Pathfinder & Adventurer Camporee

Nevada-Utah Conference Hosts Pathfinder & Adventurer Family Camporee

By Darriel Hoy, NUC Youth Director

They left their cell phones in the city, forgot about fast food for a few days, and ditched their digital devices for the outdoors. They pitched their tents, rolled out their sleeping bags, and set up camp under the sun, moon, and stars. They participated in arts & crafts activities, practiced outdoors survival skills, paced with precision for drill competition, and paraded through the park to begin Sabbath worship. “They” are the Nevada-Utah Conference Pathfinder and Adventurer families. Over 450 children, teens, and adults enjoyed a weekend of worship and fellowship at Fort Buenaventura Park in Ogden, Utah. Daily activities for Adventurers included singing, science projects, art & crafts, and games. Pathfinders participated in marching and drilling exhibitions, orienteering races, camp fire afterglow, and team building games.

The Provo L.A.M.B.S (Living As My Bible Says) Adventure Club pose for a photo before heading to Friday’s morning activities at the NUC Camporee at Fort Buenaventura in Ogden, Utah. Photo credit: Brissa Castillo

Themed “Follow The Leader”, the four-day camporee focused on discipleship.  Each of the camporee speakers – pastors Ryan Hablitzel, Dan Hilasca, Mario Navarro, Jr., Chad Dickens, Carlos Camacho, and Darriel Hoy – spoke with a different style and from a different Bible text but all of the speakers underscored the importance of a love relationship with God. “Yes, a big part of camporee is camping, honors, drill, friendships, and patches,” said Pastor Darriel Hoy, Children, Youth, & Young Adult Director for Nevada-Utah Conference. “But the goal of all the camporee activities is to lift up Jesus and help our youth connect with Him.”

After learning about the story of the Good Samaritan, the Adventurers practice applying bandages on their friends. Photo credit: Brissa Castillo

Camporee provided leadership development opportunities for youth. In particular, the Teen Leadership Training (TLT) program was showcased. “We were blessed by the energy, giftedness, and leadership of our TLTs,” said Isoroku Vernon, the volunteer Pathfinder Director for Nevada-Utah Conference. “The TLT program is such an effective strategy for growing church leaders and engaging youth in the heart and soul of our churches.” At camporee, the TLTs were responsible for various activity stations for the Adventurers; components of evening worship such as praise and worship, drama, and prayer; and evening worship for the Adventurers. Coordinated by volunteer Desiree Tomlinson, the Nevada-Utah Conference TLT program mentors 34 teens and is growing.

These drummers proceeded the Maranatha’s Emanuel Pathfinder club during the marching parade Sabbath morning. Photo credit: Brissa Castillo

The Pathfinder community service projects were some of the favorite activities of the youth. From providing water and noodles to the homeless on the streets of Ogden, grandfriending senior citizens at nursing homes, and packaging and delivering food to families experiencing hard times, Pathfinders had the opportunity to touch lives and share the compassion of Jesus. The camporee community service projects were coordinated by Pastor Ryan Hablitzel and members of the Ogden Seventh-day Adventist church. In the upcoming months, the Ogden church plans to open a juice bar as an outreach and discipleship center.

The TLT song leaders taught songs in sign language to participants during the camporee worship programs.

As the Pathfinders and Adventurer families packed up and left on Sunday, the camporee leadership believe the ultimate goal of these clubs has been cemented in the minds of the young people. Javier Serrano, a theology student at Antillean Adventist University and one of the adult staff of the Doulos Club at New Jerusalem SDA Church, shared his testimony. “I never really thought I would use all the outdoor skills I learned in Pathfinder club,” Javier confided. “And you probably don’t think you will use them in real life either. But when the hurricane hit Puerto Rico, I had no power, no transportation, and no way to cook the food. But Pathfinders taught me to be resourceful. We used a fallen street light to cook food and rigged ropes to carry heavy things. That was Pathfinders! But even more important than the skills was the faith in God that Pathfinders taught me. I knew God would help me and provide for me. And God used me to bless others who were struggling after the hurricane, so they could trust Him too.”

On Sabbath morning, Bryan and David from Maranatha’s Emanuel Pathfinder club were invested as Master Guides. Photo credit: Brissa Castillo
Javier Serrano (second from the right) participates in an orienteering race at the camporee. Serrano believes that the outdoor skills and faith in God he learned in Pathfinders are some of the most important lessons he’s ever learned. Photo credit: Brissa Castillo