Courage to Stand International Camporee
In a matter of a couple days, the Pathfinder Camporee campground has turned from hundreds of acres of grass, to a tent city swarming with over 35,000 pathfinders from over 50 countries. Each day, Pathfinders at Oshkosh have been having a blast! Even though the morning routine can include standing in line for over an hour to take a shower, pathfinders are enjoying days packed full of activities. From going on trips to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Aircraft Museum, participating in drumming and marching competitions, being part of flag raising with a flag that requires 12 people to raise the flag, and earning honors in anything from paper quilling to small engines, model railroads to edible wild plants, there are so many things to do, even though it does seem like you have to walk miles from the campground to reach the activity area!
Another favorite activity is pin trading. It is really awesome to see the variety of pins other Pathfinders have, and to try to trade for a unique pin. Pin trading is also a really cool way to meet other Pathfinders.
There are Pathfinders from so many countries, it is really awesome meeting Pathfinders from England, Africa, and Asia, this helps us realize how worldwide Pathfinders and the Adventist church really is. Another really cool aspect of camporee is the ablity to talk with anybody about Christ. If a new friend is struggling with something, you know it is ok to stop and pray with them.
Each day ends with a special evening program which include a varied selection of music performed by Pathfinders, prayers spoken in several languages, a bible trivia time with a Pathfinder favorite, Toby the puppet, and a drama that many pathfinders say is good enough to be on Broadway. The drama is telling the story of Esther. The evening programs are such a highlight that many pathfinders get to the seating area over an hour early just to get a seat close to the stage. While there are large screens on either side of the stage, pathfinders want to come early just to get the closer seats.
Sabbath afternoon will include a pathfinder baptism that is sure to be a highlight. Some Pathfinders have been waiting for over 2 years so they could be baptized at camporee. The evening program will also conclude the story of Esther and how she saved her people. No doubt, it will be well worth waiting for!
Even though campers have to haul water from the nearest faucet, often several city blocks away, have to haul their trash and dirty water to the proper receptacles, again often several city blocks away, and stand in line for showers, which may be cold by the time they get there, it has been said more than once by Pathfinders attending this camporee, "this seems like Heaven on earth."
To watch the evening program, starting around 7:30 central time, go to www.southernunion.com and follow the camporee links.Open this summery as a pdf
Photo gallery with downloadable photos