By Todd Brechbill
Boys will be boys. They always seem to love to build and create things. I truly believe that this comes from an innate masculine desire in their hearts. Give a young boy a few rocks and sticks and see what he makes. Boys need a mission, and men need a mission. It is what we as men yearn for, what we are made for, and I believe the reasons why many boys or men who get bored and lack a mission get themselves into trouble, or go down the wrong path in life.
The Conquest Minister and St. Mary’s Ohio Father & Son / Junior Leadership groups gave the young members a creative building mission for the last campaign of the year. The boys were commissioned to make their own Conquest shields. It is wonderful to set free the creativity in a young boy. The project started with the help of a local volunteer, Don Chmiel, who donated the shield materials. The shield is cut out of cardboard, then a strap is glued to the back of each shield.
Doug Mielke, Conquest St. Mary’s program leader said “We instruct the boys on how shields were used in battle to protect a soldier and often had images on the front that represented them or to scare the enemy. We then tell them how the virtues shield them from sin and scares their enemy, the devil. They are then asked to paint a shield that most represents them.” The boys then painted the shields and left them to dry until the following week.
This is a great idea and creative activity that you can do in your own Father & Son and Junior Leadership programs. The program leader of the Conquest Minster group, Jay Brown, said that it only took a few weeks of the last campaign for the boys to complete the shields that they could be proud of and to take home for the holidays. Both Conquest groups also went a step further and purchased a few foam swords, and the last meeting of the year, during the awards night, the boys squared off one on one with their shield and a foam sword in battle. “The boys make a circle, and two boys square off in the center. The first one to tap the other with their sword wins. They love it!” said Mielke. This just goes to show that Conquest is a great place to let boys be boys.