Mark Hancock: Trail Life USA’s Mission Is To Raise Godly Young Men

Mark Hancock of Trail Life USA told The Todd Starnes Show Trail Life’s mission is to raise godly young men in an ungodly culture.

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The following is a rush transcript from The Todd Starnes Radio Show. Listen to the program live Monday – Friday from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. Click here to listen to the full interview.

TODD STARNES: [00:44:27] Well, a very good friend of the program has dropped by. He is one of the celebrities here at NRB. He heads up an incredible group called Trail Life USA. Our good friend Mark Hancock, Mark, good to have you with us. [00:44:41][13.7]

MARK HANCOCK: [00:44:41] Todd, it’s great to be here. Great to see you. [00:44:43][1.5]

TODD: [00:44:43] And full disclosure, your son Logan is a student at Liberty University and he’s one of our student workers. [00:44:49][6.2]

MARK: [00:44:50] He is, and I’m thrilled to have him associated with the work that you’re doing. [00:44:53][3.2]

TODD: [00:44:53] Well, he’s doing a fine job, so. [00:44:55][1.5]

MARK: [00:44:55] I would hope so. [00:44:56][0.5]

TODD: [00:44:56] Don’t tell him that because I’ll ask for a raise. So, you know, we got it, we got to watch the budget. But you know, he’s doing a great job and we’re excited to have him as a part of the team. You know, Mark, we’ve been talking for a while about what’s happening in the country, especially the culture when it comes to boys in America. And there are so many troubling things that happened with the Boy Scouts and then ultimately really just becoming the scouts, its girls and boys together. And there was a need. There was a hunger in this country for an organization that would be devoted to raising up those godly young men and Trail Life USA was birthed. [00:45:32][36.1]

MARK: [00:45:33] Yeah, it was in 2013 when it appeared that Boy Scouts were kind of abandoning their traditional values, about 300 volunteers across the country started talking about creating an alternative so that churches that were sponsoring Boy Scout troops there could no longer agree with their with their mission would have a place to go, and these boys could continue to experience outdoor adventure and some. Now we’re up to about 40000 members in all 50 states, about 900 churches involved. [00:45:58][25.2]

TODD: [00:45:59] It’s just remarkable. And what’s happening in the growth that you guys have experienced and what I found remarkable. We were chatting a long time ago and you said most of these kids were not even involved in a scouting organization. [00:46:10][11.1]

MARK: [00:46:11] Yeah. And in every year, that’s fewer and fewer that were involved in scouting and churches. I mean, for over 100 years, you’d have a church that never chartered a Boy Scout troop. But when Trail Life came along, they said, there’s someone we can agree with because of our mission to raise godly young men. Churches are jumping on board. [00:46:27][16.5]

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TODD: [00:46:28] Now There are certainly similarities to the Boy Scouts, but there are also differences. What are some of those differences? What makes you guys different from the Boy Scouts? [00:46:34][6.4]

MARK: [00:46:35] Yeah well that’s kind of a big deal. I mean, if you look at us, you would say it kind of looks like Boy Scouts, there’s handbooks and camping and uniforms and a robust awards program and outdoors and hiking and all that. But there are two major differences, and if they matter to you, there really is no comparison. So one, we are Christ centered, which means we’re unapologetically Christian, which means we adhere to our biblical values. And the second thing is we are boy focused. We think that boys and girls are different. I know that’s a dangerous statement to make today. [00:47:02][26.8]

TODD: [00:47:03] Stop the presses. What are you saying, man? [00:47:05][2.3]

MARK: [00:47:05] We actually think that boys and girls are different and that boys and girls need programs that are specifically aimed at their strengths. It’s not one size fits all. You grow boys in a different way that you grow girls. And of course, Boy Scouts had that a few years ago. So, so we are. Those are two huge differences. If they mattered to you, then there really isn’t, you know, any other, any other place to go. Trail Life Is a great, great place for your son. [00:47:29][23.2]

TODD: [00:47:29] But the reality is, we live in a culture where that very idea is being debated. There is a big controversy within conservative circles just in the past 24 hours where transgender men who think they are women are actually being celebrated on what is today the National Day of of women. So that is a big thing, is trying to understand, you know, that men are men, you know, women are women. God created male and female. [00:47:56][27.4]

MARK: [00:47:57] Yeah. And one of the things we talk about and one of the challenges that boys face today is that they’re ungrounded, because these things that we used to take for granted: a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl is just shaking and you’ve got to think some of these boys never knew a culture where men didn’t marry men. You know, they’ve been raised now as if that’s just the way it’s always been. And that’s got to be confusing for boys. A lot of these things that we did as adults, these changes that we made in order to be progressive or or whatever we were thinking, that’s got to be confusing for boys in there and they’re losing their identity, they’re losing their purpose. And we’re restoring that through a robust male focused program like Drella. [00:48:33][36.4]

TODD: [00:48:34] Mark Hancock is with Trail Life USA and. And honestly, I think what you guys are doing at Trail Life is so vitally important to the health of this nation. I mean, when you look at where we are in the military, I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had veterans on this program. We just had Congressman Mark Green on a couple of weeks ago worried about whether or not we are actually prepared to fight a war. You know, God forbid we’re involved in a conflict. But those were some of the things that came out of the Boy Scouts back when they were at their zenith. You know, there was this idea that they were raising up that next generation of men who would fight to you know, protect America. [00:49:10][36.7]

MARK: [00:49:11] Yeah. And our oath we started with on my honor, I will do my best to raise God to serve God and my country. So that starts. We are proud of our American heritage. And you have to remember Todd that boys- they lose interest when there isn’t anything at stake in our culture today because we’ve taken risk and competition out and we’ve taken away you and we did produce participation trophies and everybody wins that. That’s disturbing for boys. But we take boys and we reintroduce risk and competition in a safe way so that they begin to take on challenges that have a meaning and have purpose. And of course, if you’re going to ask somebody to go to war, they’ve got to have some experience in engaging in risk and something difficult going beyond themselves, succeeding or failing. And if they fail, they’ve learned how to get up and try again. We’ve kind of taken that away from boys and we’re producing this generation of what we talk about as unproductive narcissists. They’re they’re unproductive because we don’t expect anything from them. And they’re narcissists, because we don’t let them fail in a trailer. If you say we set these challenges ahead so that when something comes a call that says you’ve got, you’ve got to go defend your country, you’ve got to go defend your family, they’ve experienced risk and competition. And they’ve seen that they can do hard things. [00:50:22][70.5]

TODD: [00:50:23] Can you stick around for a few minutes? [00:50:24][0.9]

MARK: [00:50:24] Sure. [00:50:24][0.0]

TODD: [00:50:24] We’ve got to take a break here. And maybe, maybe you have a question about Trail Life USA. Maybe you want to start in a chapter or a troop in your community, your church. Give us a call 844-747-8868. Again, that is a toll free telephone number  844-747-8868  Mark, when we come back, I want to talk about this idea of raising godly boys, and there’s actually a website raisinggodlyboys.com, that’s raisinggodlyboys.com. We’ve got a link to it on our live show blog so you can look it up there if you’re on the road right now. Folks, we are broadcasting live from the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. This is the Todd Starnes show, [00:51:04][39.9]

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