January 20, 2017 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens/IAD
In less than three months thousands of young people will travel to the Dominican Republic to camp out, meet new friends, learn new skills and be inspired during Inter-America’s fourth territory-wide pathfinder camporee. More than 13,000 young people from the Seventh-day Adventist Church across 24 major church regions will roll out their sleeping bags at Parque Mirador del Este, in Santo Domingo, from April 11-16, 2017.
Themed “Lineage of Champions,” the camporee will focus on the life of Ruth in the Book of Ruth, to help young people to reaffirm their identity, strengthen their leadership skills and commit to sharing the gospel in their communities.
Louise Nocandy, associate youth ministries director and main organizer of the camporee, says that so far 13,003 have registered and a large team of organizers and volunteers are ready make the upcoming camporee a memorable one.
“We want our pathfinders and master guides to understand their purpose, experience a transformation in Jesus and return home with a vision of inspiring others in their club to be transformed and ready for His Second Coming,” says Nocandy.
The event is not a trip for pathfinders to just be pathfinders, says Nocandy. “It’s about being a leader for Christ, about being involved in the mission of sharing the good news of salvation,” says Nocandy.
The camporee will include music, drama performances on the life and travels of Ruth, a bible bowl, sports and recreational activities, honor classes, community service, exhibit stands with new resources, and much more.
Mirador del Este Park is a fenced-in public park in the capital city, of approximately four square kilometers in size. It will be reserved only for camporee participants and staff during the event’s dates.
A team of 300 security staff and trained volunteers will work in shifts every 24 hours to be on guard, and to be available for any emergencies or issues that may come up.
Tucy Peña, a Seventh-day Adventist who owns a security company, has been training volunteers from area churches for months now. “We have provided weekly training and brought in military staff for courses to ensure that our security team keeps people safe before and during the five-day event,” says Peña.
Peña says that dozens of meetings have been held in neighborhoods informing them of the spiritual and recreational activities during the easter week. “There has never been any problems of security or violence in the park before so we trust that things will continue to be peaceful,” says Peña.
An emergency response team will also be situated in the park and medical doctors from a nearby hospital will be available during the event.
Guest speakers will include Johnathan Tejel, pathfinder director of the Adventist World Church, and Yamileth Bazán, youth speaker and vice president of student affairs in La Sierra University in California.
The camporee’s registration deadline is February 15. For those still interested in attending, they must contact their club leader to obtain a registration number in order to register online. The cost is $55 for club members. For others wanting to travel independently, the cost is $70. Outside of the Inter-American Division, the cost is $100.
For more information regarding the IV Inter-American Pathfinder Camporee, visit camporee.interamerica.org