Montana Pathfinders Attend Forever Faithful International Camporee

September 18, 2014 | Phil Hudema

Oshkosh, Wis., was invaded by more than 48,000 people (depending which source you are quoting) as Pathfinders gathered for the Forever Faithful International Camporee (FFIC) held once every five years. The crowds were large but polite. The temporary showers had long lines, but the water was hot. It was an atmosphere of the largest camp meeting I have ever attended. I felt safe, like I was with family. What an incredible experience to be a part of a youth organization that has been mentoring our young people for decades. Seeing so many Pathfinders, club directors, leaders, parents and sponsors was amazing, and watching them interact with their peers from all over the world was truly spectacular.

Our crew from Montana was represented by groups from Billings, Bozeman, Hamilton, Kalispell and Missoula. We were more than 80-strong and in my opinion the best conference there. We had some great worships in the morning with James Black, North American Division youth ministries director. The speakers made our trip special as they shared stories of their experiences from their youth.

We marched in a parade with more than 7,000 Pathfinders. We were consumed with pin-collecting and pin-trading, and because of this activity we met people from all over the world. We had one of our Pathfinders, Svea Smith from Missoula, get baptized, and what a joy that was to witness as she publicly gave her heart to Jesus. We earned honors, tried obstacle courses, and walked miles and miles every day. We watched the story of Daniel come to life as each night we learned that being faithful is not just a part-time thing but something we strive to do forever. We sang, we fought through the rain at times, we got to know each other better, but most importantly we were able to draw closer to Jesus.

If you have never attended one of these International camporees my suggestion is make sure you do. Oshkosh 2019 is five years away, but it's never too early to start planning. A special thank you to all of our directors, club leaders, sponsors, chaperones, cooks and volunteers. Your hard work and dedication is so greatly appreciated. Oshkosh will forever be etched into my memories and your children’s. Let’s get ready for Oshkosh 2019: Chosen, featuring the story of David.