Scouts soldier for Christ


For The Catholic Messenger

The Hawkeye Area Council Catholic Committee on Scouting put on a Soldier for Christ camporee earlier this year at the Howard H. Cherry Scout Reservation near Central City, Iowa. Fifteen Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members came together as soldiers to pray and seek adventure.

Scouts and leaders participate in an activity during a camporee in May in central Iowa.

The first evening started out with a campfire followed by Liturgy of the Hours. Morning breakfast was followed by Liturgy of the Hours, and National Guard members raised the U.S. flag. Soldiers trekked a mile from Camp Wakonda to Camp Waubeek, where the National Guard challenged the scouts to a climbing tower. Scouts were able to climb the tower to ring the bell heard through out camp. They used GPS coordinates to find the points of the Scout Law.

This trek took scouts to an overlook of the Wapsipinicon River, Mossy Back Cave and a pond. At lunch, they ate military-style Ready to Eat meals. The afternoon provided an obstacle course to challenge navigation of the obstacles of a soldier. Afterward, the scouts hiked to Camp Wakonda rifle range to practice shooting. A long day of soldiering ended with Mass celebrated by Father Ron Hodges of the Davenport Diocese. Fr. Hodges asked the scouts: “What did you learn today?” He then proceeded to tell the scouts about Mass and its meaning. Supper followed the Mass. The final morning started with a simple breakfast and praying the rosary.


Craig Pilcher, scouting chair of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, organized the event. The Hawkeye Area Council Catholic Committee on Scouting expressed thanks to the National Guard for its support, Ready to Eat Meals and those who staffed the event.

Next year’s Catholic Camporee will be May 6 at Camp Wakonda. It is open to all Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members.

Scouting Religious Medals

Scouts may earn religious medals provided by the National Catholic Committee on Scouting. The Ad Altare Dei and Pope Pius medals may be earned by Boy Scouts and Venture Crew members. The National Catholic Committee on Scouting is testing a new program for scouts to earn their Ad Altare Dei medal. Catholic Scouts or Venture members are invited to contact Jim Pitcher at Pitcher will request and coordinate a pilot test if enough interest is expressed.
Girl Scouts may also earn religious awards. Contact Pitcher for more information, or go to the Diocese of Davenport’s website,

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