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Monday, August 29, 2011

Living the Spirit of Chivalry at the TFP Camp

By John Ritchie

"Youth was made not for pleasure, but for heroism", a phrase coined by Paul Claudel, captures the spirit of every TFP Call to Chivalry camp.

On July 27, dozens of teenage boys gathered at the St. Louis de Montfort Academy to begin a challenging 10-day camp packed with activities, including talks, skits, rosary processions, field sports, outings, hikes, camping, swimming, sword play, archery, skeet shooting, spear toss, shield ball, capture the flag, and even a treasure hunt and medieval banquet, featuring a visit from King Henry V of Agincourt fame who held his young audience spellbound with a stirring rendition of Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day Speech.

Respect, discipline, manners, noble conversation and manly piety are virtues fostered during the event, and many of the talks this year focused on the heroes and saints of the British Isles.

The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited the Academy during the camp, giving those present the signal honor of holding an all night vigil in her presence. A solemn procession initiated the vigil and the statueof Our Lady was escorted by TFP members dressed in ceremonial habit.  This famous statue wept miraculously in New Orleans in 1972, shortly before the legalization of abortion in America.  Each camp participant willingly filled a time slot dedicated to prayer and silent reflection.

Jack Vermett
"It was impossible to get bored because there was too much to do," said 13-year-old camp participant Jack Vermett from Illinois. "My favorite part was the visit to the Arlington National Cemetery. I learned manners and I liked the talks and the games too."

     Zechariah Long
"I really enjoyed the talk by the decorated U.S. Army Ranger," remarked Zechariah Long, 18, from upstate New York.  "The Ranger saw real combat in Afghanistan, but he told us that moral courage is much greater than physical courage.  He challenged all of us to join the spiritual war and defend the faith."

The timeless virtues of Catholic Chivalry continue to attract young souls and offer an antidote to the moral crisis shaking contemporary society.  At a time when real moral courage is required to remain faithful, TFP camps will continue providing young men with saintly role models to look up to and follow, and with the grace of God, help form a new generation of brave leaders ready to champion the rights of God and defend His law.

For more information on these camps,  contact TFP here.

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