Preparing for an International Pathfinder Camporee can be a daunting task especially if it’s your Pathfinders first time. We’d like to share some tips that may help ease the stress for you and your Pathfinder and help you prepare for a great experience at the International Pathfinder Camporee.
We’ve asked parents, who have attended past Camporees, to give us their best advice and here is what they said.
For help on what you should have your Pathfinder pack for the Camporee, check the Parent/Guardian Checklist.
School Absence Letter
Your Pathfinder may need a letter to their school asking for an excused absence so they can attend the Camporee. We have provided a Camporee letter for you.
Editable Microsoft Word document:
- Just edit the date, add student’s name, and the dates they will be missing school
- Letter to Public Schools Requesting Time Off
Tips from Parents/Guardians
- Familiarize yourself with the Camporee website and download the Camporee App on your smart phone, at www.camporee.org
- Sign-up for the Camporee newsletter to stay informed.
- Start planning two years in advance and make a list of must have things to take. Set deadlines for every stage of the process.
- Check the Camporee website before you go and decide on honors that pathfinders want to do. Some require fees and you will need to send money with them. Register early if necessary. Find out where the honors will be taught.
- Make sure that your club has quality tents that hold up well, with wind and water. Pathfinders also need to be prepared with quality equipment. Make an equipment checklist for your club as well as your pathfinder. Make sure your tent, sleeping bag, etc. are all updated & in good condition.
- Have lots of trading pins and something to carry them in. Also, have something for your Pathfinder to put their pins on like a hat, vest, towel, or cloth, so they can display them.
- For working parents, plan your vacation a year before the Camporee and submit it in first month of the year 2019 to avoid late request and questions at work.
- Vendors have neat items to buy, so send a few dollars of spending money.
- To be in the Camporee choir a pathfinder needs to attend practices while at the Camporee, so make sure the pathfinder leader knows ahead of time that the pathfinder has a commitment for certain hours of the day and won’t be with the rest of the club during those times.
- If your Pathfinder wants to be baptized, contact your Club Director to let them know. Be sure to go through Baptismal classes ahead of time with your local pastor and get the paperwork done before you go to the Camporee. You can find the Baptismal Form online.
Fundraising & Money Saving Tips
- Start fundraising early. One of the best ways to help your Pathfinder club is by assisting your Club Director to raise funds now for Oshkosh! Please don’t wait until it’s too late!
- Get Fundraising Ideas on the Fundraising webpage.
- Find out from the Director how much the trip to Oshkosh will cost.
- If you are planning to go, save money for registration starting today and not when its already in the same year you plan of going.
- The Club Director will need to register your Pathfinder. Please do not register your child yourself.
- Begin looking for sales on Camping items in stores in the fall or look for them at Garage Sales in the spring and summer.
- Consider buying most of your Pathfinders sleeping bags, clothes, towels, backpacks, etc. from a thrift store or a Good Will. They are inexpensive and if they get lost or ruined you’re not out a lot of money.
- Good comfortable shoes are a must. Pack extra shoes (in case it rains).
- Bring shower shoes or flip flops to use in the shower houses.
- Pack for all weather conditions. Past Camporees have had rain, heat and cold. Pack gloves, rain coats, sunscreen and a large hat to protect from the sun.
- Buy clothes, towels, & washcloths from a thrift store or Good Will to send with your Pathfinder. If it gets ruined you’re not out a bunch of money.
- Be sure to check and make sure your Pathfinder has all their Class A uniform pieces: Shirt, pants, skirt, scarf, slide, socks, black shoes, sash.
- Buy backpacks from a thrift store or Good Will.
Food & Water
- Plan quick easy lunches so most of your time can be spent in honors and activities. There is so much to do!
- Give your child a backpack with a packed lunch, drink, pen/pencil and at least 2 containers for their pins. One container for pins they want to trade and one for pins they want to keep.
- We ordered string bags with our club name on them, to carry around our lunch, snacks, hand sanitizer, etc. Our leaders were also able to carry small first aid kits in theirs as well.
- Plan simple meals that a kid friendly.
- Bring a water backpack and high calorie snacks for kids for mid-afternoon.
- Use powdered oral re-hydration mix to add to water.
- Bring a reusable water bottle. It will save you money and help reduce the amount of waste from one-time use bottled water.
- Make sure your Pathfinder has all their medications in their original pill bottles and a list of any allergies. Please make sure the Club Director is aware of your Pathfinders health needs.
- Be prepared to walk a lot. A small package of Band-Aids in your Pathfinder’s backpack could help blistered feet.
- Bring lots of baby wipes for those times when the line at the showers is too long.
- Provide a travel size hand sanitizer for your Pathfinder to carry around each day.
- Send biodegradable shampoos and soaps with your Pathfinders.
- Teens who are allowed to go without an adult, should be with a group at all times. There is safety in numbers. Set up meeting places and times to meet during the day to reconnect and check everyone’s health.
- Headlamps versus handheld flashlights work better for after the nightly meetings. They aren’t as likely to get left behind.
- Always have an adult or TLT with your kids. Travel in groups.
- Please no laser pointers. These cause serious problems especially for the Main Stage program each night of the Camporee.
- Keep valuables at home. It very hard to secure personal items in a tent. The Camporee is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Phone, cameras, wallets are some of the most lost items at the Camporee.
- Give a list of all the emergency contact numbers to your Club Director for each Pathfinder.
- Sign up as a volunteer, and work 5-8 hours a day. Volunteering is a great way to meet people and staff, get a feel for the environment and mood, and to invest in something great.
- If you have TLT Pathfinders, get them involved! Forever Faithful was my son’s (then 15 years old) first time to Oshkosh and he loved being able to Volunteer. That was more valuable to him than his time off.
- Be prepared to make tons of friends and have fun with your family.
- Encourage pathfinders and parents to attend and experience this worldwide Camporee.
- Think of creative ideas for your trip to help keep Pathfinders engaged on the ride to and from the Camporee.
- We came to Camporee with our family. Children were 5,8,10. We were so glad to find the Adventurer tent where there were activities for our younger children.
- Ask God for help with finances.
- Pray for wisdom, understanding, preparation and an open mind.
- Start reading Bible texts on God’s Promises during your family devotion/worship.
- Read the story of David from the Bible.
- Ask God for good weather.
- Pray that many will come to know Jesus.