(March 16th, 2024) By Eric Reimer

Troop 19 is a new troop that formed in early 2023 to serve the Spokane Diocese in Eastern Washington State. After a few planning meetings, the troop started off in May with a hike to the top of the Rocks of Sharon in the Palouse Hills. After the inaugural hike, a meet and greet barbecue and Nerf gun war built friendships and solidified a core group.

In June, the troop gathered at Heyburn State Park in Idaho to ride their bicycles along eight miles of the Trail of the Coeur D’Alenes to Harrison, Idaho. In Harrison, they stopped for pizza and ice cream before riding back to the park.

July saw the troop’s first over-nighter. A large group hiked three miles into the back country from Thompson Pass to Blossom Lakes. While camping at the lakes, they learned several methods of making fire, water purification, and back country cooking. The kids had fun playing in the water and watching the west slope cutthroat trout swimming by.

The Troops escaped the heat of August by spending two nights at an abandoned Civilian Conservation Corps camp on Big Creek, a tributary of the St. Joe River. They tried their hand at fishing, shooting, and chopping wood. They enjoyed a 6-mile hike over the ridge to a smaller tributary creek. Campfire cooking was another experience with omelets in a bag, and hobo dinners. The troop Chaplain joined one evening to offer an outdoor Mass for the troops.

In lieu of a September excursion, the troops joined the Eucharistic exposition and procession across downtown Spokane. The troops processed together within the larger crowd and participated in adoration. They learned about several relics and finished the evening with a picnic. Later in September, an indoor meeting was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes to instruct the troops on the skills outlined in the Troop Field Manual.

As a service project, the troop ran a cider pressing booth at a large charity auction. The troops ground 6 bins of apples to make 275 gallons of apple cider. They made $2,221.00 for the charity.

After a hiatus through the holidays, the troop regathered at a “camp-in” on the gym floor of the historic Kingston High School. That was their jumping off point for a tour of the Cataldo Mission, an important piece of Catholic history for the Inland Northwest. Their time at the school was spent practicing their fire building skills in the fire pit and reciting the Rosary together.

Speaking of the Rosary, our most recent adventure was with the Rosary Makers at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral. Troops used their knot-tying skills to make their very own Rosary to take home. They were also given a prayer card for Rosary makers, a tool for tying Rosary knots, and resources for making more Rosaries at home. This new skill has service project written all over it.

You can follow this new troop at our new website at spokanetsg.org . On the website is a blog with past events, a calendar with upcoming events, and a contact link for anyone who wants more information. Your prayers for this growing group are greatly appreciated. St George, pray for us!

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