CHALLENGE creates a safe environment where young men are trained and tested not just physically, but also mentally and spiritually. Over the course of a week, young men ages 13-18 learn to forge a team with total strangers and are expected to play the man from the outset.

We believe that God calls men to face hardship and to persevere faithfully. The Timothy Group (through CHALLENGE and other programs) seeks to promote that robust vision of Christ-like manliness in young men.


Basic might be summarized as a hard-core VBS. While much of the training time is spent on physical skills, the spiritual message and the particular event theme remain central.

After sucessfully completing CHALLENGE: Basic young men are granted the rank of "specialist" and become eligible to participate in CHALLENGE: Extreme (see below).

Physical training includes (depending on the year):

  • Drill and ceremony
  • Tactical squad movement
  • Camoflauge
  • Shelter building
  • First aid and basic trauma
  • Rappelling
  • Physical conditioning
  • River crossing techniques
  • Firearms safety and basic marksmanship

Spiritual training includes:

  • Guest speakers
  • Daily devotionals
  • Private quiet time
  • Scripture memory
  • Daily worship


Extreme takes specialists to the next level. With more advanced training and a more leadership-oriented structure (compared to the bootcamp-like rigidity of Basic) young men ages 16-24 are pushed to even higher limits than they encountered at Basic.

Fitness Standards at CHALLENGE (updated 2021)

A fitness test (a modified US Navy PRT) will be administered at the start of CHALLENGE events to assess readiness. Recruits/specialists should achieve at least a "Satisfactory" total. To make a total, score each exercise individually and divide the sum by 3.

For example: completing 51 pushups in 2 minutes scores 60 (for that exercise), combine that with a 8:00 run (55 points) and 1:45 plank (50 points) for a sum of 165. Divide by 3 to get a total PT score of 55 (Satisfactory-High).

Level Points Push-ups (2 minutes) Forearm plank 1 Mile Run
Outstanding - High 100 92 3:40 5:30
Outstanding - Medium 95 91 3:35 5:50
Outstanding - Low 90 86 3:30 6:00
Excellent - High 85 82 3:23 6:10
Excellent - Medium 80 79 3:17 6:20
Excellent - Low 75 76 3:10 6:30
Good - High 70 68 2:50 6:40
Good - Medium 65 60 2:30 7:00
Good - Low 60 51 2:10 7:20
Satisfactory - High 55 49 1:50 8:00
Satisfactory - Medium 50 46 1:30 8:10
Probationary 45 42 1:10 8:30

Gear List

The packing requirements can vary between events and seasons, but generally CHALLENGE recruits & specialists are expected to bring:

  • 1 pair multicam trousers (army surplus stores/sites are helpful)
  • 2 additional pair long pants (camo/muted colors, be prepared for mud-crawling and briars)
  • 1 multicam jacket/blouse or other muted lightweight jacket
  • 4 plain t-shirts (muted colors, no bright shirts, emblems, or graphics)
  • 1 pair hiking boots (ideally waterproof)
  • 1 pair running/tennis shoes
  • 7 pair socks (wool or non-cotton highly recommended)
  • 1 whistle
  • Eye protection (clear or shaded)
  • 1 pair quality leather work gloves
  • 1 coyote tan "operator" style ballcap (2x3 velcro on front, velcro for name on rear)
  • 1 sleeping bag (mosquito net optional)
  • 1 poncho or raincoat (muted colors)
  • Tarp or rain fly - must be large enough to house you and your gear (recruits may NOT bring a tent, however dads may)
  • 50 feet of rope or cord for lashing
  • Flashlight / head lamp (with extra batteries)
  • Matches / lighter
  • Knife (large pocket knife or medium sheath knife would be best)
  • Water bottles / canteens / hydration bladder (must be attachable to your person and total at least 2 quarts)
  • PT gear (t-shirt & shorts to exercise in, sweatpants and sweatshirt are optional, does not need to be muted)
  • Bug spray and sunscreen
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and toilet paper in zip lock bag
  • 1 Toboggan or sock hat (muted colors)
  • 1 Compass
  • Simple first aid supplies (moleskin, foot powder, band-aids, etc.)
  • Trash and/or ziplock bags to store clothes and other gear in wet conditions
  • 1 Bible (preferably not a huge study edition, both testaments)
  • 3 pencils and/or pens
  • 2 small notebooks
  • 1 backpack large enough to carry a day’s supplies (muted colors, not necessary to purchase an expensive one, just bring the best you have or can borrow)