Adventist Community Services Disaster Response was engaged in the International Pathfinder Camporee that was held August 12-17 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. ACS personnel from the Texas, Arkansas-Louisiana, and Greater New York conferences offered tremendous help in ensuring that we offered two Pathfinder Honors to hundreds of our young people who visited our stations. Several attendees were appreciative of the opportunity to not only obtain a Pathfinder Honor, but to also be able to serve their community in the future with the skills and knowledge provided. The focus was based around Preparedness and Recovery efforts, both areas ACS DR is involved in throughout the year.
Pathfinder clubs from around the world stopped by and took advantage of our stations. Texas and Arkansas-Louisiana conferences led our efforts in educating and preparing individuals for tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. The children appeared engrossed as they sat and listened to Lavida Whitson and Beverly Wynot who stressed the importance of ensuring readiness before a crisis. Marshall and Julie Gonzales took each participant through the actual hands-on work that goes into filling flood buckets with supplies. The young people showed an excitement that seemed to resonate throughout Area 51, where we were located.
The positive vibe continued as groups were then whisked away to our Rebuild station led by Walter Harris of Greater New York Conference. Here they were informed about what happens during some of the events we generally respond to. Moreover, they were able to work on a makeshift home, preparing drywall replacement in a room... the very work we participated in during several hurricane Recovery efforts in the past few years. Tools and equipment were used by the youth and they thoroughly seemed to enjoy the real work they actually got to assist. "Some of them spoke of wanting to do more, and our hope is we’ve created a desire that we’ll be able to provide opportunity in the future," stated W. Derrick Lea, NAD ACS DR director.
In addition to the sheer enjoyment that seemed to permeate the activities, by the end of the week not only had we ensured hundreds of young people visiting our stations, we were able to prepare 5,000 flood buckets that were then transported around the NAD. These complete buckets will now be housed until needed for the next disaster.
Click here to view photos from this event.