As interest spikes in youth programs this fall, Trail Life USA leader challenges PC thinking
BELTON, S.C.— With interest in enrollment in extra-curricular programs spiking nationwide as children return to school, Trail Life USA (www.traillifeusa.com) has released a special e-book outlining the unique learning and development needs of young males.
Political correctness is failing America’s boys, according to the outdoor adventure organization that has published the guide urging parents, teachers and youth leaders to support single-sex activities that can help raise a generation of true men.
In a free eBook available for download, titled Let Boys Be Boys, Trail Life CEO Mark Hancock warns contemporary culture has “seemingly declared war on boyhood.” But boyhood is not “some sort of social disease that needs to be eradicated,” he insists.
That message is resonating with many parents. The Christ-centered boy-focused outdoor adventure program that develops character and leadership has seen heightened interest from prospective members and volunteer leaders since the Boy Scouts of America announced last year it would be admitting girls to its programs.
Let Boys Be Boys warns that “PC” attitudes have led to boys failing educationally, with what was long considered normal boyish behavior being labeled as symptoms of ADHD. It sets out three strategies for leaders of boys that challenge the prevailing idea that boys and girls aren’t that different.
Drawing from research showing biological differences that impact the way boys learn—such as their reduced ability to distinguish shapes and colors, making coloring and handwriting less appealing—the guide encourages more hands-on activities.
He also advocates programs that involve boys in physical activity, because “they thrive in kinesthetic learning environments,” and need opportunities for risk and competition. The everybody-wins philosophy that has become so prevalent, “leads to the development of unproductive narcissists,” Hancock says. “They are unproductive because we haven’t sufficiently challenged them, and they are narcissists because we haven’t let them fail.”
Schools and organizations that are providing separate learning environments for boys and girls are seeing great results, he notes in Let Boys Be Boys. He cites a high school in Memphis that has raised its graduation rate to 90.5 percent from 53 percent after converting to boys-only and girls-only classes.
“As leaders of boys in schools, home schools, churches, and youth organizations, we must recognize and affirm their unique strengths and challenges,” Hancock writes. “We are positioned to instill the principles and character traits that can prepare boys to become successful, focused men.”
Through troops chartered by local churches, Trail Life USA offers a K-12 program centered on outdoor experiences that build young men’s skills and help them grow on a personal level and as role models and leaders for their peers.
Founded in 2013, Trail Life USA has more than 25,000 members in more than 770 Troops in 49 states and is anticipating heightened seasonal interest from potential members and leaders. The organization has added more than 50 Troops in the past 60 days, and new memberships are being added at double the rate experienced last year.
Many Trail Life USA Troops around the country are planning special open house events for visitors this fall. Local Troop details are available at www.TrailLifeUSA.com/FindaTroop.
Trail Life USA (www.TrailLifeUSA.com) is a Christian outdoor adventure, character and leadership program for boys and young men, K-12. Chartered through churches in 49 states, the program centers on outdoor experiences and biblical values that build a young man’s skills and allow him to grow on a personal level and as a role model and leader for his peers.