Pathfinder Fair at Camp Au Sable!

Pathfinder Fair at Camp Au Sable

The theme for this year's Pathfinder Fair was, "Redeemed," and clubs across the Michigan Conference converged at Camp Au Sable Northwoods for the yearly event. 

June 3, 2021 | Camp Au Sable | Samuel Girven
Pathfinder Director, Pastor Craig (far right) standing with Pastor Christian Hodet and his family. Hodet was invested as a Master Guide over the weekend, and he recently accepted a call to serve in central California.
Pathfinder Director, Pastor Craig (far right) standing with Pastor Christian Hodet and his family. Hodet was invested as a Master Guide over the weekend, and he recently accepted a call to serve in central California.

Pathfinder Clubs across Michigan gathered at the Camp Au Sable Northwoods for the annual Pathfinder Fair weekend on May 14-16.  Many weeks of work from area coordinators and club director’s preparation resulted in an outstanding spiritual weekend.  Held yearly, the Fair is the event where local clubs demonstrate their year’s accomplishments.

The “Redeemed” theme resonated though all the activities. Selected from the first line of the Pathfinder Pledge, it enabled the campers to “understand the wonderful grace God has for us.”, says Pastor Craig Harris, Michigan Pathfinder Director. “He gives us His grace to cover our sins, but we have to accept and apply this special gift in our own lives.” Harris continued. 

Friday, May 14, after arrival and setup, attendees gathered for an evening worship service at the “Pathfinder Bowl”. Pastor Chad Bernard, Michigan Conference Youth Department Director, began his weekend-long series of captivating sermons related to the “Redeemed” topic. Friday night, he spoke about his memories of the Pathfinder Fair in the past.  He told a fascinating angel story that his own club director shared at a Pathfinder Fair many years ago.

After the chilly night, the warm Sabbath morning was unquestionably refreshing.  Breakfast, flag raising, and morning worship was followed by campsite inspection, conducted by Area Coordinators.  One of the most memorable signatures of this inspection is the requirement that a Bible and flashlight be placed upon each camper’s pillow, each morning. 

Shortly thereafter, campers went back to the Pathfinder Bowl for the Sabbath morning worship service. The service started with T.L.T’s and Master Guides being invested and pinned. This year’s investiture was bittersweet for the Youth Department leadership—Pastor Christian Hodet, a Pastor-Pathfinder Director, and a personal friend of Pastor Harris, was invested as a Master Guide shortly after answering a ministry “call” to Central California. Pastor Bernard continued his “Redeemed” series with a water object lesson representing grace, showing we can share it with others, or improperly keep God’s grace to ourselves.

In the afternoon, Pathfinders participated in the hands-on “Rivers and Streams” honor activity. It was a great afternoon activity where each camper was active and learning. They used the many natural features of Camp Au Sable, and knowledgeable instructors to complete the honor.  “I learned a lot, and it was fun to learn about the nature God has created,” says Alex Winkler, a Pathfinder from Eau Clare. “Camp Au Sable is a great place to hike around with friends.”

After the busy day, campers ate a hunger-satisfying dinner, and then attended the evening plenary at the “Pathfinder Pavilion." After a review of the past year, Elder Jim Micheff, Michigan Conference President, spoke about how each camper has a mission to be a light in the world. Pastor Harris concluded the Fair with a rousing message, showing how we can exhibit God’s grace in our daily lives, and what a powerful, lasting impact it can have on someone. Afterwards, clubs returned to their campsites for Sabbath-evening fellowship, and much needed rest.

Sunday morning, Pathfinder clubs began the process of leaving camp, breaking away to watch or participate in the March and Drill competitions, the acclaimed “Pinewood Derby," obstacle courses, climbing walls, tire flipping, and hatchet throwing. “The Sunday activities were a lot of fun,” says Jeremiah Grant, a Pathfinder from Lake City. “It was probably my favorite part of the weekend, although I did fail the challenge that I thought would be easy, the wall,” he continued. The various activities provided healthy, fun challenges, and was an excellent way to end the weekend.

Almost as soon as the Pathfinder Fair started, it was sadly over. “One of the things that makes Pathfinders so enjoyable to me is the campouts, and the fact that there are so many friends.” Winkler says. “My favorite part of Pathfinders is the people. I really enjoyed the Fair.” remarked Julia, a Pathfinder from Metro Detroit. It was surely a fun, inspiring, and thought-provoking weekend that every Pathfinder is sure to remember for years to come.