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Men & Boys Overnight

Who? The following men were there (even though most had no beards): Aaron Geleyn, Alexandre Lebbe, Daniel Rogge, Dimitri Engels, Elias Rogge, Elias Vanderstuyft, Jef Geleyn, Jeroen Geleyn, Jonas Geleyn, Louis Geleyn, Paul Jordan, Maurice Geleyn, Sem Geleyn, Simeon Jordan and Ward Rogge.

Where? In the house of Eric and Maité in the Ardennes (Bourseigne-Vieille)

When? Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March with a lost hour of sleep.

What? A weekend for men among each other. Stones sharpen stones and so brothers can do that for each other too. To give this event some direction, we held a major clan fight in which each participant could collect points for his clan through various games.

Men on a weekend, an accident might happen sooner than later, and even with a first aid kit at hand, it doesn't hurt to ask God for protection. We start the Saturday with reading Psalm 91.

A big walk is the first thing on our agenda. Elias Rogge, whom I will call little Elias for the rest of the story to distinguish him from Elias Vanderstuyft, soon realized that his little legs couldn't keep up with those big men. Whoever is small must be smart and it didn't take long before he was able to place himself on the shoulders of the bigger and stronger among us.

Occasionally we stopped for a game. The first game was "potteke stamp". A hiding game where those found by the seeker can be released again. Thanks to a lightning action by Paul, the Jordans quickly gained some points. The Geleyns from both Jonas and Jeroen also managed to collect some points.

Afterwards, little Elias tried to get some points for the Rogge Clan by challenging Dimitri for a stone's throw. Something that failed miserably because even though the stone his dad gave him was a hundred times smaller than that of Dimitri, the latter's strength comes close to that of Samson.

After this game we walked on and suddenly Alex comes to tell me that he has just seen a real deer. Not much later, this discovery is surpassed by a horde of wild boars (more than 10!) that rise up the slope and cross our path a few meters in front of us. A doe came running down the slope at the same time. A true wow experience!

Looking for a place to eat, we didn't find it better to challenge fate and set ourselves up near a muddy river. It was not long before the boys who had their first sandwich to go do balancing exercises above the water. It may be called a miracle that none of them fell into it.

Here and there we found sticks that had been artfully crafted by some animal. Alex managed to convince many a young soul that they were made by the natives of the forest. Fortunately, Jef has long understood Alex's humor.

After the walk we came back to the house and we got a fifteen minute break to start the next game. Archery but with arrows with rubber ball points.

In the first part, the shooters had to shoot round cups filled with water from a good distance. Daniël and Alex proved to be the better shooters. For the second part the helmets were put on because now a real battle would follow between the boys and the men. One small detail. Only the boys got arrows. The men had to do it with arrows that were shot at them. General Jef led his troops to a resounding victory. Many other games followed and at the end of the afternoon most of the "big ones" were exhausted on the grass. The smaller ones among us, on the other hand, proved inexhaustible. An arrow turned out to be lost and despite the promise of bonus points, no one was able to find it. [1]

A snack was followed by some free time and preparations for the Lord's Day celebration.

During the Lord's Day prayers, Paul taught us to "look" at the story of the prodigal son through the famous Rembrandt painting. A story with many surprises, even for those who have known the story for a long time. Then each of us shared something for which we are grateful to God.

After the nice evening meal, some evening entertainment followed with the help of board games with which points could still be earned for the big clan fight. The fire was also lit and the marshmallows were tasted. After a well-filled day, most of us went to bed tired and satisfied.

Sunday we awoke in the realization that an hour had been cut away by the change to summer time. Croissants, however, brought consolation here and Dimitri settled many a conflict by dividing each in two in the manner of King Solomon.

For the mass we went to the Tiberiade community that is not so far away. After the mass the goodbye and the scoring followed.

The average was always taken to prevent those who were not so numerous present with their clans from being disadvantaged. The Geleyn clan branch Jonas, for example, had won many points, but because Jonas was asleep on Saturday afternoon, Alex managed to win the Lebbe clan. As a prize, he can go hunting wild boar free of charge in the Ardennes. ;)

[1] He was still in his own garden and was found triumphantly by little Pieter ...

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