Image Credit: Heidi Baumgartner

Volunteers Lead Youth Upward and Onward

In the back of the auditorium at Washington Conference’s Pathfinder Fair and Camporee, a young girl with her arms wide open ran up to a volunteer Pathfinder leader and wrapped her in a giant hug. The young girl had been part of one Pathfinder club previously and was now in a new club. She joyfully greeted her Pathfinder leader who had made her feel so special.

Throughout a year of waiting for a new youth ministries director, Washington Conference area coordinators and volunteer leaders stepped up to fill a leadership gap to continue providing quality spiritual programming and life mentoring for Adventurer and Pathfinder clubs.

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church is predominantly run by volunteers,” noted Doug Bing, Washington Conference president. “The well-organized work of our youth ministries volunteers this year showcased their great passion and value for nurturing and mentoring youth. We had some of the highest numbers of young people in attendance as a result. I’m proud of our area coordinators for the service and leadership they provided.”

The area coordinators — Jim and Christel Field, Kelvin Wallin, Arthur Clemencia, Herb and Dawn Hainey, Angela Langley, Pedro Santiago and Rosalba Arevalo — adopted a divide-and-conquer mindset to coordinate annual events, attend induction and investiture ceremonies, track monthly club data, support club needs, guide Pathfinder Bible Experience and plan a joint fair and camporee experience.

Arevalo, for example, focused on planning an Adventurer family retreat with high attendance to help families with children ages 4–9 learn and grow in their knowledge of God’s amazing creation.

The team worked together for the culminating event of the year: Pathfinder Fair and Camporee at Sunset Lake Camp.

“We called our camporee for 2023 the self-service camporee,” said Kelvin Wallin, Pathfinder Bible Experience coordinator. “The Pathfinders are putting together the program themselves from positioning chairs, to participating in the program, to leading activities and more.”

“Our camporee was a little unique this year because it was our first year to plan it exclusively,” added Clemencia, Rainier Valley area coordinator. “We had a very good turnout with 496 registered Pathfinders representing 21 clubs plus more who showed up.”

The theme adopted by Pathfinder leaders represented their commitment to spiritual growth and development.

“Our theme this year was Upward and Onward — upward in accepting God’s grace and onward in sharing Jesus’ love,” Wallin said. “We want to welcome everyone to Pathfinders. We are here to share Jesus’ love.”


Area coordinator Rosalba Arevalo, right in yellow, stands with one of her clubs, Lynnwood Sailors, before the Pathfinder Fair parade.

Heidi Baumgartner

Washington Conference Pathfinder area coordinators call out their clubs for a special roll call at this year's Pathfinder Fair & Camporee.

Heidi Baumgartner

Featured in: July/August 2023