The record-breaking baptism of 1,311 people at the 2019 Chosen International Pathfinder Camporee is something to celebrate! Organizers were anticipating that up to 1,000 would get baptized, but these numbers exceed expectations.
In addition to breaking records for baptisms at a single event in North America, the camporee will go also into the record books —the Guinness Book of World Records to be exact — as two attempts at world records at the 2019 camporee held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, appear to be successful.
Human Cross Shape
More than 13,300 attendees participated in creating the largest human cross shape. Each person wore a blue paper hoodie as they were funneled into the roped-off shape in front of the Chosen stage. Creating the cross shape took more than one hour. Once the shape was closed, and the people counted, the number totaled 13,310.
The number to beat was 13,266, set in March 2011 in the Philippines. Participants stood in formation for five minutes as auditors using RFID (radio frequency identification) mats verified the number and drone images confirmed the shape. Guinness World Records adjudicator Michael Empric verified the cross results. Empric explained that everyone in the shape must have on the same color on their torso and head. “Once that happens, everyone goes into the formation,” he said. “And once everyone is in formation, I’ll check the footage from the drone to make sure it is a large human cross. Then the group must stand in formation for five minutes.”
The auditors confirmed the number of people in the formation, the shape was held for five minutes in the oppressive summer heat, and the results were verified.
Neckerchief and Woggle
The first is the largest scarf and slide (called neckerchief and woggle). Fashioned in the traditional yellow fabric, the master guide scarf measures 300 feet by 150 feet, and weighs about 800 pounds. Pathfinders in Texas created the scarf; the shield for the slide was designed by Arkansas-Louisiana Conference church members, and measures about 10 feet tall and weighs about 500 pounds. On Aug. 16, the scarf and slide were hoisted up on a giant frame near the Chosen stage.
Lindsey Gendke, a writer from the Texas Conference, reported that Marilyn Boismier, Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Pathfinder coordinator; Ruben Albarran, Texas Conference North Dallas-area Pathfinder coordinator; and Lloyd Clapp, retired Arkansas-Louisiana Conference Pathfinder director, worked out the logistics for the enormous undertaking.
“This project appealed to me,” Boismier said in Gendke’s Facebook article, “because I like to make things, and I like math; the design was an exercise in math.” Both the scarf and slide were completed in stages and consisted of separate, smaller projects to put them together.
The process required a group effort, with an average of seven to 10 people per day helping in what Boismier describes as an “assembly line” to pin and sew the 64 pieces of poly-cotton, which amounted to approximately 800 pounds (360 kilograms) of fabric.
Gendke reported that the project was started in April 2019 and was finished at Celebration Park in Allen, Texas, on Sunday, July 28, where more than 100 volunteers unrolled the scarf and held it for seamstresses to stitch the final seams. The scarf was transported to the Oshkosh camporee and hung near the Chosen stage. While the neckerchief and woggle are believed to be the largest in the world, plans are underway to have the neckerchief and woggle verified by Guinness World records.