Man Camp Credit: Jimmy Rex

They crawl slowly up a hill on their stomachs, covered in grime. One man moans after an instructor yanks him by the ankles back down the hill. Still, he keeps crawling.

One man lies on his back while an instructor sprays hose water in his face. Another, wearing big chains across his torso, shivers during an expletive-laden rant from a bearded man, who calls him a disappointment.

These men aren’t prepping for an elite military mission.

They’re trying to become better men, they say.

“Man camps,” or all-male experiences designed for men’s self-improvement, have gained attention on social media, where more extreme versions of these programs, such as the Modern Day Knight Project in Southern California, share videos of the treatment participants endure, often to the tune of hundreds of thousands of views.

Though men’s psychology experts are skeptical of the extreme iterations of man camps, they say the growing awareness of them points to a loneliness and need for community men face in modern society.

“Men are seeking out difficult experiences,” says Erik Anderson, a licensed marriage and […]

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