Adventures in Song

Two things strike me about a boy’s singing voice. First, it produces pure and clear notes. A boy’s voice is like a bird’s song … effortless, spontaneous, happy, pleasing to the ear, especially in the highest octaves where it almost reaches heaven.
Secondly, a boy’s voice is fleeting, like a bird’s. If you don’t listen to it when you have the chance, the moment will be gone … the bird flies away, and the boy passes through childhood. They both vanish like the morning mist.
When a bird sings, you have to stop to listen. A boy’s voice is the same. That is part of the magic of birds and boys. It makes the treasure, the gift, more valuable because the art is in time.
The art is in time. The boy’s voice and the bird’s song are manifestations of the overabundant goodness of the Creator, overflowing in His Creation. God creates boy’s voices and birds’ songs for our sheer pleasure of the moment, as an echo of the voices of angels.
The late childhood years, perhaps ages 8 through 14 – sometimes more, sometimes less – are magical years. During these years the boy is in the blossom of his childhood.
An example is his voice. In a sense it is one of the perfections of childhood. This perfection manifests itself in other ways, also. You can see it is his spontaneity, in his enjoyment of the moment, in his play, in his affection towards his parents.
In the Federation of North-American Explorers, we recognize and develop this gift of a boy's childhood, and we prepare a boy for his ultimate transformation into a man, through a vigorous outdoor program. 
As he leaves childhood, and enters adolescent years, perhaps ages 12 to 24 - sometime more, sometimes less - he travels through a dangerous rite of passage.
The boy leaves the security of his parents and starts off on a journey though the "dark ages" - a time filled with challenges and fears, bullies and beats, sirens and sins.
In the Federation of North-American Explorers, we do our best to help him negotiate this tumultuous time, a time when a boy's voice cracks, when his face breaks out, when his emotions well up; a time when a boy begins distancing himself from his mother and father, when he begins his quest to find out who this emerging person is, hiding inside his own skin.
If we are successful, we can help a boy become a man, as his voice transforms into a magnificent tenor or rich baritone; as his muscles grow; as his brain gets stronger; as his conscience develops.
Most importantly, this is a time for the boy-becoming-a-man to learn to love his neighbor, to deepen his spiritual life, and to find the place in life which God has laid out for him. It is a time to prepare a young man to begin the whole exciting adventure all over again, with his own boy, someday and God willing.
Please think of these things as you enjoy our Niagara River FNE Explorers Boys Choir.
Pierre de Rosa, Group Leader
Niagara River Explorers, FNE
December 2015
Niagara River Explorers
Federation of North American Explorers
Faith – Character – Outdoor Adventure
The Federation of North American Explorers is an international association of the Catholic Church for youth and young adults that strives to build its members into saints through an adventurous outdoor program.  We live simply and in contact with nature, become stronger and healthier, and grow in virtue and character.  It is here where we learn that the greatest adventure of our lives is one we live with God. 

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