Venice | When you are member of the Scouts, you go on hikes to learn various lessons in wayfinding, survival and ecology. Along the shores of the Myakka River in Venice Sept 15, Scouts from across the Diocese Venice combined their traditional hike with a strong religious twist. They learned about the Ten Commandments and how they serve as strong lessons that can be applied to everyday life.
More than 150 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, American Heritage Girls, Girl Scouts and Brownies from several areas of the Catholic Scouting community in the Diocese gathered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Retreat Center in Venice.
Bob Paquette, Diocese Scout Activities Coordinator, organized the event with the intention of bringing Scouts together for a unified purpose with an aspect focused on faith while helping the youth gain a greater appreciation for the Ten Commandments.
Scouts followed a map of the retreat center property to different locations marking where they would learn about each Commandment. The retreat center sits on the Myakka River and has a perimeter road which is lined by large oak trees. Along the way the Scouts saw various religious statues, Stations of the Cross, benches and villas, as well as a conference center and Chapel.
At designated points tablets were placed with a Roman numeral indicating the respective Commandment that was to be discussed at that location. At these locations, the Scouts found an adult leader, who then provided an overview of the specific Commandment. The presentations were primarily geared toward elementary to middle school-aged children, engaging the girls and boys in a discussion about ways to obey the specific Commandment being addressed. Each stop built on the messages of the various stops.
Following the walk, the Scouts gathered in the Chapel. Father Lawton Lang, Diocesan Scout Chaplain, spoke to the them about his experience becoming an Eagle Scout and how Scouting changed his life.
For their participation, each Scout received an achievement patch depicting two stone tablets on which the Commandments are written. They were also each presented with a rosary blessed by Bishop Frank J. Dewane. Several Scout units were honored for their help in organizing the Ten Commandment hike.
Some of the American Heritage Girls spent the entire weekend at the retreat center in villas, and took part in a number of different activities including a campfire, Stations of the Cross and the Mass celebrated by Father Lang.