MARK HANCOCK, CEO Trail Life USA
- Chief Executive Officer of Trail Life USA
- Vice President at Word Weavers International, Inc.
- Director at Florida Christian Writers Conference & Georgia Christian Writers Conference
- Former President (title) at Direct Finance, LLC
- Former President (title) at Mark One Advertising, Inc.
- Professional Conference Speaker & Advocacy
Mark Hancock began his career founding a national advertising agency and running it for fifteen years. His conversion to Christ led him into ministry as a Youth and College Pastor, Associate Pastor, Homeless Ministry Director and Global Event Director for an international ministry, organizing events on five continents. He holds two Masters Degrees in the Mental Health Counseling field, having spent a number of years in private practice, and has taught at secular and Christian colleges. An award-winning writer and conference speaker, he serves as Chief Executive Officer of Trail Life USA and lives near Greenville, SC with his wife of 27 years and two sons.
“The Boy Scouts are not just for boys anymore. Girls are allowed to join the Cub Scouts and they’ll be allowed to join the Boy Scouts next year. Of course girls who identify as boys are allowed to join. We shouldn’t be surprised. Many people say that boys and girls are the same and that giving boys a separate space creates inequality.”
“But boys and girls aren’t the same, and boys need their own space, says the CEO of Trail Life USA. Mark Hancock explains how his organization offers a better way.”
Trail Life USA
“Trail Life is a Christ-centered, boy-focused character leadership adventure organization for boys and young men,” Hancock told The Stream in an interview. It is “unapologetically Christian,” and tells the boys that the Bible is their compass that gives them their “true north.”
That’s what the Boy Scouts have lost. “When you lose your moral compass, everything falls into question, which is why we’re seeing what’s going on with the Boy Scouts of America. They have no idea who they are anymore. They totally cut loose from their moorings and no telling what they’re going to do next because they’ve lost their way.”
Hancock believes some influential people are waging an “ongoing war on boyhood.” It started years ago but really ramped up in the ’90s with the way in which boys and girls were educated. We stressed math and science for girls, but ignored the boys. “We felt like [girls] needed to get better in science so we kind of changed the way we educated kids in order to favor girls,” explains Hancock. “As a result, we’re seeing a severe impact on the boys. It’s wonderful that girls improved in science and technology, but we ignored the boys in the process.”
Boys and girls cannot be expected to perform the same because they are different in many ways. A “one size fits all” approach to educating kids doesn’t work. “We need take into account that … boys and girls are different. If we have the same expectations on either sex, we’re not necessarily going get the same results. Girls learn different than boys, they develop different than boys. There’s just a reality to that that political correctness tends to water down.”
Boys’ Distinct Needs
Boys have distinct needs. They need good, solid leadership and clear boundaries. They want to know who is with them, who’s in charge and what their mission is. “And if you don’t get those things clear for boys, they’re going to create that structure in a way that looks like rebellion, or looks like resistance, or looks like apathy.” That’s why gangs are popular, Hancock explains. They provide that structure that boys need.