Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
April 27, 2009
Nazareno Knights strengthen family life
Filipino council hosts annual family campout to enhance family ties
Ferdie Mendita gets dunked into a tank of cold water at last year's family campout in Devon.
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
DEVON – The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization. A very active Filipino council takes the “family” element to a whole new level.
The Knights with Nazareno Council #12904, which has the distinction of being the only Filipino council established in the Alberta/Northwest Territories jurisdiction, know the difficulties of being a family in today’s society.
“The main thing is family. That’s what the Knights of Columbus are all about. Everything the Knights do should involve the families,” said State Family Director Vince Reyes.
The hustle and bustle of career responsibilities, rushed meals, schoolwork, committee meetings, sports, shopping, and hours wasted in front of the TV cram the hours that could be spent on quality family time.
The family, under heavy attack these days — largely over values and commitments — needs support in order to survive. Its main source of strength must be found in a growing religious and parish life.
But the Knights with the Nazareno council also believe that family life can be helped substantially by an organization such as theirs.
One of the ways that the Nazareno Council helps strengthen family life is by hosting an annual family campout, which is aimed at rebuilding the family spirit from within, making it strong enough to resist society’s ills.
The first family campout, held at Carson Lake in 2001, was an overwhelming success, and continues being a popular three-day getaway every year.
Deputy Grand Knight Orlando Damaso said that the campout is a celebration of their faith, family and fraternity.
Now held at Lions campground in Devon, the campout includes a potluck supper, barbecue, Mass and family activities galore. It’s a time to communicate, share, and get involved with each other. The families enjoy time together in a scheduled, organized way, even when the age range of the family members varies widely.
“Church, community, council, youth and family are the five service programs of the Knights,” said Grand Knight Manuel Ibasco. “With this, we have all of them in one package.”
FUN AND FUNDRAISER
The families enjoy roasting marshmallows over the bonfire, singing karaoke, and even doing some line dancing. They roasted a pig over the fire. They held a golf tournament, as well as organized games for the squires.
“It’s a fun time. The members look forward to it every year,” said Reyes.
At last year’s campout, the Knights turned a fun activity into a fundraiser for the Chinese Earthquake Relief Fund. Various knights and their family members took turns sitting in the dunk tank. Others paid $5 for three balls, trying to dunk them. The fundraiser brought in $500 for the relief fund.
“As Filipinos we can relate to their calamities,” said Reyes, noting that this was a meaningful cause for the brother Knights.
“The Philippines are prone to typhoons and floods.”
This year’s family campout is planned for July 24-26. Fifty to 60 families are expected.