Down to the River

By December 24, 2014

Down to the River was a grand success! We achieved the goal we had hoped for, both monetarily and culturally. The day was replete with grace filled moments. Rev. James Searby celebrated Mass, accompanied by two Ranger altar servers. The congregation sang old English hymns with tremendous energy–their voices echoing off the stone walls of the St. Francis chapel at Mayslake Peabody Estate.

During the event, attendees walked about the Riverside Experience,enjoying delicious appetizers, and visiting a variety of stations where they witnessed the fruits of a Riverside education. They saw actors on stage reenacting Robin Hood; a master and apprentice working at a woodworking table; Folk Minstrels playing traditional tunes; the Rangers making knots and stringing their bows beside their tent; and movies of Riverside at the filmmaker station. They also witnessed the Tutorial apprentices acting out radio shows and reciting verse from Riverside’s original radio scripts “The Island of the Lost Boys.”

After the Riverside Experience, the crowd was treated to a BBQ lunch and inspiring talks by Peter Searby, director of Riverside, and Dr. Anthony Esolen, renowned author and professor of English at Providence College. Mr. Searby revealed the vision of Riverside as an adventurous and imaginative learning experience where boys learn to become men of courage, faith, and family. “Our boys have fallen asleep due to the softness of a bourgeois culture- a culture which no longer affords the coming of age experiences they so need, and long for.” He also alluded to the cultural impact Riverside is having on families, and plans to have in the coming years.

Dr. Anthony Esolen inspired all present with his stories of boyhood adventure and the vision of a culture more in tune with the needs of our sons. Through wit and wisdom he drew attention to the problems boys face in a culture that misunderstands true masculinity. Riverside is blessed with the support and encouragement of Dr. Esolen.

The event was a “conduit of grace, joy, and peace” as one of the Riverside mothers so eloquently wrote.

We pray that Riverside will continue to inspire and guide boys, so that they may truly become the “New Men” C.S. Lewis speaks of–men of courage and faith who are rooted in the great inheritance of story and wisdom handed down to us throughout the ages.

Thank you everyone for your support!

Peter Searby

Author Peter Searby

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