About 600 participants attended the 4th International Pathfinder Camporee of the Gulf Field of the Seventh-day Adventist Church February 23-26 at the Sharjah Scout Mission campgrounds in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Themed “I WILL GO,” the camporee attracted attendees from Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, the UAE, and the United States.
In a show of appreciation for the impact the Pathfinders have had in the community in the UAE, a high-level delegation from Emirates Scout Association, Sharjah Scout Mission, and other Sharjah government entities visited the camporee and enjoyed a special Pathfinder parade prepared for them. As 2023 is designated the year of sustainability in the UAE, the delegation expressed their appreciation for the many activities that Pathfinders have done including tree planting and beach cleaning projects as well as other initiatives that promote sustainability.
“The movement of Pathfinders is carving a path to the top leaders of the area. What adults have been unable to do, God is accomplishing through dedicated young people,” Byard Parks, youth coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, said. “An army of kids — showing love, caring for their adopted nation and environment and with passion to learn — the Pathfinders are shining like a bright star in the UAE and the Gulf.”
Busi Khumalo, director of Adventist Youth Ministries for the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was the main speaker at the camporee. Khumalo challenged the Pathfinders to be mission-minded in everything they do. Using the story of captain Naaman’s little maid found in 2 Kings 5 (among other illustrations), Khumalo encouraged everyone to pay attention and look for mission opportunities just like the little maid did. “When you see opportunities, pray for courage and wisdom from God to seize those opportunities and share the good news,” he said.
“People all around are troubled and are looking for solutions and peace,” Khumalo added. He motivated delegates to share the love of Jesus, “the only [One] who can heal this troubled world and give lasting peace.”
Camporee attendees enjoyed various activities, including 14 Pathfinders Honors that were offered. There were also activities for Adventurers, including Adventurer Awards, Eager Beaver Chips, and Little Lambs Stars. One of the highlights of the camporee activities was the Pioneers Row, a live re-enactment of the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Delegates also participated in skills development activities, pin trading, prayer walks, nightly shows, and campfires.
Gulf Field president Marc Coleman encouraged Pathfinders and all others who attended the camporee to enjoy the camporee fellowship, food, honors, and other activities. He asked participants to spend their time at the camporee strengthening the bonds of their Adventist community. “Most of all, we want you to grow in your love for God and His Word so that you can develop into strong men and women who live according to God’s principles and set an example for the world,” Coleman said.
Gulf Field youth director Freinald Matondo agreed. “May this camporee inspire all of us to go and share the love of Jesus and invite others to His soon coming Kingdom. Remember that we are Pathfinder strong! And We Will Go!”