OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – One summer camp is bringing tens of thousands of teens from around the world to take part in service projects in the Fox Valley.
“It teaches kids outdoor skills, bible knowledge, and then, of course, how to be good citizens in their communities,” says Ron Whitehead, Executive Director of the 8th International Pathfinder Camporee.
Think of them like the scouts, only they’re part of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church’s youth program. They’re in Oshkosh for the 8th International Pathfinder Camporee, assisting in 57 local service efforts.
“The projects they have are honors like merit badges in the boy scout organization,” said Whitehead. “They achieve a lot of high level of training and expertise whether in star gazing or any other kind of skills. They come here and they’re different when they leave in every way- spiritually, educationally and socially.”
And many come from far and in between. Texas, Oklahoma, even Australia- you name it, there’s a group for it.
“We want to share our experience with other countries, especially African, Asian, and Inter American and European; it’s very exciting,” says Orgil, a member of the Mongolian Pathfinder.
Aside from the community service, there’s a few social aspects that have now become tradition. Each group has their own pin that they use to trade with others.
“We have the most creative and innovative pins on the planet, right here,” said Whitehead. “Pin trading is popular all over the property and they’ve brought pins and creativity from all over the world.”
“Just by trading with other people you get to know them better and you know what they’re up to as well,” said Howard Wilmot, Australian Pathfinder. “It’s just a good feeling and a good way to bring you together.”
The Pathfinders will be in Oshkosh until Saturday.