I walk away from this campout a different man

By Sal Fucito
Cincinnati St Gertrude Head Football Coach
7th-8th Grade

This weekend our football program at St. Gertrude had their first ever Father Son Campout as part of our SportsLeader Virtues Program. This was absolutely a God ordained moving experience for me and I'd like to share with everyone how.

It is a fight to see my son. The relationship with his mother is not the best at all. Despite my failed attempts to get my son on weekends that are not "mine", I've not given up trying. This weekend was no exception. At first she said no, but the night before I received a text from him saying he could go. That alone moved me to tears that I was finally going to be able to take my son camping with me.

Friday night, it was an honor to witness men and their son's setting up their camp. Dad's and boys working together. Aaron and I were no different. He's only 8 yet he worked with the enthusiasm and tenacity of a warrior focused on their battle to get that tent set up. Aaron and I had it set up in no time.

After searching for fire wood and smores sticks, we built a cross together to carry while learning the stations of the cross. Aarong wanted to build a bigger cross than the other boys his age. He carried that thing high. As we sat around the bonfire and ate smores, men got up to give testimonies of defining moments in their lives. Awesome stories from these dad's. Then one of the boys got up to talk, a 6th grader. Very couragious and inspiring. My son looked at me and asked if he could talk. Of course I said sure, just make sure you are loud enough for all 70 people to hear you.

Aaron made one attempt and chickened out. Just not quite ready I guess. Then he made a second attempt and wound up being our last speaker. What Aaron had to say really showed me that my perserverance in fighting to see him is working. He stood in front of these strangers, men of all ages, and said "Thank You" to me for bringing him to this campout. He also said "I Love You". Oh I could not be any prouder of my son. Every week is a fight with him because he does not want to be held accountable for his actions at our home. When he is corrected he cries to go to his mothers house. It breaks my heart. BUT, last night, this weekend, he stood in front of 70 people and said thank you and he loves me. That makes all the fighting I've done the last 8 years to be his dad worth it.

I walk away from this campout a different man. Hopefully a different father and a different husband. As I shared with the men today, I've realized I have all the patience in the world with my players. We drill and drill over our steps and our techniques. But when I get home, I do not have the same patience with my family. Why not? Why does it bother me they do not have it right yet? Never mind that I know that Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". Everyone makes mistakes and none, no not one is perfect. So maybe I need to be more of a coach in my own home than the parent I've thought I was. Maybe I need to teach my kids in stead of yell at them and demand. Is it easy? NO. Is it possible? Absolutely.

Nonetheless, I know my son loves me and he was the highlight of my weekend. I know I'm not perfect, but a work in progress. God is moving in my life and in my home. I just need to align myself with His plan for me. I see it in my wife and in my children. Their desire for God in our life! I am the husband and I am to lead them. It is time I do my job. We need men to lead their families and to teach their son's how to be men and show their daughters the example for the husband they shall seek out. It's on us Men. I'm ready.