(OCTOBER 17, 2018) — The new video series, released this week by the Troops of Saint George, confronts the culture with a fresh, joyful take on what it means to be a Catholic father with sons in the 21st century.
The series, available here, shows the fruits of dads who engage with their sons in the outdoors coupled with sacraments and fellowship. Once a month, Troops of Saint George members trek to a campsite for a weekend of outdoor adventures—kayaking and canoeing, campfires and storytelling, knot-tying, hiking, fishing, and ax-throwing—together with Mass and Confession.
And what are those fruits of the weekend: deep friendships among the boys, men who learn from their peers, a deeper appreciation and love for the sacraments, and quality one-on-one time for fathers and sons.
And then there’s the joy!
The videos—expertly shot and edited by Jordan Barry Media—capture the joy that the boys and their fathers experience every weekend. The camaraderie is instant and long-lasting.
“The decision to join the Troops was actually pretty easy,” said Tony Stich, a member of the Milwaukee Troop. “I’m a former Eagle Scout, an avid outdoorsman, and we were lost. We were looking for an organization to join. With the recent changes elsewhere, we started looking out, and we found the Troops of Saint George.”
With all the modern distractions—cell phones, computers, etc.—and pressures at home and at work, the Troops of Saint George weekends slow things down for fathers and their sons by bringing them together with like-minded Catholics in the great outdoors.
Dads in the video series note how “life gets in the way,” but this “scheduled time… holds dads accountable” and it allows them the time and space to grow in holiness and virtue.
One notable difference between the Troops of Saint George and other secular and non-secular programs in that it requires fathers to be part of the program. This is not a drop-your-son-off-for-the-weekend program. It’s specifically designed to bring about a bond between fathers and sons—and for them to grow in virtue and holiness together… and have a blast doing it!
One of the clear issues with the abuse crisis in the Church today is the lack of authentic masculinity, stemming from boys not being positively engaged with their fathers and other male role models. TSG is tackling that problem head-on by providing opportunities for Catholic men and their sons to establish healthy relationships.
Some of those who joined the Troops hesitated because they didn’t think they’d be able to carve out the time to spend one weekend per month away from home. They later admit—as evidenced by interviews in the video series—that the time was an investment that paid high dividends with their sons, their wives, their families—and indeed with all of their relationships.
“It’s very easy to say, ‘I don’t have time,’” said Brian Squibbs, the Troops’ national director of communications and recruitment. “We have a large family. My wife’s not going to appreciate that I’m gone for a whole weekend, but you know what? She will appreciate it when you come back a much better, virtuous Catholic man—and your boys are, too.”
Now that’s an investment that you could talk about for eternity!
PATRICK NOVECOSKY is a seasoned Catholic speaker, journalist and thought leader who runs NovaMedia and blogs at The Praetorium and for TSG in collaboration with iAmplify.