Scott Panella couldn’t have asked for a better weekend with his son than the Project: Manhood retreat.
“The time spent with my son was priceless,” Panella said. “To connect with him on multiple levels was my favorite part. At the time, we were struggling through some things as most teens and fathers do. However, over 24 hours we went from discussing sports to Christ’s lessons to crying with one another, saying something simple and meaningful, ‘I love you dad, thanks for bringing me here.’ The message was loud and clear to both of us. Easy topics and basic conversations lead to a deeper connection. We shot basketball, fished and played paintball—which all made the weekend even more enjoyable and often made the discussion time a more honest and open dialogue.”
Manhood Journey will hold Project: Manhood, a retreat for fathers and sons (ages 8 to 18), Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6-7, at Country Lake Christian Retreat in Underwood, Indiana.
After having 75 father and son duos attend the 2019 retreat, Manhood Journey canceled last year’s retreat due to COVID-19.
Manhood Journey Executive Director Kent Evans, a Southeast Christian Church member for almost 30 years, is eager to see lives changed at the upcoming retreat.
“Dads wrestle with being unplugged, focus time and getting their kids away from their Xbox, cell phones and other things,” Evans said. “The retreat provides uninterrupted, quality time to really connect with your sons in a meaningful way. We’re hopeful that dads will take advantage of this to reboot their relationships after a really stressful year and a half.”
The retreat was moved to August so that attendees can participate in lake activities such as the water zipline and the blob.
Evans co-founded Manhood Journey in 2011 to help fathers build the next generation of Godly men through intentional discipleship of their sons.
“If you want your son to grow up with a Biblical worldview and to be able to combat and identify the lies that culture is going to try to throw at them, this is going to be a great starting point for them,” Evans said.
The retreat’s theme is “Manhood Myths.” Guest speakers will include Jamaal Williams, lead pastor of Sojourn Church Midtown, and Jon McCallon, former Southeast Middle School Ministry pastor.
“The topic we’re going to focus on is myths that our kids hear from culture,” Evans added. “We want to help each son be a truth detective, where he can see the messages culture is telling him and learn how to sift the lies from the truth using the Bible as our truth detector.”
The retreat also includes worship, small group time and one-on-one time.
Fathers and sons alike may participate in activities such as fishing, paintball, ziplining and hiking. Food will be provided throughout the event.
Grandparents and uncles are welcome to take their grandson or nephew.
For information and to register, visit www.manhoodjourney.org/project-manhood-2021.