They came from all corners of the Northwest, by air and by land. They joined 35,000 peers from around the world at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Campground in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, from August 11–15, for the 2009 International Pathfinder Camporee.
Themed Courage to Stand, the event provided more than 2,000 North Pacific Union Pathfinders with opportunities to learn, share and grow spiritually. For virtually every Pathfinder, staff member and volunteer, the five days were filled with new friendships, answers to prayer and life changing experiences. "It's a lot of work," says Alphonso McCarthy, NPUC youth director, "but the sense of mission and inspiration our Pathfinders receive from this event are more than worth it."
Dixie Plata, a Pathfinder historian, accepts pins and a t-shirt from Pathfinder leaders from Hong Kong. Dixie and her husband, Arnold, collect Pathfinder memorabilia to display at camporees and other events. They hope their collection can, one day be used to furnish a Pathfinder heritage museum. "It's important for young people to know and see that God is part of this program," says Dixie. "Teenagers are responsible for starting the ministry in the Adventist church." (CJ Anderson)
Brittany Minden, from College Place, Washington, and other Blue Mountain District Pathfinders prepare to lower the colors at the 2009 International Pathfinder Camporee. (CJ Anderson)
NPUC pathfinders serve as the color guard for the final evening of the 2009 International Camporee. (CJ Anderson)
On the final night of the camporee NPUC Pathfinders serve as color guard. (CJ Anderson)
Pathfinders from the North Pacific Union lead the Thursday afternoon parade through the Experimental Aircraft Association grounds. From left: Stephanie Grahm, Oregon Conference; Natalie Abbot, Upper Columbia Conference; Paul Glatts, Montana Conference; Charles Mincher, Alaska Conference; Zack Clark, Oregon Conference; and Sarah Ringering, Washington Conference. (CJ Anderson)
Upper Columbia Conference pathfinders march in one of the daily parades during the 2009 International Camporee. (CJ Anderson)
Adolpho Potts, Idaho Conference Pathfinder, sings "I Can Only Imagine" at the 2009 International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. (Gerry Chudleigh)
Mel MacPhee and Gloria Cooper, Hood View, Ore., Pathfinder directors, pose with native dancers while participating in the Indian Lore honor class. Native Americans from the NPUC were instrumental in presenting this honor at the camporee. More than 4,000 people attended the program. "It was a real uniting of Adventist Native peformers from North America," says Monte Church, North Pacific Union Native Ministries director. (Monte Church)
Pathfinder clubs proudly advertise their destination as they make their way to the camporee. After as many as five days on the road, excitement for the camporee began to build as other Oshkosh-bound vehicles were spotted. (CJ Anderson)
Pathfinders who collected each of the six conference pins from the North Pacific Union received a special NPUC pin that represents the entire union.
James Black, North American youth director, speaks Sabbath morning. (Rich Herard)
This is an aerial view of more than 30,000 people filling the main event arena. (Rich Herard)
Tracy Wood, Oregon Conference associate youth director, baptizes Pathfinders on Sabbath afternoon. Many Pathfinders were baptized by their club director. (CJ Anderson)
Daisy Cruz from the Brewster (Wash.) Spanish Church, keeps up a lively conversation with friends as she donates hair to children less fortunate than her. "I can relate to the children Locks of Love serves because my father has gone through chemotherapy," Daisy says. "This is a great way to give back." (Kanique Mighty-Nugent)
Pathfinders enter pools and wait to be baptized on Sabbath afternoon. Many were baptized by their youth pastor or pathfinder director, making the occasion especially meaningful to pathfinder leaders. (CJ Anderson)
Pathfinders congregate near the stage at the camporee, where two pools are set up for baptisms. Thirty-three NPUC Pathfinders were among the hundreds baptized on Sabbath afternoon. (Gerry Chudleigh)
Elisha Mvundura, a Chehalis (Wash.) Mountaineer Pathfinder, shows off his favorite pin, a rare Russian item from 1979. Pin trading is one of the most popular ways for Pathfinders to mingle and make friends at the camporee. (CJ Anderson)
Left: Ryan Swena and Kenton Fritz, Chehalis (Wash.) pathfinders, compare some of their recent pin acquisitions. "Trading pins has been the most exciting part of camporee so far," says Ryan. Kenton agrees. "I've met pathfinders from Korea, Brazil, New Zealand, New York and Boston." (CJ Anderson)
North Pacific Union pathfinders lead the Thursday afternoon parade at the 2009 International Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis. From left: Stephanie Grahm, Pleasant Valley, Ore.; Natalie Abbot Colville, Wash.; Charles Mincher, Alaska; Zack Clark, Vale, Ore.; and Sarah Ringering, Bonney Lake, Wash. (CJ Anderson)
North Pacific Union pathfinders lead the Thursday afternoon parade at the 2009 International Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis. From left: Stephanie Grahm, Pleasant Valley, Ore.; Natalie Abbot, Colville, Wash.; Charles Mincher, Alaska; Zack Clark, Vale, Ore.; and Sarah Ringring, Bonney Lake, Wash. (CJ Anderson)
Upper Columbia Conference Pathfinders march in a Thursday afternoon parade at camporee. (CJ Anderson)
Randy Thornton, from the Fall Creek Church in Jasper, Ore., teaches geocaching in hangar B. (Tammy Fisher)
Walking ... lots of walking, is the regular mode of conveyance throughout the vast camporee grounds.
Pathfinder clubs from all points of the compass create a temporary city of tents, trailers, RVs and other structures during the 2009 International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
"Oh, say, can you see?" Tens of thousands crowd into the main event grounds for Sabbath services.
The story of Esther portrays the camporee theme Courage to Stand. Ken Rogers, Walla Walla University vice president, provides a convincingly active portrayal of Mordecai.
Alphonso McCarthy, NPUC youth director, meets with the 33 Pathfinders from the North Pacific Union that were baptized at the camporee. McCarthy and other youth leaders spend countless hours planning and organizing international camporees like these held every five years. (CJ Anderson) Next >
The photos on these pages are just a tiny slice of the experience. For a better understanding, talk to your local Pathfinders. The real stories from this event are the lives forever changed by experiencing God and His people on a uniquely personal level.