Local scouts, priest leave for St. George Trek Print
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Written by Colleen Szerlong, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Jul. 18, 2013 -- 12:00 AM
Boy Scouts Tony Seibert and Sam Barrette of Nativity of Mary Parish in Janesville were recently selected to represent the Diocese of Madison on the St. George Trek in New Mexico.

Boy Scouts Tony Seibert (left) and Sam Barrette (right) of Nativity of Mary Parish in Janesville were recently selected to represent the Diocese of Madison on the St. George Trek in New Mexico. (Contributed photo)

JANESVILLE -- This summer, 15-year-olds Tony Seibert and Sam Barrette of Nativity of Mary Parish in Janesville became the fourth and fifth Scouts to represent the Diocese of Madison on the St. George Trek (SGT).

This year the Diocese of Madison, for the first time, has a priest participating in SGT. Fr. Brian Dulli, Eagle Scout and pastor of St. Peter Parish in Ashton, eagerly looked forward to being a part of SGT.

The St. George Trek is a backpacking adventure at Philmont Scout Ranch. Philmont is the premiere Boy Scout Ranch located near Cimarron, N.M. in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

When a scout arrives at Philmont, he is embarking on the most rugged experience of his life up to that point. When scouts "hit the trail" at Philmont, they spend the next 11 days hiking through the mountains, carrying everything they need on their backs, often up to 50 pounds of gear.

The scouts pitch camp each evening and cook over open fires. They are exposed to every kind of weather, from excessive heat to giant thunderstorms, and participate in activities along the way such as blacksmithing and horseback riding.

The trek is specifically designed for Catholic scouts to immerse themselves in their faith where only God and nature surround them. While they will be part of all the usual Philmont activities, the scouts will also be immersed in Catholic spirituality from Mass on the trail at dawn each day to a two-day retreat in the Diocese of Albuquerque before they depart for Philmont.

Once at Philmont, the scouts are divided into crews of 10. Each crew is led by a priest and a seminarian while on the trail. The priests, seminarians, and scouts rise each day at dawn, attend Mass together, and hit the trail for a day of hiking and activities before setting up camp at the next site.

Along the way, they all experience God’s country at its best, while also learning much about their Catholic faith from the priests and seminarians who are leading them. The objective? To strengthen and instill a deep knowledge of Catholicism and a faith to last a lifetime. Scouts are also given the tools to help them discern if they possibly have a vocation to the priesthood religious life.

The St. George Trek is open to Catholic Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members, both male and female, who will be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school at the end of the summer of the SGT. It is also open to all diocesan priests and seminarians.

For Father Dulli, Tony, and Sam, the St. George Trek will certainly be an experience that they will not soon forget, and will undoubtedly leave them with a stronger Catholic faith.

 
 

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