Image Credit: Anthony White

Let's Go: NPUC Camporee — Day Two

Day two of the North Pacific Union Pathfinder Camporee in Kalispell, Montana, started out very foggy, which was understandable considering the amount of rain that fell the previous day.

As the sun rose higher, the fog burned off and Pathfinders and Adventurers walked with more bounce in their step. No more rain! An answer to prayer for Isaac, who posted his request for "no more rain" on the prayer wall.

The Adventurers had a surprise guest this morning. Smokey Bear and a ranger showed up! He high-fived several of the kids. The ranger asked questions about fire safety because the Adventurers are learning to be Junior Rangers. One of the boys responded to the question, “What do you do with your fire when you’re all done roasting marshmallows?” with the correct response: pour water on it until it’s completely out.

Honor rotations continued today. Many are self-guided, allowing Pathfinders to earn several honors in a short period of time. Each honor had a monitor or teacher who checked answers. One of the new honors being piloted was created by Kelly Jones. He has worked with dams for the past six years and was encouraged by Luke Torquato to develop an honor on dams and hydroelectricity. The honor took a few years to develop, and this camporee finally gave him the opportunity to pilot it. While Jones didn’t grow up with Pathfinders, he has been involved with them as a staff member.

Aubrey from St. Maries Seekers Pathfinder Club did the Search and Rescue honor. She said she was doing all the pilot honors to make sure that there was enough participation for them to be considered as new honors in the North American Division. Sierra from the Salem Pioneers Pathfinder Club also did the Search and Rescue honor and found it interesting that she could help determine someone’s condition (if that person were lost or injured). She learned to check if she could help or if she should call for emergency services.

Janelle, from Fort Vancouver Pathfinder Club, took the Creationism honor. She said she learned that after the flood, all the animals and fish left the ark once the water went away.

Basic Rescue is an honor that teaches Pathfinders skills to help people in emergency situations and possibly save lives. Rio Gustin taught the honor, with Brennan and Brylie Jarnes assisting. They said that a person could die if they are endangered and don't get the right assistance.

Bradley and Zach from Sandpoint Northern Lights Pathfinder Club took the Land Survey pilot honor. Once they complete it and it gets accepted as a new honor, they will get a special patch for being part of the piloting process.

The Tombstones honor is another being piloted at the camporee. Emma from Cascade Eagles Pathfinder Club said it was interesting to learn about the different materials used to make tombstones and see the variety of epitaphs engraved on them.

Did you know there is a Hot Air Balloon honor? Seth from Yakima Braves Pathfinder Club made a small one out of tissue paper and it flew, but needed modifications. He discovered a small hole and patched it.

Rocks and Minerals was an honor tailor-made for Cameo from East Salem Wildcats Pathfinder Club. She said she has a big rock collection and enjoyed the fact that others were as interested in rocks as she is.

Serena from Scappoose Pathfinder Club did the Palouse honor. She didn’t know there was such an environment. What she really liked was how beautiful a Palouse is with all the rolling hills.

Sandpoint Northern Lights Pathfinder Club went to Lawrence Park and spread mulch on the trails as a service project this morning. They did their part to leave Kalispell better than they found it, which is an unofficial motto of Pathfinders. Several other clubs left their mark on Kalispell as well.

Lunchtime brought a variety of foods to clubs. Kalispell Glacier Chasers Pathfinder Club had pizza. Others had sandwiches, chips and fruit. Another had burgers. Coordinators from Idaho Conference had veggie dogs in blankets. Hats off to the cooks for each club — feeding kids of various ages and the adults that support them is a monumental task.

Camping in inclement weather also had its challenges. Some clubs stayed warm and dry. Others had equipment malfunctions — tents that flooded, air mattresses that didn’t keep air, kids that slept right next to the edge of the tent and got wet and more. Some made trips to the laundromat to dry sleeping bags and clothes. In the true spirit of Pathfinders, they rolled with the inconveniences.

Afternoon activities included the indoor venues: Wildlife Bear Show, Creation Show, the Pathfinder Museum and the Camporee Store. Mr. Dillon from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks department came to share about bears and bear safety today. Sam from Wheatland Coyotes Pathfinder Club said he really enjoyed the bear spray video and thought the grizzly bear skull on the table was interesting as it could open. While he already knew a lot about bears, he was interested in learning the differences between black bears and grizzly bears.

Wendy Wolfswinkel da Silva began a project of having every club sign or be listed on Pathfinder flags back in 2004. She is now up to three flags. Her flags were displayed first in the expo building, and then moved into the nightly program building for the weekend. Many Pathfinders tried to find their club name on one of the flags.

Outside activities continued with the addition of a dunk tank. It didn’t rain today, but it wasn’t exactly warm and sunny, either. A long line of Pathfinders and staff waited to dunk the latest victim. An obstacle course included a tire run, large round bales of hay to climb and run across, a log walk and a tube to crawl through.

Two other popular activities were human foosball and the cave maze. During human foosball, players held onto a PVC pipe on a rope. They had to try to help their team make a goal without letting go of the pipe. The cave maze was brought by Oregon Conference, who converted their semi-truck trailer into four mazes, ranging in skill level from easy to very difficult. Most of the kids were lined up for the two more difficult mazes.

Malea from a local 4-H club brought animals to show the Pathfinders. Her two sheep, horse named Ranji, Nigerian/Alpine hybrid milking goat named Peaches, and Peaches' two kids all met the Pathfinders inside the fence and were happy to be pet or pose for a photo.

The Big Show, which had been canceled due to rain on day one, was rescheduled for day two. Bert and Frannie Davis and The Muttley Crew presented a dog show and rodeo. They showed how they taught their dogs to barrel race. Four dogs ran, two at a time.

Bert then invited two boys and two girls to run the barrels. The corral was quite muddy and thick, and while it was not soupy, it did make it difficult to run. Malachi, from Wheatland Coyotes Pathfinder club, was the fastest. Bert then pitted Malachi against Glory, one of the dogs. It was close, and they both turned the last barrel about the same time. Glory looked over to see how close Malachi was on her tail as he kicked it into high gear right across the finish line.

The Grand Parade began at the south end of the fairground. Every club marched in the parade toward the nightly program building. They marched in their Class A uniforms and, if they didn’t have those uniforms yet, in their field uniforms. It was a great way to welcome the Sabbath. More singing, more Mountain Man and more on God’s friendship with Abraham engaged the Pathfinders on Friday evening.

Growing a friendship with your best buddies is the work of a lifetime, just as a friendship with God takes a lifetime. Friends work on doing good or nice things for each other. Ron Whitehead, executive director of the International Pathfinder Camporee, talked about traps to avoid in developing friendships, and shared that avoiding those traps applies equally to friendship with God.

Daily Recap Videos

Watch this collection of recap videos from Friday at the camporee.

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Watch this collection of recap videos from Friday at the NPUC Pathfinder Camporee in Kalispell, Montana.


Here is a small collection of photos from the second day, Friday.

Full collection of photos


Eve Rusk

Idaho Conference communication director