The TFP’s Summer Programs have always been popular events. Boys from across the country eagerly look forward to them each and every year. The considerable enrollment for this summer’s program necessitated holding two separate sessions, one from June 15 – 26, and the second from July 4 – 16. Both programs were packed full with wholesome activities, from exciting games to formative lectures, always allowing times for prayer as well. The first event on the schedule was a visit to Washington D.C., beginning with the “Spirit of America Celebration” commemorating the United States Army’s 225th birthday. Around of Washington’s monuments and other sites followed: the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and more. The Marine’s “Sunset Parade” was a highlight of the second session.
There were also trips to Gettysburg and Antietam National Battlefields. They went to Baltimore to view a World War II submarine and other warships, and to historic Philadelphia for the parade of tall ships. Sporting activities included a canoeing expedition on the Susquehanna River, which involved a treasure hunt for a chest full of candy and cold drinks. There were also soccer matches, ping-pong tournaments, and – just a little calmer- chess competitions. Formative talks on historical personages or aspects of our Faith were delivered, sometimes illustrated with slides of short skits. A slide presentation on rock and roll and its pernicious influence in our society sparked much interest. Time for daily prayer and attendance at Mass was also stressed.
Following a long tradition, both summer programs ended with medieval games, held near and at St. Louis de Montfort Academy. A long green field was decked with colorful banners, while a multi-colored tent served as a pavilion for the boys’ families, friends, and other onlookers. A “knight” directed the fames in full medieval array, while the boys teams were distinguished by various colored scapulars emblazoned with crosses or other medieval symbols. Games included “steal the bacon,” dodge ball, capture the flag, shield ball, tug-of-war, “chariot” races, and three-legged races. After the games, winners and losers alike gathered with their families and friends for a grand medieval banquet at the Academy. The food was delicious, the music lively, the talk incessant. In the end, all returned home, tired but happy and hopeful, for, after all, Summer Program 2001 will be here soon.