appreciate the community you're describing their this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly I'm John Fuller and our guest today is Mark Hancock and we'd love for you to find out more, and maybe to get your son involved. If you can please do get your son involved in trail life USA will link over to their website and all the details in the show notes and then also call us our numbers 800 K and the word family 800-232-6459. Another concern you talk about is the character development and again this is the one that baffles me in this area people that oppose what you're doing. I don't even understand you trying to raise and help these young men become men of character right honest looking to do good deeds which I applaud all of you for it's the right thing to do and then you have critics saying yeah but it's all rooted in that Christian thing I don't get that. What are they afraid of.

Yeah it is.

It is, shocking, but fortunately have enough parents to understand even nonbelievers are choosing to put the boys into trail life because they recognize that it's it's an environment that they understand good traditional values and they want to see their boys in a program like that stuck in our program.

All of our adult leaders agree to a statement of faith and statement of values. It does things like talks like human sexuality, and in who men women are what marriages alloys of any faith or no faith at all are welcome to torture us because we love the fact that there around men who build character in a way that it's hard to find anywhere else in culture used to be able to look at look at their people look up to and now you know the sports stars and things happening with them. So many of their lives are suspect. The personal lives and so so the boys in trail. If you're surrounded by godly men who were holding each other accountable to the standards the ones that they agreed to when they joined and in this male centric environment will boys get to see that's what I want to be when I grow because they may not have an example. Household and that's how we build character, so that example you can't build godly boys without godly men and so so weak we love that the idea that male centric environment because that's where the boys learn how to become a nurse in the pudding.

You had a story about I think you, I'm sure you change the name but they troop member name to me what happened with Tammy yell.

He was dropped off at a trip but by parents to be involved in this program and I don't know if they were just looking for a night out or what is okay to put in the end the leaders. They did struggle with them because he he was challenging behaviorally but they hung in there with him because that's what we do we do hard things and doubt one.

One night the troop master got a call from Timmy's mom and she said you know, Timmy is praying at home and he said okay you know it's here.

That's the goal.

She said you understand we don't pray in our household, but we would like to can my husband and I attend your trooper and learn how to pray in a few weeks later that entire family was baptized in the church is not beetle that is exactly what summer is that white people praying. But that is wonderful and I would assume that that family is a tighter, stronger, better family than they were before another attending the troop with the sun rather than the possibility of that's terrific. Let's speak to the boy energy issue because I mean that's part of it.

I think you know and I wasn't trained in education but when you look out how boys have to go to school them to sit still and you know they get a little bit of recess, but then you're back at a desk doesn't really suit us boys because we tend to learn on the move.

I member Jean and I having a debate about how to do devotions with the boys and she wanted us to sit down at seven and we start then we do 10 minutes of singing and I was going day and I let's go outside. Let's roll in the grass list talk about who created the trees in the mountain and you need unique boys need to be moving. Not all the time, but some of the time and speak to that difference in how the references how the cultures trend in many ways from the feminized boys to learn to behave to act like girls you will face in our classrooms are designed for the way the girls learn sit still be quiet pay attention and interest. Murder for boys and it ends any of scientist hotels Harvard professor reason for that that boys have to move in order to learn so that fidgeting that they're doing in their see that were punishing them for in declaring the ADHD. They actually intuitively know they've got to move in order to learn. So we recognize in trail. I tell leaders all the time. If your boys walk in your troop meeting and it looks like a classroom or Sunday school classroom. You've already lost them know to get the chairs out of the room. Throw some light was on the floor because that's how boys learn they learn they can be doing some activity in their learning. On a different channel look at the video games get the sports programs on the news programs that we watch not just learning on one channel you got things come across upon a screening at the score here you have a yardstick week week we learn from these multiple channels. These boys were born in that world was cinnamon a classroom and they have to listen to one person that's that's that's hard for them to do so we have to we have to recognize that boys and girls are given the boys learn on multiple channels at the same time and they need that typist distraction wife and I homeschool our two boys and so that was part of our learning experiences that you first thing we did we decide homes we went. We bought A little student desks we bought at a sale that the school board was having on the use, furniture and I don't think they ever send those to the floor from a chandelier or whatever, but they both ended up being you know full scholarships for college, so it worked. Yeah, but we do need to approach the way we teach boys to vacuum with your original experience in Boy Scouts. When you sons again was right in the middle of becoming an Eagle Scout when started another option in that regard.

What what happened when the Boy Scouts introduced girls into the Boy Scouts were to continue with.

I always was puzzled why me again why can't boys have a place where boys can go but they decided to allow girls into the Boy Scouts and what did you see and observe in that regard in which I can save some that broke my heart when they made that decision to allow girls in the Boy Scouts. This is a Purple Heart, but then one of first quotes I read they were interviewing scoutmaster and he said how do you like having girls in your troop he so we love having girls in our troop because are so much better behaved and smarter than I thought. You know he's right. He may be right because developmentally boys like a little behind girls think all my cash. There's another place, boys can't go without being Boy Scouts to be a boy can't name is on the on the organization and they can go there without it, why can't you sit still like Susie doesn't mean here's another place they going to being discounted and and and dismissed as not being good enough. They start out school behind and now this more girls enrolling in college getting that bachelors degrees master or Teresa boys because we have this generation now long thing of discounting and teaching them in a way that that that doesn't really fit for them and so this does not work a bit on smart grid turn to the young men in here and asked them to give us some input in a moment here but make the pitch.

I mean okay if I had two boys that were between the ages of five and 18 why should I do this now. What is great reason one is due for your son. You know he needs a male centric environment that celebrates who it is that he is.

