Can six inches of new fresh snow and below zero temperatures stop Wisconsin Pathfinders? No! 14 clubs from around the state traveled to Camp Wakonda on March 1 for Winter Retreat. “The closer we got to camp, the harder it was to see because of the blowing snow,” said Adele Inglish, Assistant Pathfinder Director of the Green Bay Pioneers.
After arriving safely at camp, clubs moved into their accommodations. Over 200 hundred Pathfinders attended, so both Red Pine and Hickory lodges were full, along with White Pine. ome clubs even stayed in cabins and had to walk to shower house two. “I like staying in cabins,” said Grace Mertins, a Pathfinder from the Watertown Sentinels.
Sheldon Bryan, Pastor of the Milwaukee Central SDA Church gave inspirational messages on Friday evening, Sabbath morning, and Sabbath evening. “Pastor Bryan tells funny stories. He is very enthusiastic and his talks are very interactive,” says Gabriela Rodrigez of the Lahays Pathfinder club. For Sabbath School clubs chose their favorite Biblical proverb and told a story to illustrate it. “It was fun to think of a modern story to illustrate a proverb and to see how others interpret proverbs,” said Heidi Spalitta of the Madison Mustangs.
Josefa Campos, new food services director at Camp Wakonda, her staff, and Pathfinder volunteers provided great meals. “I missed haystacks being a meal, but I liked the cinnamon rolls and fajitas,” said Presley Ladwig of the Monroe Trailblazers. “It was fun doing the dishes, especially ‘accidentally’ spraying your friends!” said Grace Hixon of the Wisconsin Valley Falcons.
After lunch came the main event: the conference level of Pathfinder Bible Experience. Fifteen teams from around the state advanced out of the area level competition and came to Camp Wakonda to show how much they knew about the book of Luke. The Madison Mustangs, Milwaukee Panthers, Monroe Trailblazers, and Watertown Sentinels earned first place and advanced to the Union Level. “I liked reading the stories in Luke and studying them in depth,” said Katie Zeismer of the Lena Waldcats. “I like the competition pushing you to be better and learn about Jesus,” said David Mbele of the Waukesha Warriors.
The final event was the pinewood derby race. Pathfinders created cars out of blocks of pine wood and put axles and wheels on them. The cars were then raced down a steep ramp. Some of the cars were built for speed, others for looks. Ribbons were given for the fastest three cars in each age category and the three most creative cars in each age category. “I really enjoyed painting my car and the competition was very exciting,” said Jaiden Medrano of the Milwaukee Panthers. After a final worship thought on Sunday morning the Pathfinders proceeded to clean up the facilities they used. “The Pathfinders left the bathrooms, lodges, and cabins in beautiful shape,” said Camp Ranger Scott Baker.
Six inches of new snow made Camp Wakonda an even more beautiful setting for Pathfinders to show their engineering skills, their artistic skills, and their knowledge of the book of Luke. More importantly, Pathfinders grew closer to each other and to God.
Jody Marsh, Pathfinder Area Coordinator