written by Mike Teston, Christ in the Smokies committee member and alumnus
My father was a good man. He was kind, a hard worker, and he loved to laugh and have a good time. He grew up very poor on a farm in north Florida, where he learned about working on engines. Being mostly self-taught, he became a mechanic working on heavy equipment. It wasn’t lucrative, but he managed to provide for our family of five.
Not only that, he was quite a good carpenter, helping to build his mother-in-law’s house. As a child, I was destined to learn how to do basic work on our family car—replacing a water pump, changing spark plugs, and even replacing the brakes by myself. (What were they thinking to let me do that?)
Thanks to my parents’ provision, I was able to go to college and be the first graduate in our family. I have much to be grateful for.
But there was something I did not receive from my dad—the wisdom and direction on how to move from boyhood behaviors to acting like a man. I’m certain he never learned anything like that from his father, so that huge developmental gap in his life was filtered down into mine. Consequently, the early years of my marriage consisted of an adolescent boy housed in a 20-something body.
That is a lethal combination for many 20-somethings: Adult males, navigating on an unfamiliar emotional/relational map with no GPS—not even a compass.
My father was a good man. His intentions toward me were good. He just did not have the tools within himself to understand what I needed to thrive in my future world. To make things worse, he had no outside resources to help him help me.
In the 21st century, something significant has changed: Christ in the Smokies entered the picture for dads and sons! We exist to help dads prepare their sons for manhood. We are the very kind of assistance that my dad and I needed. And we are very likely the kind of assistance you and your son could use.
A Christ in the Smokies camp is all about connecting a father and his son around manhood topics in a high-adventure environment. In four days, they begin conversations that could last a lifetime.
There is still space available for you at our 2021 Passage to Manhood Camp. You have already given your son many life skills. Don’t unintentionally leave a void in his transition from boy to man. Let CITS come alongside you for four days that just might give him direction for a lifetime.