Wisconsin Pathfinders parade through the campground during their recent Pathfinder Fair. [Zack Payne]
Last weekend, Michigan and Wisconsin hosted the annual Pathfinder Fair with big numbers, as compared to recent years. Michigan recorded an attendance of 950, and Wisconsin welcomed 270.
“We had more clubs this year than in recent memory, so much that we ran out of space to house everyone,” noted Wisconsin’s Youth Director Zack Payne.
While there is no concrete evidence for the elevated interest, Payne surmises that the growth is partially as a result of the pandemic. “Kids were particularly impacted during the pandemic and while we’ve been open for a while, people are wanting to get active, learn life skills, make friends and learn camping.”
In discussions with his staff, Payne says another reason they have come up with is perhaps because of an increasingly difficult environment for children to flourish. “The world is getting increasingly tougher,” he said. “Pathfinder clubs are full of public-school students; it’s a good place to find friends, a good place to learn about Jesus. The perception for parents is that it’s a place with something more to offer their children.”
During Michigan’s fair which had 55 clubs making the trek to Camp Au Sable in northern Michigan, 25 Pathfinders came forward sensing God’s call to pastoral ministry and another 25 indicated an interest in teaching ministry. One hundred and fifty came forward devoting “One Year in Missions before they are 25”.
On Saturday evening, club directors made calls for baptism and while exact numbers are still being tabulated, Michigan Associate Youth Director Craig Harris concluded, “Pathfinder Fair was a huge success.”
Read more about the Wisconsin Pathfinder Fair here.
You can view lots of photos from the Michigan Pathfinder here.
Lake Union Herald staff