On September 28, 2019, a historic meeting took place in Lourdes, France. For the first time, Timberwolves and Leaders from Canada representing the FNE (Federation of North American Explorers) Toronto den had the opportunity to meet the FSE Timberwolves and Leaders of the local Lourdes pack. The FNE Girl Timberwolves and leaders came to Lourdes primarily as pilgrims to grow in faith through a personal encounter with Mother Mary, The Lady of the Immaculate Conception and to better understand the message of Lourdes as revealed to St. Bernadette. The goal to meet the FSE French Timberwolves may have been a secondary reason but the memories created by such rendezvous will be remembered for a very long time.
There was a total of 28 Timberwolves (9 FNE and 19 FSE) and 6 leaders (3 on each side) who made this event a reality. The meeting between the Timberwolves and leaders was initiated by the familiar salute and handshake. After exchanging pleasantries in whatever little French or English each participant knew, the entire group walked together heading out to the green field across the Grotto. Prior to this encounter, the Canadian FNE girls were asked to bring a wheelchair-bound lady to the Grotto (this explains the photo). However, instead of only 9 Timberwolves, it was a strong pack of 34 uniformed ready-to-serve FNE/FSE members who carried out the task. Collectively, it punctuated the sense of service of which every member should always possess.
Having arrived at the huge expanse of green grass, with a mild breeze blowing while the afternoon sun shone brightly, one cannot help but praise and give thanks to the Lord for blessing such an important occasion. After completing the Council Rock separately, both the FNE and FSE Timberwolves reconvened to engage in a game (Hunt) that was played with much laughter, cheering and friendly competition. A second game was played which involved finding and piecing together the words to complete the Timberwolf Motto, Law, Pledge and the Rules of the Den. A Timberwolf meeting is always a time to eat together and today was no different. Cake and cookies were shared and enjoyed by all. Soon after, the entire group walked towards the river (Gave de Pau) to pray and sing to Mother Mary, who perhaps was smiling radiantly and approvingly at the Timberwolves across.
The historic meeting was capped with an exchange of gifts and tokens of appreciation, as well as a photo souvenir from the FNE to the FSE. As much as Lourdes is a place for pilgrims, it did not take long for the Timberwolves to realize that is it is likewise a place of possibilities.