Randy Bourne, New Richmond, first lieutenant of Troop 73, Osceola, prepares food during the annual retreat. Bourne’s son, Nicholas, is a member of the troop. (Submitted photo)

Sixty-four boys and their fathers, members of the Troops of St. George, a nationwide Catholic ministry for fathers and sons, went on their annual retreat July 20-23.

Held this year at Camp Angelus near Round Hill, the event was organized and sponsored by the cadets and dads of Troop 73, Osceola. Other troops attending traveled from Milwaukee and La Crosse in Wisconsin, and Pine Island and St. Paul in Minnesota.

Camp Angelus is on the west bank of the Chippewa River, south and west of Durand. Connected with the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, the site is used for retreats and recreational activities.

The theme for the retreat, “Put On The Whole Armor of God,” came from Ephesians 6: 10-18, and was conducted by Fr. Bill Brenna, a retired Army officer and Vietnam veteran, and chaplain of Troop 73.

According to Fr. Brenna, “This passage from St. Paul provides an ideal starting point for a retreat for boys and men of all ages that is Christ-centered, battle-focused and team-oriented.”

The retreat centers on daily Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation, and includes three sessions of reflection based on the above Scripture. Those present gathered for the Angelus morning, noon and night, and pray an evening rosary.

Other activities included canoeing, kayaking, swimming and fishing on the Chippewa River; archery, hatchet-throwing and knife, saw, and ax safety demonstrations. The troops dined on wood-fired brick oven pizza prepared by the Camp Angelus staff Saturday night.

Visiting on Friday were two national Troops of St George representatives, Dr. Jeremy Lustig, the national executive director, and Brian Squibbs, national director of communications and recruitment.