|Investiture Program Pins Master Guide Pathfinders Ages 17-77
Intentional leadership and mentoring is a strategic part of the program for the Night Hawks Pathfinders from the New Hope Church in Fulton, Md.
This Saturday, August 16, seven members of their club were invested as master guides at the “Forever Faithful” International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis.
Kiralin Francis, Night Hawks Pathfinder counselor and teen leader in training (TLT), age 17, has been in Pathfinders since age 10 and was invested as a master guide with two others her age. “Our leaders have pretty much always been Master Guides,” said Francis. “They showed lots of dedication to the club. That was really important to me when I was younger.”
Benjamin Eapn, another 17-year-old Master Guide TLT Pathfinder invested was motivated to complete the Master Guide program to catch up to his cousin, another 17-year-old master guide, TLT, Allan Mathew. Eapn wanted to be invested at Oshkosh because, “the environment of being around a bunch of other Pathfinders, 40,000 plus other kids around you, I feel like it is a bit more respected. When you are here, among your peers, they know.”
“If you just try your best you can do it,” said Eapn. “The club is pretty supportive. Age is not a boundary that we keep on kids. We have kids that are younger and we let them come on trips and teach them.”
Mathew says when he saw everyone getting pins and honors at Pathfinders when he started he was motivated and earned 20 honors his first year. “Pathfinders have been a big part of my life. My parents, they are also Pathfinders back in India, so it goes on for generations.”
Another Pathfinder who was invested with her master guide was 77 year old, Gloria Dixit from the Night Hawks. Dixit lives in both Maryland and Toronto, spending time in each location to be near family. She earned most of her Master Guide qualifications back when she attended Spicer College in India. After she had raised her children and had grandchildren she decided it was her turn. “I always wanted to do Master Guide,” said Dixit.
To complete the qualifications she had to take wilderness survival and went camping in the rain for four days. From 1979-1992 Dixit also worked with Pathfinders when her family was involved.
This is the first International Pathfinder Camporee that Dixit has attended. “Oshkosh is great. Once in a lifetime.”
All of these Master Guide candidates in one club is not accidental, according to Ann Roda, pastor at the New Hope Adventist Church, Fulton, Md. “We are intentionally incorporating into the teen leadership training the Master Guide. Already we are targeting some of our younger kids, ages 10 and 11, looking at some of their leadership potential and kind of targeting them. We can nurture them from a young age.”
Link to Pathfinder Master Guide requirements:
Battle of the Entrances: It's About Building a Kingdom
by Conna Bond
If you walk around the campgrounds at the 2014 Forever Faithful International Camporee, you may suspect that a “Battle of the Entrances” is going on, with unions, conferences, and individual Pathfinder clubs vying to build the biggest and best entrances for their club or regional campsites. It’s not really a battle, though. The entrances are open invitations to connect and interact. It’s less, “We’re here!” and more “Come in and get to know us!”
The Oklahoma Conference entrance features a massive replica of a feather headdress that reflects the rich Native American heritage of Oklahoma and its “natives” of all races. You can walk right through the headdress and into the sea of matching tents that shelter the 467 Pathfinders from Oklahoma. Each of the 17 clubs from the Oklahoma Conference has its own identifying feather from the headdress, representing both regional unity and unity in Christ.
Like many conferences from the North American Division (NAD), the Oklahoma Conference hosts Pathfinders and church dignitaries from other countries for the camporee, providing space and supplies and “putting more water in the soup,” so to speak, so others outside the NAD can more easily attend. This welcoming spirit makes it possible for many Pathfinders from around the world to participate who might otherwise be left out. This year, the Oklahoma Conference is hosting church officials and youth leaders from the Korean Union Conference.
Next door to the Oklahoma headdress is a replica of The Alamo that serves as the entrance to the Texas Conference campsite, where 4,400 Pathfinders and leaders are gathered. It took Johnathan Coker, a former student of Southwestern Adventist and Andrews Universities, between 300 and 400 hours to build the entrance out of 4-by-16-foot pieces of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), paint, and a lot of special-order glue. He worked from high-resolution photos of the actual Alamo, building it half-scale to the original.
