Day three of the 2022 North Pacific Union Pathfinder Camporee started bright and early for the clubs that wanted to go to Glacier National Park. It was National Park Day and entrance into the park was free.
Golden Eagles Pathfinder Club were among the clubs that left at 5 a.m. with sack breakfasts and lunches packed.
Nampa Zephyrs Pathfinder Club had a more reasonable time of 7:30 a.m. set for their departure from the Northwest Montana Fairgrounds. They stopped at the Glacier National Park sign for an obligatory photo.
Their first planned stop was the Logan Pass Visitor Center. The parking lot was full, so drivers dropped off kids and staff at the center. The three vehicles that brought the club ended up finding parking two off-road parking areas away.
Golden Eagles and Sandpoint Northern Lights Pathfinder Clubs had already finished their hikes when Nampa Zephyrs Pathfinder Club arrived. Golden Eagles Pathfinder Club was headed to St. Mary Lake, and Sandpoint Northern Lights Pathfinder Club headed up to the Continental Divide sign for a group photo.
Once everyone was assembled, some of the group decided to hike to the Hidden Lake Outlook, a 1.5-mile one-way hike, mostly uphill on wooden boardwalks. Along the way, other clubs passed by. Sunnyside Spanish Exploradores de Jesus Pathfinder Club hiked all the way to the outlook sporting their bright orange hoodies.
Cascadia Eagles Pathfinder Club also made the trek to the outlook and said the view was fantastic. Wheatland Coyotes Pathfinder Club also made the hike. When asked, most of the kids admitted to taking selfies! Some clubs did more strenuous hikes at other locations.
Nampa Zephyrs Pathfinder Club turned around and went back to Avalanche Creek for lunch. After lunch, they hiked the trail to the Cedars, an easy, accessible hike that all could do.
Puyallup Pioneers Pathfinder Club went to Flathead Lake. They enjoyed kayaking and swimming. Of course, since kids had paddles in hand, a splash war ensued.
Otis Orchards Pathfinder Club went to Glacier and saw a grizzly bear. They even had video to prove it! Members of the Boise Ponderosa Pathfinder Club also saw the grizzly bear.
Tacoma Central God’s Northern Lights club also went to Glacier. They had a great time and skipped stones on one of the lakes. They hiked and had lunch, too.
One very special thing that happened in Glacier was the baptism of two Pathfinders. That’s what Pathfinder Camporees are all about!
Back at the fairgrounds, Montana Wild Wings gave a demonstration on birds. They showed a variety of falcons, hawks and owls. The volunteers shared that the birds they brought with them were on loan from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and are unable to be released into the wild due to the injuries sustained.
According to the presentation, 90% of the birds brought to them are injured due to being struck by a vehicle. Several of the bird species have been or are endangered. Breeding programs release breeding pairs in many places, including urban settings. They have rescued 13 bald eagles so far this year. Since the eagle has a 6-foot wingspan, they couldn’t bring one into the auditorium.
Clubs gathered for supper and then prepared to come to the nightly program. Idaho clubs assisted with a flag burning. When a flag has become too worn to be flown, the special ceremony is initiated to respectfully retire the flag. Pathfinders joined in singing “God Bless America” as the flag was being burned.
Ron Whitehead, executive director of the International Pathfinder Camporee, extended an invitation to the Pathfinders to choose Jesus to be their friend, just like Abraham. Some recommitted to Jesus, and others wanted to be baptized at some point in the future.
While Pathfinders is a lot of fun, that fun wraps around experiencing Jesus. Without that emphasis, Pathfinders would be just another youth group. Pathfinders is all about giving youth opportunities to experience and choose Jesus as their friend.
Some clubs packed up and left after the nightly program, especially those with a long way to travel. Others plan to leave Sunday morning.
Even though day one’s weather was a total washout, the "Let’s Go" NPUC Pathfinder Camporee 2022 was a great experience. Looking back, Pathfinders and Adventurers were able to learn a lot, earn honors and awards and get to know kids from other clubs and conferences. Many staff and Pathfinders were able to experience Glacier National Park for the first time as well.
One of the people responsible for maintaining the facilities (like restrooms) said that this group was a pleasure to serve. The kids were polite and respectful of the grounds. They asked, “May I have more toilet paper?” The restrooms were the cleanest ones fairground personnel have had to clean. In the end, our Pathfinders and Adventurers made a positive impact on Kalispell.
Daily Recap Videos
Watch this collection of recap videos from Sabbath at the camporee.