Corpus Christi Volunteers Teach Fatherless Children About Outdoor Life
A mentoring program for fatherless children began as a TV show focused on enjoying the great outdoors filmed in Rockport. Now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Majesty Outdoors focuses on raising awareness of the fatherless epidemic and offering a solution that leads to real change in communities, founder Bill Blodgett said.
“The mission of Majesty Outdoors is building a generation of hope by shattering the cycle of fatherlessness,” Blodgett told Corpus Christi Business News. “Its vision is to give fatherless children a fearless foundation of love, faith, and direction.”
In America, 24 million children are growing up without fathers in their lives, said Pastor Dave Cotham, the executive director of Majesty Outdoors.
“The impact fatherless homes have on society can be seen in statistics,” Cotham said.
He pointed out that children who come from fatherless homes are four times more likely to live in poverty and seven times more likely to become pregnant teens. Also, he said, 75 percent of youths in chemical abuse centers, 85 percent of youths in prison, 90 percent of homeless and runaway kids, 63 percent of youth suicides, and 71 percent of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.
Blodgett lost his own father when he was 2 years old. During his teen years, two of his friends’ fathers taught him a love for the outdoors, often taking him hunting and fishing. They also taught him faith.
Blodgett’s inspiration for the TV show came in 2008 when he was recovering from knee surgery and watching outdoors shows to pass the time. Combining his passion for outdoor activities, youth ministry, and concern for the fatherless generation, Blodgett decided to host his own TV series with a teen star and changing storyline.
“The television show involved fatherless teens partnered with mentors who would take them under their wings,” Blodgett said.
“Majesty Outdoors” went on the air in 2010. Since then, it has run for 11 seasons as a nationally televised program and been featured on The Pursuit Channel, Discovery’s Destination America, and Time Warner Cable’s Sports Channel. It has received five Bronze awards at the annual Telly Awards and, most recently, won two Silver Awards at the 40th annual Telly Awards.
Five years ago, the foundation established a mentorship program to make it possible for local children to become involved.
“We work with churches all across the country to start mentorship chapters,” Cotham said. “The name of our program is Tide Changers, which helps to educate, equip, empower, and encourage.”
The group works with partner churches and local faith communities to train men and women of faith in mentoring fatherless children in their communities. The outdoors helps forge bonds between the mentors and boys and girls in the program, Blodgett said.
“The youth who participate in our programs often lack these experiences due to the absence of a father figure at home,” he said. “Because outdoor adventures and activities often involve a great deal of time and planning to achieve the goal of the experience, the amount of effort from Majesty Outdoors gives the youth a sense of appreciation and trust when they see the care and dedication from our volunteers.”
The various mentoring platforms are hunting, fishing, kayaking, hiking, and more. Group activities are based on all things outdoors and accompanied by faith-based lesson plans, which are customized to the group activities.
“Life change happens when these elements are teamed with trusting relationships built over time with the TideChanger volunteers,” Blodgett said. “And the change is not just with the kids but with the volunteers as well.”
Whether hunting or fishing in exotic locales around the world, Blodgett aims to positively impact the lives of these teens with epic experiences and bring national awareness to the fatherless youth epidemic.
“With faith as our compass, Majesty Outdoors is proud to be a faith-based organization,” he said. “Our mission statement is rooted in the words of Psalm 68:5: ‘A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.’ Majesty Outdoors’ staff, board of directors and volunteers are all guided by this inspiration in all we work towards in achieving our mission.”
HOW TO VOLUNTEER
Contact Real Life Church at 1231 Flour Bluff Drive or call Majesty Outdoors at (361) 400-2321. Majesty Outdoors is located at 555 North Carancahua Street, Suite 130. For more information, call or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPCOMING EVENTS INCLUDE
Texas Brush Country SCI fifth annual Sporting Clay Shoot at Corpus Christi Gun Club, 2832 FM 763, supporting Majesty Outdoors and Trinity Oaks, a foundation based in San Antonio that works with wounded veterans and youths. Check-in begins at 8 AM; safety meeting at 9:15 AM; and shotgun start at 9:30 AM.
The second annual TideChangers 1K-5K-10K Walk/Run at Bob Hall Pier on Padre Island.
Find event information and registration at majestyoutdoors.org/events.
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