Grants Pass Pathfinders Attend Oregon Camporee

Five staff and 17 Pathfinders from the Grants Pass Pathfinder Club joined more than 850 other Pathfinders and staff for the 2013 Oregon Pathfinder Camporee, themed "Calling on Jesus" and held Sept. 13–15 at Cove Palisades State Park, north of Redmond.

The program included early morning flag raising, inspection of tents and uniforms, and interesting worships with Robert Hogan, who captivated his young audience with exciting stories of God's protection in a bear attack and other wilderness adventures.

A representative from the High Desert Museum in Bend brought two owls and a raven for kids to see up close. Between meetings, kids practiced knots and memory verses, activities for which ribbons were awarded. One of the Grants Pass Pathfinders, Allen Foster, learned all the verses and knots offered for the weekend, including the difficult eye splice knot.

Keeping track of 17 kids away from home can be challenging, but dividing them into units makes things a bit easier. Pathfinders had opportunities to practice teamwork and leadership skills as they worked with their units in putting up tents, getting ready for inspection, and deciding who would ride in which vehicles on the trip home.

Sabbath afternoon the Grants Pass group hiked Smith Rock. This area, with its sheer cliffs of tuff and basalt, is generally considered the birthplace of modern American sport climbing and is well-known for its 1,000-plus challenging climbing routes. Afterward, the Pathfinders enjoyed a nice veggie hot dog supper waiting at camp when they got back. No one goes hungry at Grants Pass Pathfinder campouts.

Sunday morning a scattering of raindrops inspired the group to get things packed up in a hurry. After that, the Pathfinders walked around the campground and participated in the games sponsored by other clubs. After lunch, they left for home. On the way, some of the Pathfinders worked on the camp safety honor.

Also this fall, the Grants Pass club did 10-mile bike rides on Sabbath afternoons and a 50-mile ride on Sunday, Oct. 20. The longer ride was their Bike-a-Thon fundraiser to earn money for each Pathfinder's ticket to the International Pathfinder Camporee at Oshkosh, Wis., next August.