Youth was not made for pleasure but for heroism! This was one of the many battle cries given at this years Call to Chivalry Summer Camp which took place in Wexford from August 12th to 18th. Each day the participants were woken up to the sound of bagpipes and drums from the hallways. And don’t forget inspection! Every bedroom must be orderly with bed made and shoes in line. The tone of the day is set with the singing of the Credo, reinforcing our faith in the One, Holy, Roman, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
Camp participants learnt about the Message of Fatima, the conversion of South America, the martyrs of the Spanish Civil War and the Cristero War in Mexico. Speakers recounted tales of heroism, daring, and stupendous miracles. The summer camp also visited the Irish National Heritage Park where we were taken on a 3,000 year journey through the history of early Ireland. No less interesting were the Chinese Shadows - simple plays done with shadows – for example the Battle of Covadonga where the reconquest of Spain for the Church began.
Many unique games were played like Shield Ball, French Football and Prison Break demanding team work, bravery, and leadership but also chivalry. Every participant is expected to behave as a Catholic gentleman. Cursing, lying, and cheating are not tolerated. Instead, chastity, honour, and fair play are extolled. A highlight was definitely the Treasure Hunt. Two teams, using a combination of problem solving, tenacity and team spirit, race to find their clues which sometimes amounted to a simple blade of grass! The treasure will only be found after many mind-boggling clues and hours of exhaustive searches. Clues are scattered throughout the area and to the quickest team go the spoils.
Pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Island
With the pipes and drums leading, the entire camp set off on pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Island a place connected to devotion to Our Lady since the 300’s. Upon arriving, a Rosary Procession commenced, with Marian hymns marking the decades. Being the feastday of Our Lady’s Assumption, a short talk was given explaining the significance and beauty of Our Lady’s assumption into Heaven.
The Last Day
No Call to Chivalry Camp would be complete without the Medieval Games and Banquet. The Medieval Games are a final test for the two teams. After having properly enthroned Our Lady of Fatima, the games begin with many battle cries and invocations to the saints. Punctuating the games was the Ten Commandments of Chivalry Test. These were the laws that the knights of old followed for example loving and defending your country, defending the Catholic Church and defending the helpless. A solemn Rosary Procession with the participants in their medieval scapulars ended the games. Finally, the Medieval Banquet commenced, ending with a huge, delicious castle cake.
The camp has ended and every day life beckons us once again. But the Call to Chivalry summer camp was just that, a call. A call to defend the Church in society. In a sense the camp has only begun. Participants have learnt about the importance of the Rosary, chastity and honour. Now, after the camp, is the time to put those things into practice.
CLICK HERE for the full gallery of our 2017 Summer Camp: