Manning Up with Barbasol in KC

by Samuel Schlangen

Saint Paul’s Outreach serves a few colleges in the Kansas City area, primarily the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Johnson County Community College (#RooUpCavs). We have hosted a handful of Barbasol Men’s Nights this school year and have a few more tentatively planned through the rest of the spring.

In my experience as a student at the University of Minnesota, I didn’t think of myself as part of a larger body—a family or brotherhood if you will—until I started to connect regularly with a group of SPO men pursuing the same end. Our aim with Barbasol Men’s Nights is to pursue and experience authentic masculinity and brotherhood as modeled by Jesus Christ and his disciples. The structure we generally use centers on time to eat together, an encouraging message, and a Man-Up Challenge. The Man-Up Challenge carries high intensity, a specific, measurable goal to evaluate progress, and is always team-based.

One example is the “Olympic” challenge we did back in September. We started by blind-folding one brave volunteer on each team before jogging as a group to a local park about a mile away. Men traded off being blind-folded to be guided by the other guys on his squad before we got to a quickened version of capture-the-flag, the watermelon toss, and the rock-carry relay. After we were worn out, we went down by the creek to be exhorted by one of the men to live out desires given to us by the Father so we can be fully alive as we were created to be.

Men preparing for rugby-soccer: Barbasol red vs neutral tones

Men preparing for rugby-soccer: Barbasol red vs neutral tones

Park where we hosted our “Olympic” Barbasol Men’s Night

Park where we hosted our “Olympic” Barbasol Men’s Night

More recent ideas include dodgeball in a racquetball court, rugby-soccer, fileting fish to eat, and pulling a truck uphill. Big shout out to Barbasol for helping us host these nights! Let us know if you have any ideas for the Man-Up Challenge. We can always use more!