Frogtown Trail Challenge: How a Family Teaches Their Children to Give Back

On a cool fall morning in October, hundreds of adventurers run through streams, jump ditches, climb mountains and hop logs on an obstacle trail race in Frogtown, Georgia.  Unlike a 5K or half marathon race, Frogtown Trail Challenge is a trail run, similar to mud runs or obstacle runs which have become one of the fastest growing running events in the last few years.

Brothers Kevin and Chris Garmon and their families have hosted the annual Frogtown Trail Challenge on the family’s 600+ acres near Cumming, Georgia since 2007.   Supported by enthusiastic runners and local merchants, the project is a true community event which has raised over $50,000 to help local charities.   The race has become a family project for Kevin and his wife, Kate and a great learning opportunity for their three children.

I spoke with Kevin recently and asked him why he and his brother and their families continue to host the race and what the race has helped Kevin and Kate teach their children.  Here’s their story and five ways parents can teach their children to give back.

FrogtownTrailChallengeOver 500 runners took the 7th anniversary Frogtown Trail Challenge  on Saturday, October 12, 2013.   Proceeds for the 2013 race  support ‘Hope For Guatemala,’ a Christian non-profit organization and mission partner of Stonecreek Church of Alpharetta, Georgia.  ‘Hope for Guatemala’ helps families in Guatemala City break the cycle of poverty and achieve the quality of life that God desires for them.

Photo Courtesy of Hope for Guatemala

Photo Courtesy of Hope for Guatemala

“The race is great way to give back to our community and we’ve had a great time doing it,” said Kevin.  “Our children, Harris, Wilson and Elizabeth, ages 9, 7 and 4, have found their own ways to help us get ready for the race.  They also have a great time on race day!”

You’re My Hero: A Daughter’s View of her Dad

This is a guest post by my friend, Michael Wright. Michael’s a husband and father and writes at ‘fatherofone.com’. The post is a great reminder of the positive influence parents (and dad’s) can have on our children. You can read more from Michael on his blog.
A few weeks back, after a Saturday filled with doing things with CK, we plopped down on the sofa as she played her Nintendo DS (she would correct me here and say “It’s a 3DS XL, Daddy!”).  I was just sitting there letting my body sink further in to the fabric when out of the blue she says: “You’re My Hero.”

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Huh?  I woke up and became alert.  I don’t hear that often.  Maybe a handful of times in my life and those by the Queen.   From CK, I hear “I Love You Daddy!” or “Thank you Daddy!”, etc.  But not “Hero”.  I wanted to know more, if I really deserved this “Hero” status.  She commented to me how I removed a game “Face Raiders” that comes with all of these Nintendo DS devices because she was so scared of it.  Funny, how she talks about it all the time, yet is scared of it. I stepped in to “protect” her from what she perceived as scary, the bad guys, etc.  She needed to be “rescued” and I was there to do it (Though I didn’t know I did).

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Parents are often challenged with balancing the role of parent and role of husband or wife.  Unfortunately,  the children often become the primary focus and the parents allow the role of spouse to fall to secondary importance.   The result is often a ‘child-centric’ home which ultimately hurts both the child and the parents.

This video is the story of Ian and Larissa — a story of love after a traumatic brain injury.  It’s an inspirational story of a couple’s struggle to find what’s truly important in marriage.  I hope it inspires you to find ways to keep your marriage strong by serving each other. Your children will appreciate it.

Read a 1-yr update of their story here.

Learn ways to keep your marriage ‘spouse-focused’ here:  ‘Til Children do us Part? 

Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before (Atria Books, 2007)

I really enjoyed this book.   It describes how the values of many of the ‘under-40’ generation have changed from earlier generations.   While not written specifically for parents, the book helps explain how parenting has changed over the years.

Lumping together Gen-X and Y under the moniker “GenMe,” author Dr. Jean Twenge argues that those born between 1970 and 1995 are more confident and assertive than earlier generations.  However, she also points out that many are also more self-centered, more disrespectful of authority and more depressed than earlier generations.

A member of the ‘Gen-me’ generation,  she explains how Generation Me is the first generation raised to believe that everyone should have high self esteem.

Twenge advocates ‘ditching the self-esteem movement’ in favor of encouraging real accomplishment to be ready for the realities of today’s increasingly competitive workplace.