Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Jeffery Jones and Robin Shafer comprised the smallest Pathfinder club at the recent international camporee.

Grafton Pathfinder Club Represents Smallest at Camporee

Story by V. Michelle Bernard / Photo by Monica Zill

Busy schedules and long distances between church and home can make meeting in person hard in today’s busy culture. But one Pathfinder club bridged the hurdles to continue to meet together—even when one of the Pathfinders moved away—and made it to the 2019 International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, Wis., in August.

Robin Shafer and Jeffery Jones were the only Pathfinders in Mountain View Conference’s Grafton, W.Va., club last year, and the smallest club to attend the camporee. Jones is a member of the conference’s Fairmont, W.Va., church, and Shafer, formerly a member of the Grafton church, moved out of state soon after the club formed in 2018.

“It [was] a challenge operating a club with just two members,” says Dennis Murphy, club director, who also worked with Sarah Shafer, deputy director at the time of the camporee. “[Robin] participated in almost every club meeting, connecting each week,” via Skype, he shares. “She also was able to come and visit in person a couple of times, and that’s when we practiced our marching steps.”

Attending the camporee thrilled the club, says Murphy. “Our clubs in West Virginia are small, and even when we gathered as an entire conference last June, we only had about 25 kids present. They had never seen such an assembly of Pathfinders from so many far-away places as were there at Oshkosh. They were busy every minute, all day long, with different activities, and they joined with enthusiasm in the crowd’s praises and cheers during the evening programs. It was a joy to watch, even as we staff were exhausted each night!”

Today the Shafers no longer participate in the Grafton club but are starting a club in their new community. As a result, Murphy has invited children in the community to join the club and requests prayers so that they may find new members.

Read more about the camporee here.

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