Pathfinder Clubs give away sleeping bags, tents and more after the 2019 camporee
September 29, 2019
/ Berrien Spring, Michigan, United States
/ Michelle Green and Becky Zeismer
When Kiana Roat, former principal of Green Bay Adventist Junior Academy in Wisconsin, approached Pathfinder area coordinator Becky Zeismer last year with the idea of collecting sleeping bags no longer needed after Oshkosh, the two had no idea what to expect.
Roat was heading the homeless ministry at the Green Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church and thought this might be an avenue to find some much-needed supplies.
It wasn’t until Zeismer traveled to Michigan for a meeting pertaining to Oshkosh planning that the idea took root. Zeismer recalls that Betty Whitehead, one of the chief Chosen International Camporee organizers, said that while something like this had never been attempted at Oshkosh, there was certainly a need for collecting items that Pathfinder clubs ordered for pickup in Wisconsin but had no means of transporting home. Zeismer was then asked to coordinate the process of collecting reusable camping equipment, as well as the donations of perishable food items.
As the camporee drew near, plans ensued for an orderly processing of the goods. Working together, Roat and Zeismer helped coordinate the availability of three 16-foot enclosed utility trailers at the camp site. These trailers were arrayed with banners, and announcements were made on social media and in the camporee newsletter to promote the outreach project. During the camporee it also was highlighted each night before the regular programs commenced.
As the camporee ended on Saturday evening, the team began to receive items from the several clubs preparing to leave. The team, consisting of Elgin Zeismer, Becky Zeismer, Rebekah Helsius, and Eric Chavez, spent the night sorting through the food and equipment and loading them onto the trailers. They were assisted by Jim Parish from the Wisconsin Academy Lighthouse Thrift Store, which also benefitted from the donations.