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OSHKOSH! A First-Person Narrative.

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Oshkosh. The event that only happens once every 5 years. Some Pathfinders would go as far as calling it the event of a lifetime. My name is Aaron. I’ve been a part of the Vancouver Mountain Lions since the beginning; five years ago. “That’s a long time,” some would say, and I agree. Though it’s been already half a decade, I can say that it’s been the best five years of my life. Being in a Pathfinder group has been one of those experiences that you know you’ve benefited from and won’t regret in the future.        

This trip to Oshkosh proved that God was and is always there for us; he is forever faithful. Between August 12-17, I met many new faces, learnt new things, and most importantly, left with a new sense of commitment to Christ. During our time there, we camped among 47,000 other Pathfinders. Though I couldn’t meet them all, I felt part of a community whenever we saw other groups by cheering, saying hi, or just waving. I think our club can collectively say that we bonded over this entire experience. During the daytime, there was a multitude of honours to choose from. Honours such as Semaphore Communication, in which you learnt about the art of communicating to boats or planes through flag signals, were quite the learning experience. Among others, I completed the Ultimate Disc Honour, which was one of the most fun to accomplish.

At night, we would gather in a huge field where everyone would attend the “night meetings” and sing worship songs, watch a video where the day was reviewed, and lastly, enjoy the drama production of Daniel. Though the activities were great throughout the day, I personally enjoyed the night meetings because I got to trade pins while we waited for them to begin. At first, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to trading pins; I felt like it was a waste of time. I quickly regretted that once my friends started trading and getting amazing pins from various places around the world. That was the moment I began trading and got into the swing of things.

There were many memorable moments during Oshkosh. Some include the time when our club went on a five kilometer morning jog with 2,000 other Pathfinders, cheering for a member of our own group, Alexander, when he played the violin twice onstage during the night meetings, or even when two of our members, Abby and Jasmine, were baptized in front of 47,000 Pathfinders. All of those memories were great, but the most memorable moment happened during the last night meeting.

Oshkosh!

That evening, there was talk that the production might be postponed or even cancelled due to the weather since it was getting quite windy and rainy. Luckily, the production started. Around 15 minutes from the end, rain started pouring down from above. Many people began leaving and I wasn’t sure whether it was worth staying to watch how it all ended. After all, I knew what was going to happen. I thought to myself, “Why is this so important?” In that exact moment, Iltani, a character in the drama, whose life was devoted to refusing the help of an all-powerful being, started realizing her need for a Saviour. That’s when I realized that I was going to finish what all 47,000 of us Pathfinders had invested in. The drama came to a close with Daniel singing, “And I will always serve you, faithfully.” With rain falling from above and wind howling, you would think that we would be miserable. It was quite the opposite as the night closed off with an impressive fireworks show with many cheering and yelling, thanking God for the amazing time that we had had. Looking back, it was a moment that I was extremely proud to be a Pathfinder in a community that stretches across the globe.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the help of the Oakridge SDA Church who gladly gave what they had to help our club make it to Oshkosh. As well, the club directors, parents, and organizers of this event across the world should be collectively proud for what was accomplished during the six days at Oshkosh. I think us Pathfinders can all agree that God is forever faithful, till the end. And I am so grateful for that.

By Aaron Guillen, Vancouver Mountain Lions Pathfinder Club, Oakridge Adventist Church

 

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