Cultivating Positive Masculinity at Camp McCall
This article was adapted from a resource by WORLD News.
Camp McCall is the last remaining boy’s camp of the Southern Baptist Convention.
It stands as a unique and inspiring example of how to cultivate positive masculinity in a society that often focuses on the concept of toxic masculinity.
WORLD Associate Correspondent Steven Halbert visited Camp McCall to see the camp and speak with Camp Director Matt Allen about how Camp McCall contributes to developing boys into positive, Christ-centered men.
A Different Approach to Masculinity
Camp McCall, located in Sunset, South Carolina, challenges conventional stereotypes of masculinity. Allen recognizes that masculinity extends beyond superficial definitions, instead aiming to instill deeper values of positive masculinity. “Here at Camp McCall, positive masculinity is spending time in a confessional community that looks for opportunities to serve others,” Halbert noted.
Although 2,300 campers come through Camp McCall each summer, the focus isn’t only on discipling campers but also on discipling counselors. These counselors, most of whom were once campers themselves, return year after year to participate in camp leadership, something that Allen considers “a multi-year mentoring and discipleship program.” Allen believes that this intentional discipleship plays a pivotal role in shaping positive masculinity.
Camp McCall’s counselors, who are college-age young men, seize every opportunity to guide campers toward Christ. “Whether it’s activities, service, hikes, or swimming, the counselors are modeling what they are learning,” Halbert said.
Counselors use everyday experiences as a way to teach important life lessons. “A foray into archery becomes a conversation about how sin means ‘missing the mark.’ A walk through the creek becomes a reflection on God’s creativity and the beauty of creation. And a dodgeball game turns into a discussion on how to avoid the temptations that often target us in life,” Halbert said.
Evening chapel services at Camp McCall often feature counselors sharing their testimonies. From Halbert’s visit, he saw the entire staff standing behind the speaker, offering support and encouragement. This sense of community fosters positive masculinity as it emphasizes the importance of vulnerability, accountability, and worship in the lives of young men.
The Impact on the Next Generation
Camp McCall’s approach to masculinity has a lasting impact on the next generation. Bill Rigsby, pastor at North Anderson Baptist Church, has witnessed the positive transformation of young men who have gone through the camp’s program in his 42 years of returning to Camp McCall. He highlights how these boys see the camp’s Christian staff members as role models who can have fun while living out their faith.
Camp McCall demonstrates that positive masculinity is about more than just physical strength or bravado. It’s about intentional discipleship, modeling Christ-like behavior, and building a confessional community where young men can grow in their faith.
Read the original transcript from WORLD News here.