by Araya Frohne
SPANGLE, Wash., May 20, 2012 - The first thing I noticed, upon arrival at Upper Columbia Academy was the Pathfinders. They were all over the place! Thirty-four clubs – eight-hundred and fifty Pathfinders (and their staff) – along with forty-four pastors, convened for the Upper Columbia Conference's 2012 Pastors' Appreciation Pathfinder Fair, the weekend of May 18-20. I was one of them.
After setting up camp, we attended the opening meeting. Pastor Karl Haffner spoke about God's call to people in the Bible, and how He calls us, too (a theme that continued throughout the weekend). Immediately after the sermon, we had a baptism!!
Sabbath morning every Pathfinder was up bright and early. After inspection we all marched in the Grand parade; what grand fun! More baptisms occurred: four young people were baptized after the sermon by Pastor Karl, which made Church really special. During the baptisms, ninety-six Pathfinders made the decision to be baptized by filling out a commitment card! Another Sabbath morning highlight was the Teen Pathfinder of the Year award ceremony, where all teens who met certain high standards of participation in Pathfinders this year received a shoulder braid. I got my first-year braid; only one teen got the 6th (last) year braid!
Afternoon door-to-door outreach gave us an opportunity to share Jesus with the community by taking short surveys for the local church, and sharing literature.
Sunday morning activities included drilling and marching, and a fantastic Soap-box derby game in which pastors drove Pathfinder-powered soap- box cars over a challenge course. The cars varied greatly and were all exceptionally creative in both design and color.
After the awards ceremony, many tired Pathfinders piled back into vehicles for their rides home. You'll have to ask some other Pathfinder how that went for them. As for us, I'm not sure, you see, I was asleep in the back!