“I tried to base everything on the original monument,” he says. Working with foam, however, imposed some limitations. “It was hard to copy the intricate carvings from the original,” he continued. “For me, it’s about aesthetics. It’s about making a statement that things that are grand and large and beautiful really matter — like beautiful churches and sanctuaries. God designed us to like things that are beautiful for a reason. Aesthetics matter to God. When we devalue aesthetics because they aren’t practical, we cut ourselves off from that part of His character that loves beautiful things.”
According to Armando Miranda, associate youth director for the Texas Conference, it’s about building other beautiful things as well. “Pathfinders is one of the most important youth evangelism programs we have in Texas,” he says. “It’s a vibrant ministry. In the past three years we’ve baptized more than 100 young people.” In essence, building beautiful entrances represents the process of building a beautiful kingdom for God.
The Potomac Conference entrance is another stand-out this year. A small army of conference volunteers came to Oshkosh ahead of time to erect a three-story, fort-like structure out of local wood and hand-lashed bamboo with an “eagle’s nest” that offers a stunning 360-degree view of the campgrounds. Harold Linzeau, area coordinator for the Potomac Conference, says the idea behind building the structure was to invite interaction with passersby. The structure provides an almost irresistible invitation to climb.
“When you’re part of a Pathfinder club,“ Linzeau says, “your world is your club. It’s all about you. Then when you get together for your regional camporees, you get a bigger view and start to realize that it’s not just about your club. And then when you climb up three stories high and see the endless number of tents stretching out all around you, representing Pathfinders and clubs literally from around the world, you’re reminded of the larger community to which you belong. We built this structure so other Pathfinders would interact with us and experience that same sense of community and worldwide belonging.”
Large or small, each club or regional sign or entrance represents an invitation to connect and to join together in building a beautiful kingdom that will last for eternity.
Photography by Rich Herard, James Bokovoy, and Bryant Taylor
Exhibits with a Mission at International Pathfinder Camporee
by Tamara Wolcott Fisher
In a world where people typically want to sell you something, there are a few booths at the “Forever Faithful” International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis., that want to share.
If one were to wander around Hangar A you would find Adventist Mission, HOPE Channel, and the Middle East and North Africa Union Mission, which each represent service opportunities for the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“We have found that most missionaries have made their decisions back when they were like eight, nine, ten years old,” said Nancy Kyte, marketing director for Adventist Mission. “We want to be here to let them know that being a missionary is a worthy career.”
Adventist Mission created a place at their exhibit where Pathfinders could come, try on hats from different parts of the world, and take a photo with their camera or phone. Another very popular exhibit booth to visit is the HOPE Channel. Instead of pin trading, HOPE Channel created a TAG hunt where participants search throughout camporee for tags from North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica; with clues from their TAG HUNTER booklet.
The Middle East and North Africa Union Mission is sharing awareness of their unique mission field to the Muslim culture and how Pathfinders can be involved. Many have painted their thumbs and imprinted the map wall that is used as a backdrop for the booth. The exhibit also invited responses on mission and want people to respond in a heart language.
Other ministry exhibits at Camporee include the Just Claim It Prayer Wall. Pathfinders can sign their name and prayer request on the wall and those working the booth for the NAD Youth Department will pray over those names and requests. They will even take your photo at their exhibit.
ADRA (Adventist Development Relief Agency) also has a ministry exhibit nearby in Hangar C. They encompass the entire back part of the facility and their goal is to educate Pathfinders that not everyone has a grocery store with packaged broccoli nearby. Their exhibit shows realities of life like how to obtain clean drinking water and the necessities of a latrine. ADRA searches out deprivation, social injustice, and need – and then works to eliminate them.
