The uniform makes for brotherhood, since when universally adopted it covers up all differences of class and country. — Lord Baden-Powell

First Promise Ceremony of 2013  

On Thursday, May 16, 2013, the Federation of North-American Explorers 1st North Star Group held its first promise ceremony of 2013 in the presence of our parish priest, Fr. Robert Pasley. Two new leaders made their Explorer promise while four others renewed theirs; two boy Timber Wolves and three girl Timber Wolves were received into our 1st St. John Neumann and 2nd St. Katharine Drexel dens respectively; and one Otter was received into the St. Kateri Tekakwitha Otter lodge. (more…)

Camp St. Michael – Forty Hours devotions at Mater Ecclesiae  

On Friday, September 28, 2012, our Timber Wolves (boys and girls) camped out for Forty Hours devotions at Mater Ecclesiae, our host parish — the boys and their leaders on the church grounds, the girls and their leaders at a local homestead.

The evening began with the setting up of camp. Akela Chris and Mang brought tents, tiki torches, and a portable fire pit. (There would be more than enough wood on the ground for kindling and fuel for the fire.) The leaders decided to set up camp on the far side of the parking lot as Mater Ecclesiae is located on a busy rural road and this site offered protection from drivers using the property to make U-turns and the like. In addition, there were already a few picnic benches at the site!

A number of our Sura Timber Wolves were needed for service at the altar, but with the girls joining in we made for a fine procession.
(more…)

Pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Rita  

But in their eyes, I saw that flame of the old Faith which once was the soul of Europe and the light of the world. You can’t imagine the thrill of seeing it once again…even if only in the eyes of little children.
–Michael Matt in an article about Catholic Explorers in France

With two Sisters of Immaculata University

On a beautiful, sunny and warm Saturday afternoon, a group of FNE Explorers from the 1rst North Star group set out on a mini pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. Rita in Philadelphia, PA. Accompanied by a few of their leaders, the timber wolves assisted at mass and then were treated to a tour of the shrine by our wonderful tour guide Ms. Madeline. The timber wolves all showed their deep interest and knowledge of their faith and took in the sights. Pictured above are some of the timber wolves with two nuns we met at the shrine who were kind enough to spend some time speaking with the children and have their picture taken with them.

There was one word that people kept saying in reference to the timber wolves that were there that day. Hope. We heard them talking at a distance, they came and told us. But the kids brought them hope. On this sunny summer Saturday, when they could be doing anything else, but chose to visit the shrine of a saint. That they wore their uniforms so proudly, and prayed with such fervor. They inspired the other pilgrims on this day.

We were blessed to have one benefactor, who was so touched by the children that she made a donation so the children could all receive a vial of Holy Oil from the shrine. Grace flowed in both directions and we could see that though Christendom may have no boundaries on a map, it exists.

Thank you and prayers for our benefactor!

The boys and girls were able to leave their prayer intentions at the shrine, and at then end, gave the first timber wolf howl in the city of Philadelphia! It was a mighty howl right in front of the shrine. The faith and example of children can be a mighty thing in itself, and there were a few people that spoke to us, that asked about us, and who just noticed the kids and were touched by their humble and innocent faith.

Among the statues and art at the shrine, and all the history the kids were able to learn about, they were also able to offer their prayer intentions in front of some relics of St. Rita, which included a first class relic in a reliquary, as well as a pillow donated by her shrine in Cascia on which she rested her hands in repose. We are truly blessed to have a shrine to this wonderful saint so close by.

After sharing this day of prayer and pilgrimage, all met up at Akela and Raksha’s home for a BBQ to celebrate our time together as we prepare for camp in July with our brothers in Canada, and to begin anew with new otters, timber wolves and explorers in September for our second year of faith and adventure!

The Church at the Shrine of St. Rita

Meeting Summary for May 24th  

We had another great session of wildreness training graciously offered by our wilderness guid Ryan. After the opening circle Ryan started off by showing the boys how to make a solar still with a cup and a piece of plastic sheeting. MacGyver would have been proud! As the boys and girls worked at digging their holes, Ryan explained the importance of staying hydrated, especially when camping and hiking.  He also explained other sources of water to look for, including the most basic one, bringing your own.  Semper Parati!

Next we got some basic first aid training to treat common injuries like cuts, broken arms, and burn wounds. The wolves practiced on eachother, then our otters went out into the woods and each pretened to have a different injury. The Timberwolves divided into groups and each group hussled out to the aid of a fallen otter. The otters were taken to our makesift hospital where Ryan examined our wolves’ handiwork and gave them some more pointers.

Wilderness training took up the whole meeting so we wrapped up with our closing prayers and circle. Thanks again to Ryan for providing a great experience for the wolves, and a great end to our regular meetings for the year.

Meeting Summary for April 26,  

Lions were on the prowl at the beginning of the night! The boys enjoyed a rousing game of Red Lion as they waited for the Circle to be called. At the Circle Akela gave us some updates on our camp in NY in June and introduced us to the requirements for the evangelist badge.

Baloo then led the boys in a discussion on bearing one anothers’ burdens, reflecting on Galatians 6:2. But then big trouble broke out! There was an outbreak of a terrible virus in DiMarzio Hall! To escape the threat, the boys had to carry their fainting brothers to the other end of the hall until there was only one left. After the threat had passed, all the boys who had sucummed carried their last remaining brother back to home base!

Next up, Bagheera gave the boys a lesson on the first law of the Exlporers, and taught our first knot tighing lesson. The boys worked on making a square knot. We got a lot of granny knots in the mean time, but the boys soon got the hang of it. Bahgeera also recommended this great web site for learning about all kinds of knots.

Rama followed up with a quick lesson on our saint of the month, St. George.

Our exlorers played a quick game of Flying Dutchmen, then broke into two groups where they worked on short skits together. We had one skit featuring the ‘terrible magician’ and another skit featuring the ‘terrible shcool teacher’.

We followed with a game of Shark Attack, where unsuspecting beach goers were pulled uner the water (parachute) by ravenous sharks! Our life gaurds worked hard to save them, but in the end the sharks ate everyone.

The meeting wrapped up with our prayers in the chapel lead by our sixers, and the final Circle. As we got ready to leave for the night, the Exlporers took it upon themselves to start practicing camp songs for our camp in June!