More than 1,400 Pathfinders, Adventurers and volunteers from across the Northwest gathered near Twin Falls, Idaho, for the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) Pathfinder Camporee September 14–16, 2017. This was the first time the camporee, hosted by the union every five years, was the held in Idaho. In total, 75 Pathfinder clubs made the trek from all corners of the union, including one club from Juneau, Alaska.
Dan Gilbert, Idaho Conference Pathfinder director, and his team of volunteers spent countless hours planning and organizing the event. The theme, “Pray Like Daniel!,” encouraged Pathfinder to spend time in prayer and develop a daily walk with Jesus, looking to Daniel as an example.
During the day, Pathfinders kept busy with numerous activities and honor-earning opportunities throughout the event. The most popular honor, due to the fact it is unique to the camporee, was the blacksmithing honor. Two hundred and fifty Pathfinders and staff earned the blacksmithing honor, taking scrap metal pieces and carefully molding, hammering and polishing them into the shape of a cross.
Other honors offered at the camporee included orienteering, the life of Jesus, Dutch oven cooking, gold panning and fossils, during which clubs spent time exploring fossil beds nearby. As a special activity, Pathfinders also enjoyed zip-lining across a canyon alongside the Snake River.
Pathfinders were also encouraged to give back to their community by bringing nonperishable food items to donate to the Idaho Food Bank. In total, 700 pounds of food was donated.
God was working miracles during the camporee, and His presence was felt. The camporee concluded with a special Sabbath evening invitation for Pathfinders to commit their hearts to Jesus. Nearly all Pathfinders answered the call, coming forward to give their life to Jesus during one-on-one time in prayer with their leaders.
This is the essence of the Pathfinder ministry — not only teaching our youth valuable life-building skills, but also encouraging them to live a Christ-centered life. This is why investing in our youth and Pathfinders is so important.