Image Credit: Michael Gregory

Oregon Conference Pathfinders Converge for Camporee

More than 700 pathfinders of all ages gathered at the Skamania County Fairgrounds the weekend of Sept. 11–13 in Stevenson, Wash., for the annual Oregon Conference Pathfinder Camporee.

“We have outgrown state parks. That’s why we were at the fairgrounds,” says Desiree Rinza, youth ministries administrative assistant. Rinza isn’t complaining. She says as long they are moving from smaller locations to bigger ones, it’s a good problem to have.

Pathfinders at this year’s camporee worshipped together through songs and devotionals and played together in the great outdoors. Activities included caving, hiking, swimming, canoeing and field trips in the Columbia Gorge.

Rinza and the planning team had an extra challenge this year. Tracy Wood, former Oregon Pathfinder director, accepted a position at the North American Division this spring, and the event had to be planned while the department was between directors. “Camporee happened without Pastor Tracy because we have an amazing district coordinator team,” says Rinza.

TLTs (Teen Leadership Training program members) Kerianne Kruger and Martessa Davis, both 15 and from the Riverside Pathfinder Club of Washougal, Wash., pronounced the weekend a success. Davis says she especially liked the praise music, special teen programming and outdoor activities. Kruger’s favorite memory from the weekend was when her club  “got to canoe around the lake and sing.”

A fan-made Pathfinder website says that “being at camporee is like being in heaven.” If that’s true, Rinza and the coordinator team brought a piece of heaven to Pathfinders young and old this September.

“We don’t differentiate between kids and staff,” says Rinza. “Once you’re a Pathfinder, you’re a Pathfinder forever.”

Featured in: November 2015