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Being “…a servant to man”, and leaving the place better than you found it are values that all pathfinders pledge to live by. On Sept. 13, 2015 the SAIL Pathfinders put this into action. The city of Austin held its 21st Annual Lake Travis Cleanup and there they were at Bob Wentz Park doing their part. For two hours everyone scoured the ground looking for trash and picking it up to add to the tons of trash picked up by hundreds of other volunteers. Each year the Pathfinders look forward to bragging rights to the largest or most unusual item found. This year those rights went to our newest members who brought in a huge piece of a floating dock. It was so large they had to enlist help from others along the way in order to get it up the hill to the dumpster. With all the hands working, the park was soon looking much cleaner. When the work was over the reward was a party for all the volunteers at the Oasis, a lovely restaurant overlooking Lake Travis. Besides the food, the highlight of the party was the chance to win a nice prize. What a delight this year as 5 of our Pathfinders took home prizes ranging from gift certificates to a trip on the Hill Country Flyer!
Investiture. It’s an end of the year service in which Pathfinders are recognized for what they have accomplished and are promoted to the next level in Investiture Achievement. This was an exceptional year for the SAIL Pathfinder club, as all of the Pathfinders were awarded with honors earned during the year and five completed their IA work and were pinned.
The Pathfinders weren’t the only ones to receive recognition this time, though, as the club offered a special “thank you” to Chad and Linda Peckham. The Peckham Ranch has become a much-loved destination for the Pathfinders over the years, and so to thank them for their generosity, the club presented the Peckhams with a brand new Dutch oven and a round of applause in recognition for all they have given.
We had the special privilege this year to have Elder Gene Clapp, the Texas Conference Pathfinder Director, as our guest speaker. His stirring charge was taken from the Pathfinders own pledge and law: to “be servants of God” and to “go on God’s errands”.
Though the program was, over all, an uplifting and exciting one, it was not without its bittersweet moments, as two of the founding members of the SAIL Pathfinder club will be moving to the next stage of their lives, taking them away from the club and the city of Austin. It’s hard to say “good-bye” to people who have been such a vital part of the club and have made themselves valuable members of the team. So to these two young people, as we move on into the summer and gear up for the next year, we wish both of you the best. We challenge you to continue to grow and do great things with your lives!
“Help! Someone help me! Here, I’m in the gully!”
“Does anyone know where the first aid kit is?! He’s been bitten by a snake, down by the pond!”
Was this a nightmare? No, it was a first aid drill for the SAIL Pathfinders. After learning first aid skills the past few months, the Pathfinders were given the opportunity to come face-to-face with some likely camping scenarios and put their instruction to work. Thankfully, all “patients” were cared for successfully.
The May 2 overnight to Peckham Ranch was not all about caring for the injured, however. Pathfinders and staff alike learned to use one of the oldest means of cooking: the Dutch oven. Chili and peach cobbler were on the menu for Sabbath evening. Both received rave reviews and were enjoyed along with biscuits, cooked on a stick over the fire, and ice cream. Sunday morning it was discovered that the lid of a Dutch oven works wonderfully for making pancakes and fake “bacon.”
Later that morning, Pathfinders, along with staff, broke into teams for a fire-building contest. Each team was given 3 matches, a sheet of newspaper, a tin can and a coat hanger. Each team had to use the items given to accomplish the goal of building a fire which would burn a string that had been strung between two metals poles, boil 2 cups of water, and then remove the can from the fire. All teams were successful, though each accomplished the task differently. It was a great experience!