Midwest Call to Chivalry camp held at Durward’s Glen Print
Written by Cathy Lins, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Sep. 03, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

BARABOO -- The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) is an organization of lay Catholic Americans concerned about the moral crisis shaking the remnants of Christian civilization.

Its origins date back to January 1971, when the first TFP members started to group around the publication Crusade for a Christian Civilization.

Today, with over 120,000 active members, volunteers, and donors, the TFP is on the front lines of the "Culture War," peacefully defending the values of tradition, family, and private ownership.

Central to the TFP mission is the idea that the various crises threatening American society and the Church cannot be seen as separate and disjointed. Youth are a vital part of the effort.

Call to Chivalry camp

Twenty-three young men attended the 2015 TFP Call to Chivalry summer camp held August 12 to 16 at Durward's Glen to learn about heroism, virtue, and how to be true "manly" Catholics.

This is the first Midwest camp held. Other camps occur in Louisiana, North Carolina, California, and Pennsylvania.

The theme of the camp focused on the glorious history of Catholic France. The ambience, conversations, and presentations revolved around France and her marvels: the beauty of Mont Saint-Michel, the splendor of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, the castles, and cathedrals.

The boys heard about great Catholic leaders such as St. Louis of France, St. Joan of Arc, Charlemagne and Roland, St. Louis de Montfort, and Georges Cadoudal.

The boys engaged in hikes, worked in teams during the treasure hunt, learned basics of fencing and sword play, and enjoyed many hours of outdoor games.

The camp ended with the customary medieval banquet. Towards the end, unexpected guests arrived, including Cyrano de Bergerac, a 17th century cavalier who duels his worldly and hateful foe in a fight over incompatible ideals. As Cyrano defeated his adversary in a thrilling fencing match, the boys cheered.

Cyrano embodies the spirit of the boys at the camp: a love for higher ideals.

Comments from camp participants

Contrary to what some may think, there are young men today who do have a thirst for much more than sports, video games, or pleasure. In fact, comments from camp participants show the opposite:

"We must live for a higher ideal!" said Phillip.

When asked about his favorite talk, Steven responded, "I loved the talk on purity. This talk renews a fighting spirit that dulls down over time."

Commenting on the French Revolution, another teen said, "If I was alive during the French Revolution, I would have died to defend my faith!"

Finally, Matthew stated, "I love the order and the principles the TFP stands for. It is a strong rock in a turbulent river for me."

While so many teenagers today choose to live a life devoid of higher aspirations, the 2015 Call to Chivalry camp provided an atmosphere of virtue and camaraderie, which deeply appealed to the participants.


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