by Jeremy Vetter
HAYDEN LAKE, Idaho, December 29, 2014 - On the weekend of Oct. 31–Nov. 2, 2014, Pathfinder and Adventurer staff numbering 217 gathered from all over the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) amid the autumn beauty of Camp MiVoden in Hayden Lake, Idaho, for the annual Pathfinder and Adventurer Leadership Retreat.
Friday's arrival included unloading gear and signing up for classes, followed by a hearty meal cooked by former Pathfinder and Pathfinder staff Cheri Bullock, whose outstanding meals earned for her a standing ovation by the weekend’s end.
District coordinator elections followed, with coordinators either invited to return for another term or asked to step into leadership. Newly elected as North District Coordinator is Arlita Parr.
Each leadership retreat has continued its mainstays, such as the Sabbath vespers candlelight service. Each has also left a sense of the weekend’s highlights, including the Saturday evening banquet, during which lots of clowning around happened this year — because the theme was "Discipling ... more than clowning around!" Three service dogs and about 90 percent of the staff showed up dressed as clowns.
Perhaps the most rewarding benefit was this year’s speaker, Dan Solis, associate pastor of Village Church in College Place, Wash. His theme of discipleship pointed directly toward caring for and leading God’s kids. Solis focused his messages on the importance of listening to and mentoring Pathfinders and Adventurers, showing them truth in love, as Jesus did. fo
The feedback from attendees was positive. “One of the things my staff and I particularly appreciated about Pastor Dan was how very spiritually oriented his talks were. They helped focus us all in a more spiritual direction with our kids,” says Cindy Williams, the Wheatland Coyotes Pathfinder director in Spangle, Wash.
The attendees at this year's leadership retreat also took advantage of working together in seminars, worshipping during song services and sharing ideas over cafeteria tables. Great fellowship and rejuvenation were the weekend results.
Seminar topics ranged from leadership development for staff working on their master guide awards or UCC certification as counselors and directors to the been-there-done-that options for staff who already accomplished these pursuits. One seminar offered for the first time by Williams dealt with how to understand why bullies are bullies. Williams went over how a child might combat bullying at school and in Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs by using such tactics as responding with off-the-wall, distracting reactions to take the “fun” out of bullying.
By the weekend’s end, Pathfinder and Adventurer staff found themselves the givers and receivers of encouragement and instruction that enabled them to return to their clubs with more of Christ’s kindness and compassion for His kids. They also left MiVoden with a sense of God’s autumn beauty and the privilege to disciple God’s kids.