Pathfinders on Wheels at Farragut Park

November 01, 2006 | Jon Dalrymple

More than 700 Pathfinders and staff, and just as many bicycles, swarmed into Farragut State Park in North Idaho Sept.15 for the Upper Columbia Conference Pathfinder Camporee. Farragut, on the shores of Lake Pend Oreille, was the world’s second largest naval training station used during World War II.

One of the main attractions to this year’s camporee was a bicycle theme. Pathfinder clubs were encouraged to bring bikes for special cycling activities planned throughout the weekend. “This was the most fun camporee I’ve been to,” said Wheatland Coyote Pathfinder Club member Jonathan Bradshaw, 12, who has been in Pathfinders since he was 9 years old. “I liked it because with bikes you can go a lot of places and see nature.”

On Sunday, each Pathfinder club formed teams of cyclists who were to participate in Olympic-style events using pedal power. Events included a relay race, a newspaper-delivery-boy paper toss, a slow bike race and a flat tire pit stop. “I learned how quick we could change the tire on the bike,” said Bradshaw, “and I learned that if you do it in parts then it is a lot easier than if everyone does it all the same time.”

Sabbath afternoon, the Pathfinders had the option of exploring the miles of bike trails that wander through the 4,000-acre grounds, or ride their bikes to the Naval Training Center Museum, which is one of the many attractions at the park.

On Saturday night, the Pathfinders participated in a hide-and-seek sort of game in the dark. The object was to cross a field and some woods at night to get from the amphitheater to the friendship pole (a large sculpture built for the world Boy Scout Jamboree held at Farrugut in 1968) without being caught by the “Gestapo.” Kids used camouflage and stealth, crawling through high grass and thick trees to get to their destination.

The keynote speaker for the weekend was Leo Ranzolin, a General Conference vice president and former General Conference Pathfinder director. Pathfinders gathered in a huge natural amphitheater once used by the Naval training cadets. In his talks, Ranzolin emphasized Jesus’ love for all of us and how much He gave up to save us from sin.

Many Pathfinders have learned to give up things for Christ, as evidenced in their sacrifice for other Pathfinders in Peru. During the meetings, Wayne Hicks, Upper Columbia Conference Pathfinder director, shared the need of a Pathfinder club in Peru who is trying to raise money for Pathfinder uniforms. He told about the club's goal to earn the money to buy material that they could use to make uniforms. The Pathfinders gave more than $500 for this project.