Adventure Camporee was the best way to describe the 2023 Upper Columbia Conference Pathfinder Camporee. The weekend began as 470 Pathfinders, staff and coordinators from 21 clubs gathered at Sheridan Meadows just outside of Republic, Washington.
“This weekend wasn’t your typical gathering; it was an epic weekend of non-stop adventure and fun,” shared Richie Brower, UCC associate director for club and youth ministries. “The weekend was a great success as we tried a new format for the 2023 Pathfinder Camporee and thought that Adventure Camporee would be the most fitting way to capture this unique experience.”
Adventure Camporee was all about activities and creating experiences for the Pathfinders to build community, have fun and participate in team challenges. No meetings were in the schedule. Instead, it was designed with the idea that worship and learning were built into activities. The theme, "Puzzled," set the stage for Pathfinders to tackle the questions that perplex them the most.
“Many of our Pathfinders are at a point in their life where they are learning to find their way,” Brower explained. “They wonder if they have a place in God’s Kingdom or if they are needed in the church.”
The “Puzzled" Adventure Camporee was the perfect opportunity to help Pathfinders discover the answers to some of these questions.
The weekend’s activities included a color run, a challenging obstacle course, a fossil dig, community service and many other learning opportunities. On Sabbath, Pathfinders engaged in active learning followed by facilitated discussions about how to live out the Pathfinder pledge and law and continuing to discover where they each fit and how they contribute to the Kingdom of God.
Among the business of the weekend, one moment left everyone talking. Friday night, all 470 Pathfinders gathered in the mountain meadow under the starry skies. While sitting there admiring God’s creation, they joined in song.
“Friday night we lifted up our voices in worship,” shared Brower. “It was truly a goose bumps worship experience.”
The impact of Adventure Camporee was tangible, with 100 Pathfinders desiring to learn more about Jesus and 72 Pathfinders making a profound decision to prepare for or be baptized.