Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 1 - Thursday April 14th

For weeks and months on end some of our Timber Wolves and Explorers diligently set up and followed “countdown” clocks to the big day – 3 pm, Thursday, April 14, 2011. At long last it was all but 5 boys who showed up at the airport right on time. One of our Timber Wolves, Harry Kim, was already on route from Seoul, Korea to Rome with flight duration of 16+ hours. Within 16 hours and four meals later, Harry before we did by 90 minutes

After checking in at the group check in counter, we kicked off the pilgrimage with a mass in the Terminal 1 chapel. Father Terry celebrated a private mass for the group. We had over 50 boys along their family members in attendance. This was one the largest group to attend mass at the chapel. We have a number of wonderfully taken pictures to share with you to give you a feel of the size of the group in attendance in the chapel.

At 5:30 pm, the boys bid goodbye to their parents and headed off to a smooth hassle-free flow through airport security to the assigned gate of 178. By 6:05 pm, the boys quickly broke up into small groups to play cards, tell jokes and look forward to our departure on Air Canada B76.

Boarding took 30 minutes longer than expected due to technical challenges with the aircraft. Once the maintenance crew addressed these challenges, we pre-boarded the flight and quickly settled into our assigned seats. Only one boy was not able to make the flight. However, we look forward to him joining us tomorrow.

The plane took off within 35 seconds on runway 06L (Left) and finally we were off on our adventure of a lifetime – our pilgrimage to Rome and joint camp with Italian Explorers and Timber Wolves. We are proud of how well our boys have continues to work together within their teams. We introduced this concept to them a few weeks back at the Normount school. Today we emphasized the importance of these teams and our boys rose to our expectations.

The flight went well and took us smoothly into day 2 of our pilgrimage.

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