This past weekend, we celebrated our 2022-2023 Pathfinder year with our annual year-end Pathfinder Fair. There were about 275 pathfinders and staff present throughout the weekend, and on Sunday (when parents arrived) there were well over 300 in attendance. Overall, 16 of our 22 current clubs in Wisconsin were present for the weekend.
This year’s theme was “He is the Vine, We are the Branches.” The speaker for the weekend was Laura Hokanson, who gave powerful messages following the Great Controversy theme and encouraging pathfinders to stay connected to Jesus, the True Vine.
Back in January, the Youth Department held a state-wide fair patch design contest, so that pathfinders could submit ideas for a patch that everyone would receive for attending the Pathfinder Fair. Jacob Rushford (Waukesha Warriors) was the contest winner, and at the fair everyone received the patch he designed and he was presented with a special plaque.
Also, along the lines of the theme, Wisconsin Pathfinders Coordinator Glen Morrow coordinated a pilot test of the brand new Arboriculture Honor. Ruben Rivera, an arborist for the city of Wauwatosa, taught pathfinders how to properly take care of trees, how to use a wide array of tools, and even led the pathfinders in planting a tree at Camp Wakonda.
Of course, Sabbath morning we had our annual Pathfinder Parade, and Saturday night clubs could choose to participate in a march and drill competition. There was also a Master Guide Investiture during church time, where Becky Ziesmer presented Veronica Alavez (Watertown Guardianes) with a new scarf and certificate of achievement. Sunday morning, pathfinders competed in two fair events: the compass relay, and the Norwegian waddle (the third event, which was the pancake flip, was cancelled due to rain). Three clubs came away with the prestigious 200 club trophy this year: Chippewa Valley Lightning, Green Bay Pioneers, and Watertown Sentinels.
After the event, some clubs stayed around to help with the Camp Wakonda Work Bee that began on Sunday. They even had the option to use loppers to cut back brush and branches, which also contributed toward their Arboriculture Honor requirements.
The event received positive feedback from pathfinders and staff alike, and while it’s sad to see another Pathfinder year come to an end: we look forward to next year’s exciting meetings and events. Don’t forget: there will be Pathfinder parades at both Wisconsin Camp Meeting and Wisconsin Hispanic Camp Meeting, Wisconsin Bike-a-Rama (WIBAR) for Pathfinders in the Sparta area the first weekend of August, and our annual Pathfinder Camporee at Camp Wakonda the weekend of September 16. We can’t wait to see you all there!
Zack Payne, Youth Director