aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

A weekend in the woods with God

We had a beautiful weekend in the woods for our RC-UM Retreat at Maumee Scout Reservation. We had two or three who couldn't make it, but then we had a couple who showed up without telling us. In all, about nineteen people took part. There were Catholics and Methodists, of course, but also a Quaker and a Lutheran. The VP of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting came. It was relaxing and fun.

The Scouts loved the orienteering course. Even better, they all completed it. I was impressed. They also got into the pioneering challenge, "Lift High the Cross." In that activity, each group was given the same number and size of staves and as much rope or twine as they wanted and told to put together a free-standing cross. The tallest won.


Daniel's cross
Not the usual way to do a square lashing, but it worked


Tied for second


Tied for second


The winnah!
Even leaning over, it was the tallest

We did crafts, like hand-tied rosaries and nail crosses. We sang lots of songs. We ate great food. There was Catholic mass on Saturday afternoon, then Methodist communion Saturday evening. The group put on a great campfire program. And then this morning, the youth led a Scout's Own service.


Clergifyin', Part One
Father Ted instructs his servers before mass


Clergifyin', Part Two
Yours Truly preaching on holiness

I spent my 66th birthday in camp yesterday. N.B.: this wasn't the first birthday I've celebrated on a Scouting weekend. They sang the Russian Happy Birthday Song to me at the campfire:
Happy birthday! Oh, happy birthday!
Pain and sorrow and despair,
People dying everywhere,
Happy birthday! Oh, happy birthday!
One step closer to the grave,
Think of all the food you'll save,
Happy birthday! Oh, happy birthday!
And what did I get for my birthday? I got a perfect fall weekend camping. I was surrounded by friends, new and old, as well as family (Anna and the boys were also participating). I got to see Anna practicing her leadership with increasing confidence. I got to see Daniel help lead worship. I did ministry. I'll count this one of my best birthdays ever. I am very blessed.

Before I left camp today, I dropped off a couple of things I'm donating to the camp. I've been toting around some of my father's professional gear for twenty years now. These are valuable tools, but there's no market for such stuff, so they wind up being expensive doorstops. One piece is a small blacklight box, which Dad used to look for petroleum in sand samples. They can use it in the Eco Lodge to look at butterfly wings and trees, that also flouresce under blacklight. I also donated his electronic microscope. Ranger Ed says he can get it working, and it will make a good contribution to the Eco Lodge's equipment. My garage is less cluttered now, and my Dad's tools will be used to teach kids about the natural world; I think he would be pleased.

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