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For more than 40 years, fathers and sons from Second Christian Reformed Church in Byron Center, Mich., have bonded over bait and fishing tackle.

Every other summer, they travel 700 miles (1,100 km) to a remote site in Canada to fish for a week. The trip is organized by the church’s Cadet club (a ministry for boys in many Christian Reformed churches).

“We spend prime time together. It really helps us to get to know the boys,” said Cadet counselor Mike Oudbier, whose father, Russ Oudbier, started the trips.

This year’s group included 20 dads or grandfathers and 20 boys ages 10 through 16.

“I like being cut off from what we usually do,” said Colin Wiers, 15.

Brad Van Sledright, 16, likes being outdoors. “It gives me a strong appreciation for the beauty of God’s creation.”

Woods and water make an ideal setting to bond with each other, Mike Oudbier said. “The boys get a closer relationship to their dads, and being in nature promotes closeness with the Lord.”

The boys are more relaxed and are themselves, Oudbier notes. “It’s a free atmosphere for conversation,” he said. “It makes a stronger [Cadet] club when you do a big outing. It’s been a good thing for our boys.”

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