The North Star Group of the Federation of North-American Explorers (FNE) held its first winter camp for its boys’ units (1st St. John Neumann Timber Wolf Den and 1st St. John Neumann Explorer Troop) on Super Bowl weekend (Friday, January 30 – Sunday, February 1). Joining us for this historic (from our point of view, anyway) event were our brothers from Our Lady of the Annunciation FNE in West Virginia – 1st St. John Berchmans Timber Wolf Den and 1st St. John Berchmans Explorer Troop (read more about St. John Berchmans – the patron saint of altar servers – here).

These four units, which together made for three sixes of Timber Wolves, and three Explorer patrols, camped in Belleplain State Forest in southern New Jersey. The Timber Wolves stayed at the group cabin by the East Creek pond, while the Explorers camped at the more rustic lean-tos on the shores of Lake Nummy.

It was cold!

An Explorer shows us one reason why we should not leave our gear outside overnight

It was cold!

It was really cold on Saturday

Holy Mass on Saturday morning

Our FNE national religious adviser, Fr. Piotr Narkewicz, came and celebrated Holy Mass for us

Honor guard during Holy Mass

An Explorer with the baussant of our movement serving as honor guard during Holy Mass

Timber Wolves, Explorers, and Leaders

Timber Wolves, Explorers, and Leaders after Holy Mass – East Creek Cabin in Belleplain State Forest

Learning some basic engineering principles?

Indoor activity – it was cold! – Timber Wolves use their ingenuity to build a structure out of nothing but paper strong enough to hold up a brick

Thinking outside the box

Even taller! But it looks like these boys might have had some assistance from Rikki-tikki-tavi.

An Explorer smiles and whistles under all difficulties

Mongoose Patrol’s Chief not daunted by the cold weather

Timber Wolves on a hike

Timber Wolves on a hike! Here they are listening to a meditation on the Presentation from the pen of Fr. Sevin

Divine Liturgy

St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Millville was kind enough to host us

East Creek Pond

The dock at East Creek Pond. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but much of it was frozen over. Did I mention that it was cold?

Email group leader Christopher Hasson at akela(at)northstarexplorers(dot)org for more information on our North Star FNE group located in southern New Jersey.

Click here to read more about Our Lady of the Annunciation FNE in Charles Town, West Virginia. Email group leader Terry Schau at schauterry(at) for more information.

Click here to read more about our Federation of North-American Explorers movement. We are the North American (Canada, United States, and Mexico) member association of the UIGSE-FSE, a Catholic scouting association approved by the Holy See. Email our general commissioner Paul Ritchi at for more information.