2013 Montana Pathfinder Camporee

The Montana State Pathfinder Camporee began on Friday, Sept. 20. We drove all the way to Joliet, Mont., to get there. When we arrived I realized my club, the Gallatin Grizzlies from Bozeman, was the first one to get there. It was nice because we had all the space to choose from. We girls found a spot for our tent, and we began to set it up. Some of the girls started to bicker, but we finally agreed on how to set up the tent. I felt so proud to have our tent set up when I looked at the boy’s tent and it was still on the ground. I guess it really might have been a complicated tent after all!

After we got settled in, the other Pathfinder clubs started to show up. The first was the Hamilton club. The rest just started piling in after them. Clubs attended from Billings, Kalispell, Butte, Hamilton, Bozeman and Missoula. About 60 people showed up in all.

Before vespers, our club retrieved the American and Montana flags. Then we went down to the river for vespers and a campfire. John Bryson, a pastor from Billings, was our weekend speaker. I remember sitting in a chair with my best friend, Rochelle, around the campfire, when suddenly the wind blew the flames in our direction. The fire was so close to us I ended up jumping out of my chair and rolling away.

Afterward we returned to our campsite for hot chocolate and a story. I ended up burning my tongue while listening to stories about getting rid of cockroaches and a very fictional story about my club director being a karaoke champion with Justin Bieber hair. I was enjoying myself so much I found it hard to go to sleep. And apparently some other girls did too because they kept humming in the middle of the night.

Sabbath morning was very cold. It left little room to enjoy the morning air. I ended up running to my car just to get my full dress uniform. Once I had changed into it and brushed off as much dirt as I could, I joined the other girls and waited for our tent to be inspected. We had a fancy way of presenting our tent to the inspectors.

Once we were finished being inspected we walked to Sabbath School. We got to play a biblical quiz game, but I only got two questions right. Then we watched a skit and listened to Phil Hudema, Montana Conference youth/education superintendent, talk about how he became an Adventist.

We had a potluck lunch, and I got to meet a girl from the Billings club who shares my name.

That afternoon we sang to the elderly at the nursing home in Red Lodge. I didn’t know some of the songs, so I just pretended I did. When we got back we ate dinner and played tag.

Soon we were running down to the meeting place for worship. We sang a few songs; we even got to learn about the land that we were standing on from Dale Sanford, the person who got us permission to use the land for the camporee.

After worship we ran up the hill to a house with a big garage where we played musical chairs. I stayed in the game for a while. It wasn’t until I sat in a chair with another girl that I left the game. When the game was over we drank hot chocolate and went on a hayride.

The next morning we started to pack up. We didn’t have enough time to get everything done, so the adults did it for us. We did some marching drills, learned some first aid and built a shelter out of wood. Then we got in our vehicles and drove away. I can’t wait for next year’s camporee!

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