It was the brainchild of a 10-year-old that has turned into The Rugged Way, a 501c3 that is dedicated to building survival skills, practical skills, and character education in people of all ages.
Jordan Jones, a U.S. Army Green Beret and the founder of The Rugged Way, said his son asked him one day, “Dad, you can do all these cool things, why don’t you teach other people?”
The Rugged Way began to form in that moment. It started as an idea similar to the Boy Scouts, but as Jones and some of his fellow military friends talked about the possibilites, it started to grow. Once it’s up and running, The Rugged Way will provide excursions, survival techniques, fundamental preparedness, and wilderness survival classes. Those adventures will be led by Jones and other military members, drawing off the skills they have piled up through time. But that’s only one component, Jones said.
“We want to talk with the boys about what it means to be a manly man, and how that fits with being a Godly man, and how to be both,” he said.
Jones has served 17 years in the Army. His career includes graduating from the Special Forces Qualification Course (Medic), where he was the honor graduate; multiple combat deployments to Iraq and parts of Africa; and time spent as an Army Instructor. He is also a husband and father, and he calls himself an avid hunter, outdoorsman, and adventure enthusiast.
Things such as hiking, kayaking, learning to build fires and purify water and erect shelters will be the vehicles for the teaching,Jones said, and the human angle is that it will build and restore relationships as well. Rule number one is that the electronics are turned off.
Trips are planned for fathers and sons, and there are also safety and preparedness classes for the ladies. Jones’ wife, Paula, heard the ideas and reminded him that women would benefit from the bigger mission of The Rugged Way as well.
“What’s important is bridging the gaps,” he said. “Finding vulnerabilities, having situational awareness can be huge. It’s as simple as ‘What gas stations do I stop at along my route that I know are going to be reputable and safe?'”
It’s also to give you the knowledge you need in case the worst happens.
“Being prepared for a fight before the fight ever happens is huge,” Jones said. “If the worst does happen, am I confident and comfortable using my pistol? If someone does get injured, am I able to bridge that gap between the point of injury and the ambulance arrival?”
That’s part of Bystander Preparedness, Jones said, and The Rugged Way will teach everything from manual pressure to applying a tourniquet.
The Rugged Way is currently raising money for costs and expenses, as well as for 25 ruck packs to be taken on the excursions. Jones said if a business wants to sponsor or donate to The Rugged Way, he and others will do a free “Stop the Bleed” class on how to apply tourniquets at their office and teach other practical, tangible ways to promote safety in the workplace.