Trailmen carry a canopy during a Corpus Christi procession June 19 at the Brigittine Priory of Our Lady of Consolation. The devotion was part of a Trail Life meetup. (Jose Salame/Trail Life)
Trailmen carry a canopy during a Corpus Christi procession June 19 at the Brigittine Priory of Our Lady of Consolation. The devotion was part of a Trail Life meetup. (Jose Salame/Trail Life)
AMITY — The silence that typically surrounds the Brigittine Priory of Our Lady of Consolation here was broken June 17-19 with loud cheers and a rhythmic chant, “Ready- PULL! Ready- PULL!”

The intense game of tug-o-war was one of many activities in which boys from the outdoor group Trail Life took part at the monastery during this year’s NW Trail Life USA Catholic Troop Meetup.

Trail Life is an outdoor adventure youth program is a boys outdoor scouting program that focuses on teaching faith and morals to boys in a fun and interactive way. The second annual Northwest meetup brought five Catholic troops. They hailed from Vancouver and Bremerton in Washington and Salem, Sheridan, Portland, and Beaverton in Oregon. More than 35 boys and 16 fatherly mentors participated.

The troops arrived June 17 for a three-day weekend. This year’s theme — Trail Men: Modern Day Knights — was chosen because valor is needed to live the Christian life in today’s world. Field events included everything from jousting, sword duels, and fighting staff competitions, to tug-of-war, archery, a stone throw and Gaga Ball, a fast-paced game that is a gentler version of dodge ball..

The group participated in midday Mass on Saturday followed by a procession honoring Our Lady of Consolation. After Mass, the monks hosted a surprise lunch with a special treat for dessert: ice cream with the monks’ famous hot fudge.

Evening vespers and adoration provided a peaceful respite after the day’s activities. The monks joined the group for a grand knights’ feast featuring fire roasted lamb cooked on a rotisserie.

Evening campfires included motivational talks by several guest speakers including Dominican Father Gabriel Mosher of Holy Rosary Parish, Father Joaquin Gracias of St. Pius X Parish, Father Joshua Clifton from St. Birgitta Parish and Brother Prior Steven Vargo of the Brigittines. The speakers challenged the Trailmen to heed the call of God in their lives, even if it means a drastic change of plans. The Trailmen closed each day praying the rosary around the campfire.

Service is a central tenet of Trail Life and the boys worked hard to clean and pressure wash the front entrance and remove invasive blackberry vines around the monastery property.

Sunday Mass was followed by a Corpus Christi procession with the monks. As the weekend came to a close, Trailmen broke camp and headed home, taking many inspiring memories, a closer relationship with the Lord and sweet taste of fudge with them.

Nygaard is a ninth grade member of Trail Life, Troop OR-5312 in Beaverton.



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