A 1987 book titled: Missing From Action: Vanishing Manhood in America explored the causes of the diminishing role of manliness in society. From this perspective, this year’s American TFP Call to Chivalry Camp could aptly be titled: Back in Action.
The event, which was held from June 28 – July 6 at the Feliciana Retreat Center in Norwood, La., was carefully tailored to instill qualities like courage and combativeness, so necessary for the reemergence of Catholic manhood in America.
This year’s camp was especially privileged by the presence of His Imperial and Royal Highness, Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza, a direct descendant of the Crusader King St. Louis IX, who arrived on July 3 and stayed until the end.
Thirty young men ages 12-18 attended this year’s camp from all across the United States, and even from Ireland. The action-packed scheduled included a tour of the World War II destroyer U.S.S. Kidd, archery, paintball, outdoor games, skits, a trip to historic Port Hudson and an anti-abortion protest outside Baton Rouge’s Delta Clinic.
The boys also attended presentations on the bad effects of Rock and Roll music, how to receive communion well, how to fulfill the first Saturday devotion and discussions of history and society in light of the book Revolution and Counter-revolution, by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.
TFP Louisiana Bureau Director Thomas Drake also presented lectures on the themes of this year’s camp: The Siege of Vienna and the nineteenth century Austrian freedom fighter Andreas Hofer. These added an element of combativeness and fortitude to the mood of the camp.
Spiritual needs were tended by Monsignor Robert Berggreen who traveled a full hour every day to administer the sacraments.
Prince Bertrand gave a lecture to the boys titled: The Virtues of Chivalry, in which he described the beauty and manliness of Chastity. It was a special treat for the boys to hear this lecture from Prince Bertrand who is a living symbol of the virtues of Chivalry.
The camp ended with the traditional medieval games and banquet on July 6. After breaking up into two teams, the boys spent the entire afternoon playing games such as: French football, steal the bacon, tug-of-war and capture the flag. Two knights on horseback rallied the teams. The games finished with a truly unforgettable obstacle course designed by TFP member Paul Shibler.
The participants then got cleaned up and processed to the outdoor banquet hall praying the rosary. During the procession, an honor guard wearing the TFP ceremonial habit escorted a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
After three long hours of physical activity in the hot Louisiana sun, camp participants were ready for food – and lots of it. This was provided by local TFP Supporters Rusty Lamotte and Greg Howze, who prepared a feast of pork tenderloin, smoked turkey, rice and ice- chest potatoes.
Towards the end of the meal, Prince Bertrand addressed the crowd of boys, parents and TFP supporters, on the privilege of being Catholic.
After the banquet, the boys packed up and returned home better prepared to bring true Catholic manhood back in action in America.