Adventist World Radio (AWR) has an exhibit at camporee for the very first time. They really wanted to broaden their awareness, says Shelley Nolan Freesland, communication director for AWR. Their exhibit is outside near the hangars and consists of a rock climbing wall and a tent where people can take a quiz to learn more about AWR.
Freesland added, “We are glad to get exposure and the chance to talk to people about AWR. Between short wave and our FM stations we have the potential to reach three quarters of the world's population, in nearly 100 languages. Our podcast system is available at AWR.com and on iTunes. Apparently, we are the biggest provider of content on iTunes.”
Photography by Brent Hardinge
Shofar Help Pathfinders Pause, Remember to Pray
by V. Michelle Bernard
It was 8:40 a.m. and 17-year-old David Nazaire realized he didn’t have his shofar. He ran straight across the massive campground and returned to a hangar to meet his club, the Hackettstown/Rockaway Guardians from New Jersey, at 8:58 a.m., just in time.
Each day during the Forever Faithful International Camporee at 9 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. Nazaire and hundreds of others scattered around the campground play a shofar, alerting the people around him that it is time to pray.
Playing the shofar is hard says Nazaire, a trumpet-player who says he’s learned the trick, to blow it from the side of his lip. “It just takes practice," he says.
Nazaire’s pastor, Jorge Coxaj, gave him and two of his friends shofars at the beginning of the camporee and asked them to play it three times a day.
Coxaj explains that in the Bible the shofar was made from the horns of animals sacrificed. “Every time it was played it reminded the people of the animal that died to take their place, which they all understood was Christ. … I gave them the shofar and told them to play it… to remind the people to stop and pray at those times.”
Each Pathfinder Club at the event was given a shofar, and campers enjoy the daily reminders they bring.
Landon Mercer, a 10-year-old member of Capitol City Ambassador Pathfinder club from Olympia, Wash. had a chance to play the shofar and says that playing it is harder than playing the trumpet, but he likes it because it’s loud. And he likes loud things.
Opal Singer, one of Mercer’s counselors likes that the shofar reminds people to pray, because “we don’t do it often enough,” she says. “God is often placed on the back burner, but this brings Him back to the front again. “
Marybel Vega, the treasurer/secretary of the San Diego South Bay Believers says hearing the horns has helped a lot. “When I hear it I walk and pray,” she says. “There is so much going on day by day, you need somebody to remind you to stop, but when you do hear it (the shofar), it is a blessed moment,” says Vega. “I wish I had it every day.”
Photography by V. Michelle Bernard
Quote of the Day:
Joel Gonzalez, from the Carson Spanish Club in Carson, California, isn't worried about the prospect of rain on the last day of the camporee, "Let it come, because I love running in rain."
Sofia Hanapin (r) and her teammates from the Loma Linda Filipino church and Pathfinder Club, Pacific Union, prepare to take the drill floor for the drill team competition on Thursday afternoon at the 2014 Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee, Oshkosh, Wis. Photo Credit: JeNean Johnson.
From left: Ellen Igamen, Ella Zerne, Justin Buenviaje and Janelle Buenviaje, from the Trinity church, Covina, Calif., in Southern California Conference, Pacific Union, play praise songs on the guitar and ukelele at the 2014 Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee, Oshkosh, Wis. Photo Credit: JeNean Johnson.
Isaac Cortazar, from the Warriors of God club from the Spanish New Haven Church in Conn., Southern New England Conference, Atlantic Union, peeks out of his tent to get ready to go with his club to the YMCA off-site activity at the 2014 Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee, Oshkosh, Wis. Photo Credit: JeNean Johnson.
Pathfinders await to march as they hold up this large American Flag on Friday at the 2014 Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee, Oshkosh, Wis. Photo Credit: Terrence Bowen
Mid-America Union Baptism at the 2014 Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee. Photo Credit: Rich Herard
Recently baptized Pathfinders release balloons during the Sabbath service at the Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis. Photo Credit: Rich Herard