Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas-Blessing Reflections

As the Christmas season is upon us there has been such a sense of thankfulness here at the camp. Thankfulness to donors who have given so effortlessly and with great joy, to people who have given their time to make things happen in the past year such as the bunkhouse where on one day we had 27 volunteers out to put the bunk beds together from home depot, citi volunteers, john price and his crew from Ga and others like mike couper, dave tull, alan odum and doug leonard. Each of these men and women have sacrificed and given so much of their time and skill to complete the bunkhouse.
Then this summer our counselors literally 'came out of the wood work' in a way. Only 3 of our counselors had ever even volunteered with Pathfinders before. These great men and women spent their summer pouring their hearts out to change the lives of the campers that came through either in our normal camps or in a retreat. Thank you to each and everyone of you.
Then there are our givers that were in our last blog like J Arthor Law in Jonesborough or DBL Homes and Bracken Paving. These are only a few of our platinum givers but that doesn't even begin to cover the numerous individuals that gave so students could come to camp!
Numerous people who came to volunteer to help with the kitchen and other areas like the worship services, and stayed till the job was done so the campers had a great and meaningful time at camp.
As we see the close of this year and remember the lives that were poured out in service to our Lord Jesus Christ and then look at the lives that were changed and directed towards Him we are overwhelmed with thankfulness to God for allowing us to be used by Him in such a cool way.
Looking forward to next year, we are eager to see the crazy amazing changes happen here at the camp like last year!

And Christmas in our culture has to do with a lot of presents so here are some of the ones we received this year that stick out in our brain!
-John Price and his GA crew surprised us with a flatbed full of lumber that made up 80% of the lumber we needed to construct the bunk beds. The big red bow flew off on the way here but our faces still shined like a beam when we saw the amazing load of lumber.
-When two different camps donated all the mattresses, and then some, that we needed for the bunkhouse.
-When Summit Leadership called and told us to come pick-up an amazing chandelier someone had donated because they knew it should go in our barn/meeting hall.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Special Thanks to our Platinum Scholarship Sponsors

-Bracken Paving
Kingsport, TN

-DBL Homes
Kingsport, TN

-Jason H. Arthur Law
Jonesborough, TN

-Wingfield Environmental
Blountville, TN

-Central Baptist Church
Johnson City, TN

You Can Change a Life, Be a Hero!

Pathfinders goal is to equip and empower this generation to discover and fulfill their God given destiny. In 2009 we have been able to reach 1,360 lives through Pathfinders. In 2010 our goal is to reach over 3,000. To do that we need your help!
To make life-changing camp experiences available to every student who wants to participate, Pathfinders only charge students approximately 70% of actual cost and raises funds to cover the additional 30%.
We also provide scholarships to students who are unable to attend because of finances.
If you were a camper as a kid you know how much impact camp can have on your life.
For many of these students you can be the change. How can you do this…
-Give a monthly, quarterly, or yearly donation.
-Sponsor students to come to camp.
-Pray for the camp and staff.
-Turn this ministry into your ministry by volunteering your time and skills.
-Be a part of a lasting legacy by paying toward the land debt and investing in a camp that will be serving students in your region for decades to come.
Donate online at www.pathfindersonline.com

Staff Letter

Brad Wight—
Life Guard/Staff

Some of the most rewarding things about working at Pathfinders as either a counselor or a staff person are getting to build a family with the other counselors over the summer and getting to build relationships with the kids.
Watching these kids change over the course of even just one week is so amazing! It's hard to explain the feeling, but to see a life changed can be life changing in it's own rite. I plan on staying involved in Pathfinders for as long as I can.

(visit www.pathfindersonline.com and see how you can be a part)

Sponsored Student Letter

Dear Sponsor,

I just wanted to thank you so very much for paying my way to the Pathfinders Camp. I had so much fun doing all the activities. I learned so much, not only how to work in team groups but so much about God. Before I came I thought I knew plenty about being a Christian but really I knew hardly anything at all. My favorite part of the camp was team building, church and the bonfires at night. We had so much fun and I made so many new friends… so thank you so very much

-A Camper-

(Over half of this past summers students were sponsored by people just like you. You can be a part of a students life that you have never met just like this one.)

Counselor Corner

Interested in being full time summer staff???
-living in a tent or barn
-eating at crazy hours
-getting up early to pray
-spur of the moment trips
-experiencing life-change
-making life long friends
-profound God experiences
-develop leadership skills
-working long hard hours
-sleep depravation
-pushing yourself to the edge
-knowing you allowed God to use you to make a difference!
Visit pathfindersonline.com
Internships avilable also!

