Pathfinders has played an incredible role in my development from teenager to young adult as I have spent the last seven years either attending or working at camp in some capacity. Throughout middle school and high school video games dominated my life and I never embraced a life outside of my fake fantasy world despite knowing how much adventure there was outside of those four walls I called home – until I came to camp. I attended one of the first camps on the property where we slept in tents and bathed in the pond all the while being forced to crawl in the dirt through obstacle courses and rappel from cliff sides. I had discovered outdoor adventure and I was hardly convinced I enjoyed it. Being terrified of heights I was forced to come face to face with fear and in the moment I despised it. What I did not realize was that in those difficult moments I was learning how to overcome my own fears and insecurities which everyone faces. The beauty I find in Pathfinders is its twofold approach. The camp has numerous challenges to overcome but all the while the students are being steeped like a teabag in biblical messages of God’s love and purposes for them. When I experienced fear on the cliff side that first year I gave up and refused to rappel. I experienced two stark emotions – frustration at myself but comfort in knowing God’s love for me despite my failures.My week at camp seven years ago helped me realize that we all experience difficultly in life but that God has an extraordinary and beautiful plan for our lives. He desires for us to overcome obstacles and He has even provided us all the necessary tools and gifts we need to do so. Yes, I experienced fear and failure that first year but today at the age of 22 I am a certified high ropes instructor at Pathfinders.
God has drawn me to Him through my experiences at camp and the biblical lessons which acted as the catalyst for the deepening of my faith in Him. Pathfinders and the wonderful staff here deserve a great deal of credit for shifting the direction of my life from one devoted to trying to suppress the real world through fantasy to now seeing the great need of the world and becoming the agent of change God has called me to become. God has given us each an adventure to live and Pathfinders has shown me that all it requires is surrender to Him. The students can even take real showers now and experience overcoming fear on a long list of new developments.