Pathfinders Seek to Break Guinness World Record at International Camporee

What’s thought to be the world’s largest scarf and slide arrive in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Lindsey Gendke, for Texas Conference News
Pathfinders Seek to Break Guinness World Record at International Camporee

What’s being projected as the world’s largest “neckerchief and woggle” (scarf and slide) arrived in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, United States on August 12, 2019, for the “Chosen” International Pathfinder Camporee.

Measuring around 300 feet (91 meters) from tip to tip and 150 feet (46 meters) from the center to back tip, the scarf portion was created by Pathfinders in Texas and weighs approximately 800 pounds (360 kilograms). The shield for the slide, designed by Arkansas Louisiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists members, measures about 10 feet (3 meters) tall and weighs about 500 pounds (227 kilograms).

Marilyn Boismier, Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Pathfinder coordinator; Ruben Albarran, Texas Conference North Dallas-area Pathfinder coordinator; and Lloyd Clapp, retired Arkansas-Louisiana Conference Pathfinder director, worked out the logistics for the enormous undertaking.

“This project appealed to me,” Boismier said, “because I like to make things, and I like math; the design was an exercise in math.” The designers, Boismier and Clapp, worked through concepts and calculations, consulting with others, pricing materials, and praying before they were ready for the action phase. Both the scarf and slide were completed in stages and consisted of separate, smaller projects to put them together.

Once Boismier had worked out the details, she handed off the project to Albarran, who enlisted around 250 North Texas Pathfinders to sew the scarf together, mostly at the Richardson Seventh-day Adventist Church Family Life Center in Richardson, Texas.

The process required a group effort, with an average of 7 to 10 people per day showing up to create what Boismier describes as an “assembly line” to pin and sew the 64 pieces of poly-cotton, which amounted to approximately 800 pounds (360 kilograms) of fabric.

What began in April 2019 was completed at Celebration Park in Allen, Texas, on Sunday, July 28, where more than 100 volunteers unrolled the scarf and held it for seamstresses to stitch the final seams.

In Louisiana, Clapp worked on the slide’s logistics. “The design we ended up creating was to put the shield on the front of the slide with three hoops on the back side to feed the scarf through it,” Clapp said. The biggest challenge was working out how to make the hoops on the back side. “We had planned to use 2-inch [5-centimeter] tubing in a 6-foot [2-meter] circle, but each time we contacted potential suppliers, it was way too expensive. So, we prayed about it, and God gave us the idea of the haybale rings. Then I found a vendor who gave them to us for a very reasonable price.”

The slide project took about four weeks from concept to completion and involved the help of eight skilled individuals, including welders, fabricators, and sign designers.

Both the scarf and slide are scheduled to be displayed on Saturday (Sabbath), August 17, during the Investiture Service, using two large cranes.

The original version of this story was posted on the Texas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Facebook page.

Lindsey Gendke, for Texas Conference News