Pathfinder Camporee Goes Digital

October 15, 2020 | Youth | Jay Wintermeyer

More than 660 participants gathered virtually for the North Pacific Union Conference Pathfinder Camporee, Sept. 18–20, 2020. Pathfinders from Barrow, Alaska; Caldwell, Idaho; Everett, Washington; Gladstone, Oregon; Spokane Valley, Washington; and Whitehall, Montana — as well as many other locations — joined together for a weekend of inspiration, camaraderie and activities.

Pathfinders participated as entire clubs camping outdoors for the weekend in their local area, as units or as family groups.

The camporee featured four livestream programs that focused on the theme of "Remember." A unionwide Sabbath afternoon activity and two teen café meetings on Zoom videoconferencing rounded out the weekend. The focus of the weekend centered on remembering God's leading of our church and our families in the past and drawing courage from those stories to press into the uncertainties we face today. God is still a present help!

Speakers included Tobin Dodge, Alaska Conference club ministries director; David Salazar, Washington Conference club ministries director; Randy Hill, Oregon Conference associate youth director; and Richie Brower, Upper Columbia Conference associate youth director. The four speakers were each given a theme to speak on but did not plan their talks together — but you wouldn't have known that by listening. Although everyone shared in their own unique way, each message connected perfectly to the others. This stayed true even for parting thoughts by Rob Lang, NPUC youth director, who prerecorded his talk days ahead of the event. It sounded as though he had already heard the other messages. For some, this felt like further confirmation the Holy Spirit was leading throughout the event.

All six North Pacific Union conferences were invited to share video clips prayers, and greetings during the virtual camporee. This allowed Pathfinders from each conference to see "their people" in the livestreams. During the livestream programs, a live chat allowed participants to interact with each other and the chat hosts.

A "weekend in review" video featured pictures of Pathfinders participating in the weekend event around the NPUC. These photos were uploaded to a Google photo album.

Across the Northwest, Pathfinder and youth leaders have formed a tight bond of friendship through the years. Upper Columbia Conference was planning a virtual camporee, and a colleague reached out to ask, "Would you be open to doing this together?" What ensued was a unionwide invitation to the other conferences to participate in the virtual camporee. Initially started as a local effort became a unionwide virtual experience that blessed hundreds of youth.