Pathfindering is all about service - Service to God, and Service in our communities. Service projects are an important component of the activities for the SAIL Pathfinders, and even when the SAILs were enjoying the North American Division Camporee over the summer, they took some time out to assist with some community service projects there in Wisconsin. Although we engage in service projects as a way to show God’s love, and not for recognition, sometimes somebody notices. In the video below, produced by Adventist Mission, the SAILs are one of the clubs featured for their community service work in Oshkosh.
“Today we’re going to be planting in an area that was totally destroyed by fire and where nothing has grown back.” How excited we all were! In this, our fourth year of volunteering at Bastrop State Park to be a part of the reforestation project, we were going to actually be planting in one of the areas where nothing was growing back. We would get to be a part of bringing life back to this part of what had been a beautiful stand of stately Loblolly Pines following the devastating fires of Labor Day 2011.
This was a special day in another way too. This year the SAIL Pathfinders were joined by Pathfinders from the Austin Knights and Bastrop Peace Warriors Pathfinder clubs. For the first time we were allowed to choose the main group of volunteers to participate in the planting opportunity for a specific date. The weather did not disappoint the SAIL Pathfinders as the day started out with a fine mist falling. Eagerly 30 Pathfinders fell in at attention to be given instructions for the day. This was a bit disconcerting for our Park Ranger as he was more used to pulling kids off the monkey bars than addressing a large group of young people attentively awaiting his instructions! He told them that they could relax and was amazed that they would only do so if given the command from a director. Even when the Pathfinders were given the command, “At Ease”, he was in awe. This led to an opportunity for the SAIL Pathfinder Director to share who Pathfinders are as the group moved up the hill to the planting area.
In a very short time the 50 members of our group, along with a few people from another group, had planted all the trees the parks department had allotted for this area. In about 2 hours time we had planted 1302 trees, the second highest number of trees planted in a day this year!
How proud I was of our Pathfinders when we were all finished and our park ranger stated that our group was welcome to come back next year as we had done a fine job and he had been happy to work with us. Thank you, Pathfinders, for being a good witness and for giving of yourselves to your community today!