Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Growth of FNE in the USA

Our group leader/Akela on the subject of FNE in the United States. An excerpt:

Most importantly, we did not want to make promises we couldn’t keep. Still, I personally spoke to approximately 200 people who showed interest in starting new groups. Some we took on who later proved to not be very serious about starting up, and they are no longer in our development plan. We were happy to support them, but likely they were interested because this was in the news and then lost interest as time went on. However, we’ve also had a good number around the country that have shown their love for our movement and their willingness to work to bring it to the youth in their area. These have had our full support and are beginning to thrive. Yes, we want to grow, but for us, growth is something more than setting up a web form and calling whoever fills it out a group. We are truly a brotherhood and we’ll support a new group, but want that new group to also represent the FNE well and be a credit to it. Better to grow with deliberation, and retain our identity, which has been developed over nearly six decades, than to risk the future of our young association here in North America.

One wishes this sort of thing didn’t have to be said, but clarity is always good.

Public service announcement

It came to my attention recently that an association aspiring to be a scouting organization published their ranks and requirements for young members, and that one of these requirements — for 7-8 year old boys — was to learn how to Greco-Roman wrestle with their fellows. This requirement, in my opinion, shows a severe lack of judgment on the part of the association’s leadership.

Wrestling, whether freestyle or Greco-Roman, is not a sport for young boys. At the international level, boys don’t wrestle competitively until they’re at least 13 years old, and then only with a medical certificate and parental authorization. I find it mind-boggling in this day and age, when so much information is readily available on the Internet with only minimal research, that someone would think requiring 8-year old boys to wrestle with one another is a good idea. Roughhousing is one thing (and, it should be added, roughhousing is fun precisely because it is spontaneous), Greco-Roman wrestling is quite another. Someone is going to get hurt.

A far better alternative would be to teach the boys Indian arm wrestling in which two standing opponents try to wrest each other off balance. And there are other manly feats of strength that aren’t likely to end in injury.

Letter to all FNE groups from our national religious adviser

Originally published at: Federation of North-American Explorers – North Star FNE Group

Semper Parati

At the beginning of the civil year, I would like to wish to your groups a happy and holy new year. There is one thing that we should pray every single time we tighten our belts; that is “Semper Parati.”

What does it mean?

The exact and proper translation is “Always Ready”! An Explorer is someone who prepares himself to be “Always Ready.” He wants to realize his mission: “The Explorer is made to serve and save his neighbor” (Fr. Jacques Sevin, SJ).

Chivalry is the ideal of our Explorers. An ideal they took from the past to act in present time. We are not nostalgic dreamers, but we are dreamers, not in fantasy but in reality. Our dream is to serve. It is a dream we take from the past, looking to those knights, soldiers and monks. It implies temporal and spiritual duties.

Drawing the present with the past. How strange?

Because our love for God is a reality, we are happy that God wants us to live and act in this society — a society that is wounded and even fights against nature and humanity without knowing it.

It is exactly because we are living most of the time in nature that we know the riches of God’s creation. Being close to nature is being close to God, and being grounded in reality. Recalling my summer camps, there is one memory that I like to most: the campfire. At the end of the day, when we had a wonderful day in which we lived a new experience in our patrol, in which we have tried to serve our patrol members and form, together, a family gathered around the patrol staff with God’s grace. Our bodies are tired but our minds are always active because we are trying to be ready.

Ready to receive that story given by our Chief or our priest. That story they heard themselves from their chiefs coming from a time when our country’s identity was Christian. These stories came from the time when Chivalry meant service. They formed that link that we, ourselves, are living, today.

Principles and law

I cannot be “Always Ready” without knowing exactly what I am supposed to do. The source is the Explorer Law. Our fathers gave us that Law which is, in a way, that link I received from the past in order to serve in the present.

If every day, I meditate on that Law, I will understand how the Explorer movement, the Chivalry of modern times, will penetrate deeply into the souls of our boys and girls and will transform them, into happier and better men and women.

The Explorer Law is a concrete expression of the Gospel, a practical translation of principles posed by the Decalogue. Our law emerges in the heart of children and opens up into the most beautiful Christian virtues that nature and God’s grace make fruitful.

By our way of life, our way to educate in games, an Explorer receives what he needs physically in all the skills he receives at camps, and that which he acquires through the hierarchy. He acquires the art to manage his life in order to untangle others. He is a pioneer, a colonist, a missionary.

He also receives what he needs spiritually by the way he lives our way of life. You can play a game just for fun or in order to prove something to yourself or to someone else but what is the purpose? It is a really poor one!

If you do it with the virtues that are included in the Law, it is then another challenge. You are using your skills for your patrol, for your friends, to excel in your generosity.

By the Law and all the virtues that it claims: virtues of loyalty, dedication, and purity, an Explorer becomes really a knight ready to serve.

Do it without reserve, without rest, without limit, give all that you have and you will receive what is most necessary to a knight: to be “Always Ready.”

Good camps to all and may we have the pleasure to share a campfire once again altogether under the stars of Our Lady.

Hoc’h Gouez (E) a Faouëdic

Link to PDF: Semper Parati