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Pitching a tent on sacred ground

I’m not much of a camper. I chalk it up to traumatic Girl Scout experiences as a kid — think rain, mud, latrine duty, French toast cooked over a coffee can. But as I write this column, I am simultaneously washing my winter sleeping bag in anticipation of a weekend camping retreat at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville, N.Y., with Noah’s Boy Scout troop. And I’m actually looking forward to it. Read more

Crossing over, moving on

Noah left the pack last night, the Cub Scout pack, that is, putting his Webelos rank behind him in exchange for his new rank as a full-fledged Boy Scout. As he prepared to cross over the bridge, his den leader asked him to remove his Cub Scout neckerchief as a symbolic leaving behind and looking forward. I found it all very moving. This was the first of many “graduations” that Noah will experience over the coming months and years. First he leaves Cub Scouts, then he leaves his elementary school years for the junior high years. I don’t need to remove a neck scarf to realize that I too am crossing over to a new place as the mother of an adolescent, even if Noah will forever be my baby boy. Read more