Pathfinder Camporee Sold Out: Largest Adventist Event in North America
by Monte Sahlin
By AT News Team, February 27, 2014
All of the tickets reserved for Pathfinder Club members and their adult leaders from North America has been sold as of last week, according to the Center for Youth Evangelism at Andrews University which manages the event. The event is scheduled for August 11 through 16 next summer in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Total attendance will be limited to 40,000 individuals, nearly four times the actual attendance at the first North American Camporee in 1994 and an increase of about seven percent over the last event in 2009. The camporee has become the largest single gathering of North American Adventists, nearly doubling to 22,000 in 1999 and again to 32,000 in 2004. In 2009 it grew another ten percent to 37,000.
The 40,000 slots approved for this year include 2,000 reserved for groups from outside North America, a thousand volunteers who help staff the event and a thousand children of those volunteers. About half of the volunteer passes are still unassigned as managers continue to recruit qualified people. There are also a few hundred "day passes" left for people who can come onto the camporee grounds during the day, but cannot camp there at night.
The number of participants permitted to attend every five years is voted by a planning committee that includes both youth directors and lay representatives from throughout the Pathfinder Club network across North America. The limit is set in order to plan a camporee budget and make sure that adequate space and logistics are in place.
There is a secondary market that operates now that the limits have been reached. Pathfinder groups that need to bring more individuals work through their conference youth director to purchase tickets from groups that have already paid for more slots than they discover can actually attend.
Ron Whitehead, director of CYE and an assistant professor of youth ministry at AU who serves as CEO of the camporee, told Adventist Today that on March 4 there will be a teleconference meeting of the camporee planning committee to consider the possibility of opening up additional slots and one more round of ticket sales. Adventist Today will carry news of the decision as soon as it becomes available.