Fall is almost here and you know what that means, right? OK, yes, college football and the NFL are in full swing and my Texas Rangers are closing in on a playoff spot… but that’s not what I’m talking about especially now that I’ve been able to control my sports addictions!
No, fall means the Troops of St. George are about to ramp things back up. In fact, my local troop, Troop 5, has our first campout of the year next weekend.
Who Are The Troops of St. George?
Now, for those who aren’t familiar with who the Troops of St. George are, and what we’re all about, I’d like to spend some time in this article getting you up to speed since it’s changed my life (and my son’s life).
So who are the Troops of St. George (TSG)? Here’s the official description from the National TSG website.
The Troops of Saint George is a fraternal Catholic nonprofit apostolate for priests, men, and young men looking for a life of adventure coupled with virtue. Initially founded in 2013 by Catholic author and professor Dr. Taylor Marshall we have become a collection of troops that do the following:
- experience reverent and beautiful Masses on mountaintop vistas
- pray the Rosary with other men around fire pits in the freezing cold
- catch a Fish Friday meal by fly fishing for trout
- go to confession with our priests while kneeling on moss in the woods
- teach our sons archery, rockclimbing, marksmanship, fishing, survival skills… and Catholic virtues
- foster a love for the priesthood and a reverence for the sacrament of Matrimony
- support our local parish, our priests, our bishops, and community by being available for works of mercy and service
What’s Different About TSG?
My oldest son has belonged to other “outdoor boys groups” in the past… sadly they usually involved one or two lame campouts on parking lots or him coming home from even lamer meetings with some pretty feathers glued to construction paper. Not exactly forming his manhood if you know what I’m saying.
The thing I love most about TSG is that the apostolate is just as much for me, a grown man, as it is my sons, young men. This is definitely not a “drop your son off” organization. And while mothers can, and do, support TSG the campouts are for men and boys.
What Do We Do?
The main focus of TSG is definitely our campouts. Most troops do have one, short, meeting each month to prepare for the campout… but don’t worry arts and crafts are strictly forbidden!
Most troops aim to camp out 8 times a year. Of course this doesn’t mean you have attend every one of them. Life happens. But, we’ve definitely found you get what you put into it.
Troop 5 campouts usually start on Friday night and run through Sunday morning. We celebrate Mass in our incredibly awesome chapel Saturday evening and usually have confession available before Mass.
We also eat incredibly well from food cooked in Dutch ovens and pray the Rosary around the campfire every night. This has been particularly moving for me on more than one occasion!
How Can You Get Involved?
Of course, we’re still relatively new in the grand scheme of things so there is a chance no troops exist close to you. No problem! Simply seek out a few other fathers and sons and start your own troop! The amazing men running the national TSG organization, which includes our brother Brian Squibbs, will help you every step of the way.
And, again, I’ve been involved with TSG since day 1 and can also help answer questions so please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!