Camp 2010 On The Way

Summer Camp 2010 may seem like a long way off, but we are already gearing up for it!
Next summer we are having 4 one week camps with students from all over our region. We want to show them the love of Jesus Christ while teaching them to work as a team and develop themselves as disciples and leaders.
Registration is open online for 2010 (ages 11-18). You can register your child, youth group, scout troop or sponsor a student in need of a sponsorship at any time. (www.pathfindersonline.com)
With the bunkhouse completed we are embarking on new projects for next season. Construction on the mountain board and new ropes courses has already begun.
In 2009 we reached 1,360 people thru Pathfinders. Our goal is to double the impact we have on the community in 2010 by reaching 3,000+ people through camps, retreats and special events.
We are excited to see how the Lord will work here in the coming year and are looking forward to changing the lives of students and meeting new people that will become involved and make this ministry their own.
If you are interested in being a part of the Pathfinders family as a volunteer either to help get ready for camp or to work during camp, contact us at www.pathfindersonline.com or call 423-349-8078

Time to Plan a Retreat

With the bunkhouse finished the camp has been a buzz with different retreats.
Churches, organizations and businesses have used the camp for a day, a weekend, or a week.
It has been wonderful being able to serve the community in this way. We can house, feed and provide activities for groups of up to 115. We are already booking dates for spring retreats!

Life Transformation

“I learned so much, not only how to work in team groups, but so much about God!” “I really feel like I’ve grown closer to God, and the messages helped me understand God more.” “God came into my heart.” “I had an amazing time… now I don’t want to leave.” These are a few words from campers this summer.
It was such a wonderful summer and God has blessed us with such a great support group, YOU. Thank you for making this summer possible. You have allowed yourselves to be His hands and feet and it has truly touched the lives of students all over the region & beyond!
This summer 40 of the campers gave their hearts to the Lord! We wish you could have been here for those moments.
Thankfully, our staff got to witness first hand these transformations as students grew in their knowledge and commitment to Christ. Our focus was on grace and mercy and the students really responded to God’s word.
Our staff poured themselves into each of the campers using their lives to reach out to these amazing students.
In a word, this summer was unbelievable. Thanks to all of you for your prayers, time, financial support and for being a part of this ministry.
Also a big “thank you” from the campers that could not afford to come to camp, but did because of your generous giving and support. Thanks to each and everyone for doing your part. You are impacting
students futures!

Good Feed Back is Good Medicine like Joy!

Wow! When you work at building up a ministry sometimes you have no clue what type of impact that it may be having on the community. Last year we had over 1,300 people come throughthe camp and we continue to spread the word about the camp and what the vision is here to change the hearts of this generation and be a resource for the community and world around us.
This past week we received some good 'Joyful' feedback.
First, one of our great volunteers walked into Chef's Pizza in Kingsport with a Pathfinders hat on. The teenage girl that took his order asked excitedly, "Do you work at Pathfinders?!" He replied no but that he helps out there. The girl was over'Joy'ed anyway and explained with great enthusiasm about how much she enjoyed being out at the camp. She came out to play paint ball with her youth group as best we can tell from the story and raved about how much fun she had. She told our volunteer when he asked her if she won at paint ball, 'No, I got shot way more times than I shot someone else but I had a blast.'
It is so wonderful to hear stories like this in our community. Everyday amazing high school students that have been touched by being here at the camp.
Another incident of 'Joy' was a father called the office last week. He had never been here but his daughter had been here for an event with her youth group and apparently loved being here. The father was calling to ask if his daughter and her friend could have their 16th birthday party together here at the barn. He raved about how much she enjoyed being out here. We explained that in mid-January that the barn was not any warmer than the air outside because its an open air barn but they were too positive and excited to let that stop the party.

What an answer to prayer. Our prayer is not just that students would have a good time but that they would feel the presence and joy of the Lord when they are here. Our desire is for God to use this property and all He puts on it to touch the lives of area students either as campers, birthday girls or random festival visitors. God is using this land and we are so excited to be a part of it and see Him work.

Please pray with us for the students that will be coming to camp this summer. We want each students that wants to come to camp to be able to attend regardless of financial ability and for God to bring in the staff required for the task of being used to touch the lives of these incredible world changer teenagers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why does Pathfinders (PF) even exist? PART 1:

Years ago before PF existed there was a desire in the hearts of the staff to reach the students of this generation. The vision was to allow students to escape the fast paced world we all live in and place them into a somewhat foreign environment for them. The heart was not that someone wanted to build a camp but that someone wanted to impact students lives in a different way that involved students getting out of there comfort zones and into Gods grand creation that they sometimes miss because they are sending a text message or watching a movie. Have you ever just taken time and set in the quiet stillness of Gods creation and listened? Many times we don’t stop and take notice of what is around us. The heart of PF is to guide students into a deeper understanding of who God is and who they are. Take some time and do an experiment. Go sit outside, it could be the city or the country and listen. Focus on God and who He is. He loves you and He created this amazing earth under our feet. Realize that God is big and although we are small He knows every detail of you, right down to the number of hairs on your head. When you get that moment you will understand just one of the reasons PF exists.
More to come....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Welcome to Pathfinders

Hello all and welcome to the Pathfinders Camp blog! It has been an amazing trek to get to this point. Actually, Pathfinders started with trekking on the AT (Appalachian Trail). When we first began we were doing backpacking trips on the AT with amazing youth groups and really whichever students wanted to go. We wanted to see students lives changed and empowered by learning that God loved them and that He had a plan for their lives. It's so amazing to think now the Lord has blessed us with a beautiful camp with a bunkhouse, lake, ropes course, paintball courses and most of all the amazing campers that come and allow us to be a part of their lives. Welcome to Pathfinders and we hope that you enjoy the story of our trek. Stay tuned for more stories, updates, and craziness!