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700 Attend Fall Camporee, Serve Punxsutawney Community

By Beth Michaels
Photos by Beth Michaels and Charles Koerting

More than 700 Pathfinders from the Pennsylvania, Chesapeake and Mountain View conferences gathered last week at the Laurel Lake Retreat and Conference Center in Rossiter, Pa., for what became the largest fall joint camporee held at the center’s Pathfinder Hill. According to Pam Scheib, Pennsylvania Conference Pathfinder director and event organizer, it was the first fall camporee to involve Mountain View, but also the first to incorporate community service.

“Knowing that James Black, Youth Ministries director for the North American Division, was our speaker, the camporee planning committee thought it would be an awesome idea to make this an ‘outreach camporee’ to the nearby Punxsutawney community,” explains Scheib.

Sabbath was dedicated as “Community Youth Day,” which started with a morning parade that ended in the town square, where the Pathfinders enjoyed performances by One Bridge Away, a praise team from the Hagerstown (Md.) church; presentations from various attending clubs; and an inspiring message by Black about making positive change. After lunch Pathfinders immediately dispersed to their community service projects.

The 10 service ventures involved more than 300 volunteers, where Pathfinders and their leaders visited local nursing and personal care homes, delivered food to the local food bank, helped shoppers load groceries into their vehicles, picked up litter in local parks, cleaned in the Community Center, made blankets for the local hospital and had prayer with residents, among other activities.

“If we want to model to kids how to give back, then it’s best that we show them. And that’s what we did,” commented Carl Rodriguez, Youth Ministries director for the Chesapeake Conference. A camper from the Atholton Faithblazers in Columbia, Md., expressed his appreciation of the experience saying, “It’s great that we could give back to the community.”