Inaugural Pathfinder Camporee in Malaysia Draws More than 2,300 Campers

Participants honed various skills and deepened their Christian understanding.

Hazel Wanda Ginajil-Gara, Malaysia Union Mission, and Adventist Review
Inaugural Pathfinder Camporee in Malaysia Draws More than 2,300 Campers
More than 2,300 Pathfinders from across Asia attended the inaugural Pathfinder Camporee in Malaysia, April 7-11. [Photo: MAUM Communication Department]

In a historical first, the Malaysia Union Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (MAUM), under the leadership of its Youth Ministries department, recently organized its inaugural Pathfinder Camporee. More than 2,700 campers converged in an adventure that sought to nurture them as servant leaders, hone their skills, and deepen their understanding of Christ’s character.

This milestone marks a significant turning point in the Adventist community’s continuous journey of development and empowerment, especially in areas often viewed as challenging, regional church leaders said. “It stands as a testament to the resilience and dedication of the [church] community to expanding its influence and fostering positive change,” they said.

The camporee took place in Dantai, Kota Belud, Sabah, April 7-11. It welcomed an international delegation hailing from various countries including the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Singapore, and Thailand, besides parts of Malaysia. Master Guides (MG), Pathfinder leaders, and representatives from local government bodies and organizations that mentor and guide camporee delegates honored the gathering.

Ron Genebago, director of youth ministries for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), and his wife, Jeneva, delivered a special message to participants. Both encouraged Pathfinders to emulate the exemplary traits of Caleb in the Bible: unyielding dedication to God, unwavering faithfulness, and the remarkable resilience exemplified by his character.

After the devotional, a ceremony of recognition and awards unfolded. Genebago honored Farrel Gara, MAUM youth ministries director, with a leadership award. Genebago also took the opportunity to express gratitude to MAUM for its proactive engagement in launching and enhancing the youth ministries programs. He also extended special recognition to Renie and Juli Ubara for pioneering the Plasticine Clay Award and Explosion Box Honor, and to Daniel Victor and Jane Daniel for their innovative development of the Pandemic Honor.

The Plasticine Clay Award is presented for a modeling clay skillset. The Pandemic Honor celebrates individuals who have demonstrated remarkable resilience by actively engaging in acts of kindness and positively impacting the lives of those encountered by campers during the lockdown period.

As part of the camporee activities, 23 individuals embrace their newfound faith through a baptismal ceremony at Dantai Beach. [Photo: MAUM Communication Department]

Distinguished guests graced the occasion, including SSD Pathfinders coordinator Anukul Ritchil and MAUM president Abel Bana. Joining them were mission presidents Semilee Tajau of Sarawak Mission and Feldinand Sawanai of Sabah Mission, alongside other guests.

Attending the opening ceremony on behalf of the Sabah State chief minister, assistant minister Datuk Abidin Madingkir delivered the inaugural address. Madingkir conveyed his staunch support for the camporee. According to him, the event had the “potential to cultivate camaraderie, impart noble principles, and deter negative conduct among the participating youth,” thereby “enriching their contributions to the nation.”

Former deputy chief minister Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau echoed these sentiments, endorsing the youth camp as a platform to foster unity and positive values among the nation’s youth. Speaking at a subsequent press briefing following the opening ceremony, he emphasized the significance of forgiveness in nurturing harmonious relationships.

At an investiture ceremony, 123 Master Guides-in-Training (MIT) from the Sabah and Sarawak regions were formally invested as Master Guides. Pathfinders, MITs, and Master Guides participated dressed in their uniforms, pledging a commitment to service and leadership within the Pathfinder community.

The camporee had the privilege of presenting awards to outstanding individuals, recognizing their dedication and contributions. Among the awards conferred were the Good Conduct Ribbon, the Long Service Award (bronze wings), the Meritorious Service Award (silver wings), and the Distinguished Service Award (gold wings), with a total of 221 participants receiving them.

As the event drew to a close, thousands of Pathfinders made their way back to their home territories. Leaders said their aspiration is clear: to use the lessons learned as a springboard for leadership and to further the Lord’s work.

This story is based on the version posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site. The original story was posted on the Malaysia Union Mission news site.

Hazel Wanda Ginajil-Gara, Malaysia Union Mission, and Adventist Review