Pin Trading Brings Conversation, Fun, and Memories
By Tamara Wolcott Fisher
Pathfinders at the “Forever Faithful” International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis., cannot go anywhere without someone approaching and asking if they want to trade pins. The exact number of pins traded is unknown but the passion for trading is very visible.
Steve Durant, with the Timberwolves Pathfinder Club from Westminster, Md., says, “Pin trading allows you to meet new people that you don’t really know even if the relationship only lasts for a few seconds.” Durant came to the camporee with 20 pins but has traded for many more.
“Esther” Jung Kyue Young, from Korea, is the director of the Oseo Pathfinder club. She makes friends by trading pins and even gave out 100 fortune bags to new friends. She plans to go home and give the pins to her club.
“The pin trading secret is to make sure the other person walks away happy with the trade,” said Don Adams, Pathfinder director of the Edmond, Okla. club.
Some of the most sought after pins to trade at camporee include: the Pacific Union Conference pin that opens with a panoramic view; a trio set of badges from Potomac Conference; and the Beltsville, Md. Bronco white horse pin.
Pathfinders not only trade pins but they can also purchase them from The Pin King booth in hangar A. Pins cost from $6-$10, and they sell about 60 different pins, many as sets. Mark Miosi, who owns an audio/visual business, owns the booth and loves to design and sell pins. In 1999, Miosi attended camporee and fell in love with pin trading. In 2004, he opened The Pin King booth and has been back every camporee. Miosi advises which pins have more value: pins from this year’s camporee; a basic pin that has extras dangles, spinner and/or blinkies; and limited edition, staff only pins.
Pathfinders can also earn a Pin Trading Honor sponsored by the Georgia-Cumberland Conference. There is a list of 14 requirements including: what pins can be worn on your Pathfinder uniform or sash, what are the three “F”s of pin trading, and make trade pins with 10 different people, eight of which must new friends.
For Igor Tsvetkov, staff member with the Patterson Redeemers Pathfinders from Richmond, Va., pins are sentimental. “If you want to meet a lot of other people and spend time with people from other countries, you have got to do pin trading. It’s easy to talk to people when you have pins to trade.”
Jennifer Robles, counselor for Pleasant Grove Mensajeros from the Dallas, Texas, says, “Whenever you walk by, from camp to camp, you just hear these different languages mixing in. The commons words are pin trading or pins. It is a blessing to meet all these new friends, we are all connected by our love for God and it is fun.”
Luis Alvarez and Elvin Armenta, with the Kansas City, Mo., Alpha Omega Pathfinder Club, are first time pin traders who really enjoy meeting others. Alvarez said, “I traded the first day for a big New York pin, the guy was leaving and did not want to trade, but I walked with him and he traded it to me.”
Armenta said, “I think it will be really cool to have all those pins on my Pathfinder uniform. It will be cool to show that I went to Oshkosh and traded pins.”
Eric Serpas, Northshore Stars, in Ill., traded his rare guitars for a rarer still fourth pin to the Potomac Conference badges. “My advice on pin trading, it is not about getting a collection because everyone wants it. If there is something that you like, just get that. Don’t go with the crowd.”
Photography by Bryant Taylor and Brent Hardinge
Pathfinders Touch Hearts, Help Community
By V. Michelle Bernard
|Pathfinders from the Fredericksburg, Va. Patriots; Orange, Va. Prayer Warriors; and the Colorado Golden Eagles from Arvada, Colo.; with Telinda Wilson, Salvation Army. Photo Credit: Bryant Taylor
In between pin-trading, earning honors, and exploring the massive exhibit halls of the Forever Faithful International Camporee, more than 60 Pathfinders piled into a yellow bus Thursday morning, headed for the Salvation Army Community Center in Fond du Lac.
The outing was one of the many community service events planned during the camporee. Other clubs spent the morning making arts and crafts with children at the Neenah Public Library, cleaning up the Winneconne Lake shore, volunteering at the Lutheran Homes and Health Services in Fond Du Luc, among other projects.
But at the Salvation Army Community Center, clubs from Colorado, Virginia and New York pulled weeds, cleaned windows, loaded boxes into trucks and packed lunches. The tasks may seem menial, but they mean a lot to the Salvation Army staff.
The Fredericksburg Patriots from Virginia, unloaded a truck full of seasonal supplies for Michael Detert, thrift store manager, saving his staff almost two hours of work.
The Orange Prayer Warriors, also from Virginia, pulled weeds and washed windows, finishing tasks that would take a Salvation Army staffer more than four hours, says Connie Millard, community development director.
“As the weeds grow people would walk past and wonder if things are okay, is there life happening there,” says Millard about their need for help cleaning up the facility.
“They took what would have taken hours for staff and allowed us to do what we need to do and still make it (our office) beautiful,” she says. “It shows our neighbors we are here and care,” says Millard.
But these service projects do more than help the community, they help the pathfinders live out their faith.
David Skrowbowski, a TLT in the Oakwood Knights Pathfinder club in Taylor, Mich.’s club helped clean up the grounds of the Lutheran Homes and Health Services in Fond du Lac.
“As Christians our ultimate goal over everything is serving others, which is ultimately serving Christ in the end,” he says.
Exploring Oshkosh Cuisine with President Jackson
Watch as Dan Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, visits the food vendors at the Forever Faithful International Camporee, held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. http://vimeo.com/103553429
Quote of the Day:
"I try to be the king of bling," said Dan Jackson, North American Division president, when humorously referring to pin trading.
Deputy Nicla, of the Winnebago County Sheriff's office, with Elliot the Eagle, mascot for Mount Ellis Academy in Bozeman, Mont. Photo Credit: Brent Hardinge
Derrick Jones, pumps out pushups for his club Glenville Superstars in the Fit for Life Challenge. Photo Credit: Bryant Taylor
Pathfinders from the Central California Conference, Pacific Union, march in a parade at the 2014 FFIC in Oshkosh Wis. Photo credit: James Bokovoy
Chet Miller of the Lakwe Pathfinder Club, holds up the Marshall Islands flag as a way of gathering the eight members of his club for the beginning of the August 14, 2014 Forever Faithful International Camporee evening program. The club traveled more than 20 hours by plane to get to the Camporee, held on the grounds of the Experimental Aviation Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Daniel Weber
Brian Robak, playing King Nebuchadnezzar in the Forever Faithful drama production at the International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis. Photo Credit: James Bokovoy Photography
The Pathfinder parade is reflected in a perfectly polished helmet as clubs walk along a parade route at the 2014 FFIC, in Oshkosh, Wis. Photo Credit: James Bokovoy
L to R: Southern Union triplets Jared, Faith, and Gabriel Maksound are baptized at the Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis. They are the first in their family to be baptized. Photo Credit: Rich Herard
Southern Union Baptism at the 2014 Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee. Photo Credit: Rich Herard