Friday, September 13, 2013

Armor of God Boys' Retreat

 
This summer, we had a Boys' retreat centering around the Armor of God.  We wanted the boys to have a fun day and leave with the message that they can grow up to be strong, faithful, Catholic men who live for God in whatever they do.  Big task, but we tried to do it in little ways.

The food is very important, and honestly I think that this is the only reason that most of the boys could name the "weapons" of the Armor of God by the end of the day.  I had this set up on our counter:
 Squares of green bell pepper for the Breastplate of Righteousness:
 Skinny carrot and celery sticks for the Sword of the Spirit:
 Mandarin oranges for the Shoes of Peace:
 Pringles for the Shields of Faith:
 Tostitos Scoops for Helmets of Salvation:
 Licorice for Belts of Truth:
 I honestly did not think of this ahead of time, but the first thing that most of the boys did as they sat down was something like this:
Pretty cute, huh?  They then memorized the parts with no prompting, because they would have conversations like this:
"I'm going to dip my sword of Spirit in the ranch dressing.  Does that make this Holy Spirit sauce?"
"I'll trade you two shoes of peace for a belt of truth."
"I don't know about you, but I need six shields of faith for protection."
It was cool.

We also used the book the Squire and the Scroll.  I found a reproducible coloring book with a simpler version of the story to send home with the boys.

 We also had some guest speakers, including a video chat with my Army Lt. brother-in-law stationed at Ft. Benning, GA.  He spoke about his decision to join the Army and how he feels he is serving God as a soldier.  (He did such a good job!  If you you can keep kids attention through a video chat, you know that it is quality!)
 We also had a visit from a couple local Knights of Columbus, who spoke about the symbolism of Knights of Columbus regalia, their mission, and how they are choosing to serve God as adult men.
 We also had some "quiet" sit down activities that the boys did in between things and at the beginning while we were waiting for everyone to arrive.  Most popular was the scratch art shield:
 ...but they also enjoyed the Armor of God bookmarks, coloring pages, etc.

We then made some giant shields using posterboard and duct tape.
 Cut out, designed, and they had to decorate them with symbols of faith.

 We added a duct tape handle:

And then talked about all of the things that can attack our faith in the world- temptation, bad choices, sin, forgetting about God...etc.  They had quite the specific list.

Then we went outside.
And I told them that these water balloons represented all of the things of the world that make it hard for us to love God like we should.  We have to use our shields of faith to keep those things from attacking us.  They then spread out and had at it, firing away each other and using their poster board shields as a defense.
 The only other highlight was that they got their foam "sword of Spirit" to take home with their shield of faith at the end of the day.

 Here are some links to some of the activities to go along with this retreat:

 
 

You might also like to check out the Princess Day that we had, which would make a great companion retreat for girls.

7 comments:

  1. Hello Katie Anne. So good to know you through your profile on the blogger. I am also glad that I could stop by your blog "Look to Him and be Radiant" and the recent post on it of dated 13th Sept.,"Armor of God Boy's Retreat". I am impressed by your love for the Lord and your commitment to Him. It does not make any difference whether you are a Catholic or Protestant. What is unique is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a Savior and the Lord of your life. Well I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 33 yrs in the great city of Mumbai a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted and to give them new life, hope,future and purpose. We also encourage young people like you as well as adults from the West to come to Mumbai and work with us by being hands and feet of Jesus. We would love to have you come and work with us. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. Looking forward to hear from you. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Katie Anne. So good to know you through your profile on the blogger. I am also glad that I could stop by your blog "Look to Him and be Radiant" and the recent post on it of dated 13th Sept.,"Armor of God Boy's Retreat". I am impressed by your love for the Lord and your commitment to Him. It does not make any difference whether you are a Catholic or Protestant. What is unique is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a Savior and the Lord of your life. Well I am in the Pastoral ministry for last 33 yrs in the great city of Mumbai a city with great contrast where richest of rich and the poorest of poor live. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing to the broken hearted and to give them new life, hope,future and purpose. We also encourage young people like you as well as adults from the West to come to Mumbai and work with us by being hands and feet of Jesus. We would love to have you come and work with us. I am sure you will have a life changing experience. Looking forward to hear from you. My email id is: dhwankhede(at)gmail(dot)com and my name is Diwakar Wankhede.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diwakar, thank you for your encouragement and for the good work that you are doing for Christ in Mumbai!

      Delete
  3. Katie this is such a perfect theme for a boys retreat! I love your guest speakers, awesome snack idea, and so many great hands on activities. Love it all!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You might have already seen this -but would good with your theme: http://youtu.be/Bxjs1DglbVk

    ReplyDelete
  5. Katie Anne. Thank you for your response to my comment on your blog post. Praying for you as continue to seek God's will in your life. May the Lord continuie to use you in touching and encouraging lives of people who stop by your blog post. Pastor Diwakar

    ReplyDelete