From the Stack

Trail Life steps in to save a generation of boys

Click on the arrow below to listen to this story

Finally, there appears to be some discussion of the tremendous damage that two decades of “social progress” has done to boys.

Mark Hancock, the CEO of Trail Life, a Christian alternative to Boy Scouts, told the Christian Post that America is in danger of raising an entire generation of boys who are “unproductive narcissists.”

“I think we are in danger of raising a whole generation of unproductive narcissists. They’re unproductive because we haven’t really challenged them, and they are narcissists because we haven’t let them fail,” he explained.

And he’s right!

Is there any wonder why college-age males need “safe spaces” after growing up receiving participation trophies for everything they’ve done?

“In Trail Life USA, we challenge boys with things they haven’t done before. Whether it’s a difficult hike, planning an event or to work with a team of boys toward a certain objective. And then we help them to understand failure,” said Hancock.

“Sometimes they don’t win. What that means is you try harder. You go back and you practice and you get better at it,” he added. “That’s what we’ve understood in the past. And it seems like we go overboard now in affirming qualities and dismissing the fact that boys need to be encouraged when they fail.”

Encouraging boys to avoid failure, or ridiculing them when they do, will be a major stumbling block in their development as men.

When I was a Boy Scout, my leaders insisted that I set high goals and consistently work hard to achieve them. I was not allowed to set goals that could be easily accomplished. For example, I could not say I am going to advance to the next rank sometime in the next year. I had to write down a specific date by which I would meet all the requirements.

Then my leaders held me accountable to my progress. It instilled in me a character that has served me well.

We were drilled to “do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

In today’s ultra-charged sexual climate where political correctness runs amok and unchecked, I don’t know of boys get that from an organization like the Scouts that today is committed to serving the needs of girls, too.

“When you look at the history of the country, it’s winning and focused men who took chances, who took risks, who made the difficult decisions, who sometimes made unpopular decisions that really led us to be one of the greatest countries in the world,” Hancock said.

“And if we’re not still instilling those same things in boys, letting them know that risk and competition are not bad words, letting them know that they can get outside and exercise their strength, their masculinity, in a godly way is not a bad thing, then I think it’s not going serve us well going forward as a society that’s going to require that we have men do things like go to war,” he explained.

“Like stand up and defend our rights, stand up to defend the weak, to be strong, to have convictions, to be bold about certain things. And if we aren’t instilling that in our boys, we’re certainly not going to have it in our men,” he added.

The full story is available at The Christian Post.

For information about the Trail Life organization, visit

Show More

Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

Related Articles

Back to top button