Saturday, June 02, 2012

Strong to Overcome!

Glenn and the boys are part of a wonderful program called Alert Cadet.  This is a tool wise fathers can use to win and keep the hearts of their 8-17 year old sons. The Alert Cadet program focuses on the father/son relationship and the significant steps fathers can take to help their sons grow into Christian manhood. These steps include spending time in God's Word, applying biblical truths to real-life situations, learning and practicing life skills, completing outdoor adventure projects, serving others and doing physical training. It's been a wonderful program for them to be involved in.

The group meets once every two weeks through the year. The boys have done many service projects and have grown closer together. 

Earlier this month, the boys joined other troops from Massachusetts to do a service project on Cape Cod for 5 days. They had a blast!

This father/son camp was at the site of the future Emmanuel Children's Home.  The property is owned by Genie Lombard and is located at 48-50 Old North Road, Pocasset (Bourne), Massachusetts, which is at the west end of Cape Cod.  Her vision is to take care of orphans with missing limbs.

Here is a report from the captain in charge, Doug Dagarin:

Total man-hours of service was approximately 220.

     The service included locating a concealed waste pipe leak in a wall and replacing the faulty ten-foot pipe, building a wall in one of the kitchen pantries, painting another pantry, "Spring-cleaning" the 25-plus-room beach house, felling trees, bringing down broken branches, clearing brush, raking leaves, building a walkway down to the beach, organizing the pump house/tool shed, washing windows, restocking the firewood pit, removing boulders protruding through the dirt driveway, and splitting, moving, and stacking firewood.

     We  held PT early (5:55) each morning Wednesday through Saturday, and Cadet son drill took place later each day.  All meals were preceded by a Cadet son formation which was used for activity briefing, review of running orders, and review of what we were learning during our teaching times.  The meals were followed by testimonies and informal sharing.

     More formal devotional/teaching time took place three times each day.  The teaching was built around our theme: the strategy of ideas -- from Proverbs 21:22 -- A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and brings down the stronghold in which they trust  (NASB).  In terms of evangelism, we developed the strategy that to change a person's belief we must cause his heart to embrace the idea that God does love him and always has loved him, and that he is a just God.  As for discipleship, we must be sure that the ideas by which we live are based in truth -- i.e., Cain begged the question, "Am I my brother's keeper?"  Humanity ever since has denied such responsibility.  We answered the question in the affirmative: I am my brother's keeper!  If that one idea alone replaced "me-ism", we would live in a very different world.

     Staff Sgt. Joseph Kosior and C.1st Cl. Daniel Kosior blessed us with their guitars and song leadership around one of the evening fires.  Due to rain, the first two of our nights together were spent around the living room fireplace.  For the final two nights we were able to benefit from C.1st Cl. Andrew Dagarin's outdoor flames.  Our final group devotion was also at the campfire Saturday morning.

     A highlight for this captain was the early morning prayer time with the other dads and Sgt. Kosior, which time we used for camp, family, and personal needs.  This time was carved out during the second half-hour of PT for the sons.  (We all participated in the first half-hour of PT -- which was usually quite demanding, as led by either a cadet 1st class or another LTC -- and we excused ourselves from the game time that followed.)

     The Cadets stayed in Bentwood by the Sea, the old, rambling beach house.  Miss Lombard provided two of the suppers.  Mrs. Fisher, Rachel, and Anna prepared all of the other delicious and nutritious meals.
     By the end of our time together, each dad had shared praises for each of his sons present, and most sons had done the same for their dads.  These praises were a great encouragement.  It was amazing to hear the boldness of the younger sons in speaking about their dads in a room full of other fathers and sons.  These publicly spoken words are key building blocks in our father/son relationships.  Us dads go home committed to building up our sons more then ever.

     The highlighted character quality of our camp was punctuality. We had a quite regimented schedule: specific times for every event of the day.  Because everyone was where they were supposed to be most all the time, we packed a tremendous about of activity into each day.  The youngest son to the oldest dad kept up the pace.  The officers, under the supervision of Sgt. Kosior, made sure the sons were always aware of where they were to be and when.  WO Walt Fisher directed all of the work details, Lt. Eckerson of MA 2nd Alpha led the campfire discussions, and yours truly led the teaching/testimony times, as well as overseeing the camp.

     All work and no play makes this captain an old dull man, so we got in a baseball game an a soccer game at the town field.  

     There were no injuries and very little poison ivy this year, which is amazing because the plant is flourishing everywhere on the property.

     Saturday morning we held a ceremony for the Cadet families.  This event began with a parade drill led by Sgt. Kosior.  A highlight was having our first-time dads at the camp brave our New England tradition of walking through the gauntlet of weapons (leaf rakes) being hurled by the cadet sons.  (We stress the importance of resolving any father/son conflicts in advance of this precision manouver.)  Thirty-one family members came for this special event which was followed by a lunch for all.

We had a wonderful time attending the closing event on Saturday.  We sure were glad to see Glenn and the boys! We missed them so much! Here are some photos from the week and the closing ceremony:

As you can tell...this is a beautiful location right on the water!! They had a wonderful time!

Rosie was sooooo glad to see her Daddy!

Here is "run the gauntlet"


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