Opening night ceremonies include fireworks at the 2019 Chosen International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Photo by James Bokovoy
Nail gun staccato punctures the evening quiet as Pathfinder Club camporee entrances are built at campsites. The gentle hum of generators near RVs and tents blend with night sounds of the outdoors. The purr and whirr of golf carts traversing campsites on roads soon to be limited to only pedestrian traffic break the quiet as gates and barricades for safety are erected. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Wisconsin, home of the beloved “Oshkosh Camporee” since 1999, would not be quiet for long.
The night before many of the more than 55,000 arrive at the 2019 Chosen International Pathfinder Camporee stands nearly quiet, in stark contrast to the intervening days of drill drum corps playing along walkways, rambunctious pin traders looking to find and trade for “super rare” pins, and youth cooling off under shady trees and on water slides.
Honors and other fun activities in the hangar area (think Pathfinder museum, virtual reality action at the Adventist Review Ministries tent, and a giant dinosaur
and potato), camp stages, festive food court, nightly programs beginning with baptisms, and Compassion projects and off-site activity buses rolling through bus areas make for a lively campus. These all lead up to the closing program of the camporee, which includes a rousing song service, energetic evening speaker Damian Chandler, the Adventist ventriloquist Ryan and Lily act, the conclusion of the dramatic live-action David play (with a camel and live sheep on stage!), a 20-minute (or more) fireworks display, and the big reveal of the 2024 theme, “Believe the Promise.” Busy and bustling is an understatement!
Streams of tired and happy campers trek back to their sites. Tents come down, lines of buses exit, roads still. By Sunday afternoon only muddy trails and memories are left.
Here (scroll below) are a few photo highlights from the event before the quiet again came to the fields of the EAA. These are small glimpses into the massive event, where Jesus took center stage, along with His “chosen” youth.
The Bike for Life group arrives at the camporee on Tuesday, Aug. 13. The group from the Carolina Conference cycled more than 800 miles to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, to attend the 2019 Chosen International Pathfinder Camporee. Photo by James Bokovoy Thanks to a miracle from generous donors, New Change for Youth Pathfinder club from Kansas City, Kansas, participating in the parade on Aug. 14, was able to attend the 2019 Chosen International Pathfinder Camporee. Club director, Anna Coridan, is pictured on the right. Photo by Anthony White Allegheny East Pathfinders participate in the drum corps drill competition at the 2019 Chosen International Camporee. Photo by Stephen Baker The Plantation Seventh-day Adventist Church (Fla.) Pathfinder drum corps drill team participates in the competition at the 2019 Chosen camporee. On Aug. 14, 2019, a Pathfinder Club lowers the U.S. Flag at the Chosen International Camporee held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Photo by Terrence Bowen Pastor Michael Campos baptizes Kryslyn Maldonado, a Pathfinder from the Hinsdale Fil-Am Seventh-day Adventist Church (Ill.) during the 2019 Oshkosh camporee where a record-breaking total of 1,311 were baptized. Photo by Dan Weber A Northeastern Conference Pathfinder is baptized by their pastor at the 2019 International Pathfinder Camporee. Photo by Sonja Hults James Bokovoy, pastor of the Okmulgee Seventh-day Adventist Church in Oklahoma, baptizes a teen Pathfinder from his district. Photo by Terrence Bowen Two Pathfinders from the Wichita South Lightbearers (Kansas) club hand a Guide magazine to an Oshkosh resident during the Project Chosen activity. Photo by Kimberly Luste Maran Pathfinders from different clubs team up to learn new skills as they completely remove the old carpet at Father Carr’s Food Pantry in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Other members of this outreach group helped fix air conditioners at the facility’s women’s shelter. Photo by Mylon Medley Ivana (left) and Melissa Rojas help remove old carpeting from Father Carr's Food Pantry in Oshkosh, Wis., during a Compassion outreach project during the 2019 Chosen International Pathfinder camporee. The twins are regional and national Pathfinder leaders in Paraguay. Photo by Kimberly Luste Maran An eye exam is performed during the 2019 Oshkosh camporee. On Thursday, Aug. 15, Lake Union Conference health director Randy Griffin coordinated a health clinic at Oshkosh's Menominee Nation Arena, which offered free dental and eye care to more than 60 people. The team was able to provide dental extractions, eye exams, and prescription glasses. Photo by Sonja Hults This first time donor joins many Pathfinders, club leaders, and other attendees in donating at an onsite blood drive near the EAA hangers at the 2019 Chosen International Camporee in Wisconsin. While not an official Compassion Project at the camporee, these Pathfinders show compassion to fellow attendees by offering free hugs near the main stage. Photo by Terrence Bowen A group of Pathfinders pose for a photo between activities at the 2019 Chosen International Camporee. Photo by Sonja Hults During the three-day Top Club Chef competition at the 2019 Chosen International Camporee, Pathfinder Club cooks prepared dishes such as this one using special ingredients and themes. Photo by Ben Dalusong, Jr. At the 2019 Oshkosh camporee, Flor Dominguez of the Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church in Texas leads her horse to the water. Photo by Terrence Bowen Adventist Review Ministries offered a unique, high-tech experience to Pathfinders at the 2019 Chosen International Camporee with a virtual reality Bible game and specialized David and Goliath Chosen pins. Here, Daryl Gundadoo shows a teen how to use the VR headset.
Upper Columbia Conference (Wash.) Pathfinders Calvin Lokko (right, running), and Sammy Scruggs (right, piggybacking) were the first ones to cross the finish line at the 2019 camporee's world record attempt for the largest piggyback race. Photo by Anthony White
Pathfinders from Moldova run with flag before an evening program at the 2019 Chosen International Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. During the camporee, several groups from a variety of countries jogged the perimeter with their flags waving each evening. Photo by James Bokovoy At the 2019 Pathfinder camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, clubs participated in several tournaments, including golf, basketball, and soccer. Here, two teams play in a soccer game in the tournament. Photo by Sonja Hults During a rainy morning on Aug. 16, 2019, Pathfinders such as this boy, spent some time swimming (and sliding) at the local YMCA in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Photo by Sonja Hults Future Pathfinder Katie O'Ffill from the Beltsville Buckaroos Adventurer Club (Maryland), enjoys the 2019 Chosen International Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Photo by Sonja Hults More than 55,000 attend the Sabbath program at the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on Aug. 17, 2019. EAA has hosted the international camporee since 1999. Photo by Anthony White During the evening program at the 2019 Chosen camporee, the Maharlika Pathfinder Club from the Ontario Conference, Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, performs before a crowd of more than 55,000. Photo by J. Courtney Herod During the opening evening program of the 2019 Oshkosh camporee, hosts Bree (left) and Chelsea interact with Ryan Bomgardner, Christian ventriloquist, and Lilly, his puppet, on the Chosen stage. Photo by James Bokovoy Pastor Damian Chandler, evening speaker for the 2019 Chosen International Pathfinder Camporee, addresses more than 55,000 attendees, telling them they are "chosen" by God. Photo by James Bokovoy Saul praises God in the 2019 Chosen play David, performed nightly during the camporee held Aug. 13-17. Photo by Stephen Baker During the 2019 Chosen International Camporee evening play, Samuel asks for the Lord's blessings on young David, the shepherd boy who would one day be the Israelite king. Photo by Anthony White Thousands of Pathfinders wave their cell phone lights as they sing the 2019 International Camporee theme song "Chosen." Roger and Ariel Lantigua, brothers from the Bowman Hills Pathfinder Club in Cleveland, Tennessee, won the theme song contest for the 2019 Chosen International Pathfinder Camporee. Photo by James Bokovoy