Open Range 2024 | All HTL Outdoor Event

Rewilding the American Child

When I sat on the plane and Mrs. Greaney surprised me with the latest issue of Outside Magazine I was stunned. The full cover read, Rewilding the American Child. Inside author Ben Hewitt laid out an excellent article on bringing back the heart of the child lost indoors. Then just a few pages over author Florence Williams wrote a wonderful piece on Rites of Passage, Make it Epic. Article after article read as a playbook for Kids Outdoor Zone (KOZ).

For me, again, it was confirmation that our little program is a critical life rope for our kids, their health, mind and souls. If you have been active in KOZ for any period of time at all you have seen it, experienced it. Life transformation in so many areas. A rescue.

Here at 30,000 ft headed home from our first ever “Train the Trainer” event I am reeling with ideas. Five men sat with us for 6 hours learning about the new KOZ Training Video soon to launch. In the near future men who want to start a KOZ group in their church or leaders who have men that need to train will be able to go online and get it done, efficiently, with all the information from a live training. Once we have that tool in place there is so much more we can add. Video conversations on KOZ, books, idea factories for the men who lead the KOZ boys.

Sandra Greaney and Martha Magee, our wives, hosted time with the wives on Saturday. “I loved hearing how the time with the boys had changed their husbands,” Sandra Greaney explained. “These wives had no reason to soft step the problems they may be facing with a husband entrenched in ministry. They loved their men being active in KOZ. As a matter of fact, they were anxious to know more about how they could be a part of KOZ and help.”

As KOZ gets closer to launching this new phase of the ministry we want to encourage those doing KOZ and those who are considering KOZ. This little program we love is being highlighted in so many secular and faith-based places. Men need a mission for good. Boys need a mentor. Kids need to get outside. And oh does this world need Jesus. You guys doing KOZ, know it or not, you are on the front lines in so many areas. This new video is going to help you a lot in recruiting help.

Several months ago I had a meeting with the Texas Governor’s staff. They loved what KOZ was doing and over the weeks following the meeting department heads from Human Services, Fostering Initiatives, Fathering Committees contacted me for more information. They saw the potential impact KOZ could have. They wanted us to participate in their events.

Caution. Satan may try to get you distracted. I have traveled off the trail many times. I can tell you with the authority of a man who has been there in KOZ, stick to what we know and do. I have also learned that we get a few chances to be a part of something great. It is easy to get lured away from our Great Commission in KOZ with so much hurt and need out there. People want us to add girls to the program because they want us to help them. We want to add singing or Sunday school style activities to our Saturday with the boys because we had a good experience there once. We want to collect school supplies and shoes for the kids because they need them. We can find ourselves spending hours trying to figure out how to incorporate a group from this place or that. Energy that could be used for the greater needs of your KOZ boys and other leaders.

When we are true to the KOZ mission, layout and procedures we see the fruit in ways we only see when God is at work. For me it is always way beyond anything I could have imagined. From what we are hearing from you, the men doing KOZ and your wives, it is epic. From the magazine articles, television news reports, social media outlets and government officials we are hearing that what we are doing matters. The time with your KOZ boys, your fellow KOZ leaders is making and impact on the eternal lives of boys and families, it is timely and well defined. You truly are Warriors for the Kingdom and you are winning. Keep going men!

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