In between pin-trading, earning honors, and exploring the massive exhibit halls of the Forever Faithful International Camporee, more than 60 pathfinders piled into a yellow bus Thursday morning, headed for the Salvation Army Community Center in Fond du Lac, Wis.
The outing was one of the many community service events planned during the camporee. Other clubs spent the morning making arts and crafts with children at the Neenah Public Library, cleaning up the Winneconne lakeshore, volunteering at the Lutheran Homes and Health Services in Fond Du Luc, among other projects.
But at the Salvation Army Community Center, clubs from Colorado, Virginia and New York pulled weeds, cleaned windows, loaded boxes into trucks and packed lunches. The tasks may seem menial, but they mean a lot to the Salvation Army staff.
The Fredericksburg Patriots from Virginia, unloaded a truck full of seasonal supplies for Michael Detert, thrift store manager, saving his staff almost two hours of work.
The Orange Prayer Warriors, also from Virginia, pulled weeds and washed windows, finishing tasks that would take a Salvation Army staffer more than four hours, says Connie Millard, community development director.
“As the weeds grow people would walk past and wonder if things are okay, is there life happening there,” says Millard about their need for help cleaning up the facility.
“They took what would have taken hours for staff and allowed us to do what we need to do and still make it (our office) beautiful,” she says. “It shows our neighbors we are here and care,” says Millard.
But these service projects do more than help the community, they help the pathfinders live out their faith. David Skrowbowski, a TLT in the Oakwood Knights Pathfinder club in Taylor, Mich.’s club helped clean up the grounds of the Lutheran Homes and Health Services in Fond du Lac. “As Christians our ultimate goal over everything is serving others, which is ultimately serving Christ in the end,” he says. This article was first published NAD Newspoints. Story by V. Michelle Bernard, Columbia Union