Monday, July 1, 2013

The Greatest Fears Of Teenage Boys

A few weeks ago I took my Campaigners group on The ManTrip: a wilderness experience in the NC mountains.

We measured our chest hair before and after the trip and had an average increase of .4 cm per guy.  I attribute the incredible growth rate to the insane amount of manly things that were accomplished in just four days.  

Turtleback Falls in Gorges State Park
  • Jumped off cliffs
  • Rode down waterfalls
  • Gigged frogs  
  • Ate frogs
  • Speared snakes
  • Ate snakes
  • Eno-ed in high places
  • Played with fire 
  • Built things
  • Covered our bodies in mud
  • Flossed with chest hair

Sadly, I personally only accomplished two of the things on the list above. Maybe it's because I'm a first born mama's boy who loves to play it safe...or because I haven't invested in a significant life insurance policy...but the truth, the real reason I often avoid risk...sheer fear. 

Fear was one of our main topics of discussion during the week. One night I asked the guys to go around and tell us what their biggest fears were. I was blown away by their vulnerability and the way they articulated their fears. As a thirty-five year old Young Life leader, it was helpful to be reminded of what it's like to be a teenager. 

I jotted down what they shared and thought it might be helpful to pass along. When giving YL talks, leading Campaigners, or even just grabbing lunch this summer, it's valuable to remember the fears your high school friends are facing. 

The Greatest Fears of Teenage Guys 

  • Letting down my parents
  • Growing up too fast
  • Being Rejected
  • Not being who people expect me to be
  • Failure
  • Not meeting goals
  • Missing out 
  • Not having people I can count on
  • Heights
  • People being upset with me
  • Disappointing others
  • Anything unfamiliar, like new experiences
  • Losing someone close to me
  • Not having enough time to get it all done
  • Being alone
  • Not being successful

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15 (ESV)


  1. Wow, the list of fears is a golden window into the heart and soul of so many young guys/teens/men out there. It seems like it could be a semester long hit list of campaigners discussions too. Thanks for not only leading us in ideas, but getting out there and being with people.

    1. Thanks Sean. I was so blessed to hear such honesty. Its crazy how quickly I forget what they're really facing. Appreciate your encouragement brother.

    2. Drew, can you email me at I'm from TN, and I want to take some guys on a similar trip. This seems a little more cost efficient than taking guys all the way to CO for wilderness. Thanks!