He needs to be surrounded by other men who share your values and you know you can tell your son something all day and then you know it saps all the time they come home and his mistress also said this a lie And tell you that for you so that rep is always here you are in this environment work where there men who are supporting the values that you have and so the Scripture sense, but it even if you don't have a son in the program. It's a great place to go to porn the next generation to be able to weave a lot of mentor program don't have sons in the organization.

But they know how important it is to disciple and mentor this next generation and it's done in this incredibly fun environment.

You don't have to be great camping with you.

Great outdoorsman come in. There's guys there who will help you through the whole thing but it's it it's just a great opportunity grow closer, son. I heard it said that this is the first generation being raised by Google and were boys can now ask their phone you know where to babies come from NASA were restoring man as being the mentors and is the guy who knows more because Google cannot start a fire with wet leaves but I know a lot of women are moving who can't so boys get to be an environment again where there learning looking up to a male mentor and it's restoring that relationship that a course builds strong, so good. Well let's ask the guys how they're doing. So let's do that now. I Matthew I do know that so entry life. We do a lot Else so we've wrecked you have one and if I think it's like two weeks now to three weeks where we have all the older boys were really going out with the within trails where the older boys and be mentoring younger boys but basically this is my favorite story to tell because it shows like kind of can you get in so basically were what were hiking in my backpack was too big is too heavy.

I was as little as I was a shrimp and outward were walking down and I was falling behind and based all the guys stopped and unloaded my back. It's a all my stuff out and they put in a real suspect. So entry let's get this community where we support each other. We saw the boy leader sustains the highest he can be in the troop for the boys and then I'll benefit for litter multiple times so we have our small groups of patrols eight and 10 boys but it's it really just helps us to porn young boys and I love the opportunity also allows the adults in the old West Point us let me ask you this I mean that.

It's always fun. I mean when I can remember being your age, you probably don't believe me but I can but there's also the natural kind and mischievous. This of what we do is boys right where that's put the frog in the knapsack or whatever. I mean, that stuff I'm sure is still happening to that, but it's good that's what the adventures all about right. Those memories that you remember the good stuff. The men touring and then also some of the games that go on yeah I know that we have people go around rattling tents at night before and thereby comes running out is running out Yahoo was that's good that's good stuff. Thank you so my name Scott and just a word of encouragement. I love that you know we have the opportunity have other men in a poor door boys at know and love Jesus so that you do for our family. I got three boys in the audience here and so thank you for that. I did have one question.

You mentioned know one in four boys are living in home are not homeless, fatherless families, and I think it's generally acknowledged fatherlessness right now is a huge epidemic with with our boys and kind how they're going up. Is there anything within trail. I for your focusing on fatherless homes or single moms or arm is there to be anything. I guess in the roadmap for trail life to focus on on those boys and how we plug them into Terry Cordell mentors is good question was, as you know, every trip is different is rechartered by church and you have the flavor of the church, so some of those sort of iterations of the program come out of the division for the church.

What is the church wonder who they want to reach in a community but we do have a lot of resources we reach out to single moms a lot intent to let them know here's an organization. When a single moms cry out to Koch that her husband passed away when he when her son was two years old and she started crying out to God. Now he's 15 years old. He's in a trail if USA trooping surrounded by godly men and woman came to me. She said I need to thank you because my help.

My husband would want me to thank you so so there are there are. This meant, so I would encourage you go for it.

And there's nothing to stop you from from having that culture in your troop. This is us and we need to pay attention these boys like you said earlier and if you say these things all the time know if you for not taking care of those boys and work were challenged by Scripture. James 127 we're supposed be paying attention these boys so take that on yourself to say me and my troop work and look out for these wars and make sure that you and something you'll fit you have nothing on support from us, but I don't know that we that's that's something we would impress upon troops to do that hillfort when you're also mentioning the church of the church relationship there. I mean, there's pastors listening and and I would encourage them move for a church to get engaged with you, they would just contact you directly. Yeah remarkable thing were not just an organization that meets in the basement of the church.

We are an active outreach of the local church so churches are seeing growth because you invite a boy to Sunday school for forever. If you find to go backpacking or white water rafting or something like that that boy goes that unchurched boy joins the troop than that unchurched family joins the church and we see church is growing because of their commitment having their great so churches can get involved. How many churches do you have involvement we just passed 900 yesterday, that would be great. What a good idea for churches to help those boys that don't have doubts in the home thinking scream and she thank you Mark, this is been exceptional and I hope people are catching this John the idea. We just really want to expose people to trail life as we did with American Heritage girls yesterday and in doing so, we just want you to get involved.

Spread the word. Talk to your pastor get churches involved certainly get your own son or daughter and and your grandson or granddaughter involved and that's the purpose so Mark, thank you so much for being with us and will make all the links to our website and John had her folks in touch with this they can find out more about trail life USA by clicking the link in the show notes or just give us a call number 800 K family 800-2326 45 and were a listener supported the ministry we need your support to continue making programs like this available. Donate.

As you can today will say thanks by sending a CV of our conversation for you to pass along to somebody so they can listen long and hopefully get more engaged beginner number 800 litter a word family and coming up next time. Taking responsibility for the challenges in your marriage. I didn't see the problem. I thought that a hypersensitive everybody else liked the phone with her problem that seems to like me. Client seem to like me. So I got it together not come home and cry. She doesn't like me have Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family ride you now nearly 60% of American adults don't have a will in place a big number. Well can leave a heavy burden for family left behind if you need a well but don't know where to begin.

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