Clear blue skies, freezing cold air, fresh green paddock, and the sun setting over the horizon. Peace. It was 5:00 pm the day before the Pathfinder Expedition. Soon the paddock would be filled with tents, drum fires, gazebos, and 300 excited pathfinders sporting compasses and carrying maps, ready to have the time of their life!

And were they in for a treat! The Strathbogie Ranges are one of Victoria’s finest spots to camp. Not only is the scenery beautiful, but there is plenty of space for orienteering, hiking, and even abseiling, and this was all about to happen!

Fast forward 24 hours. The orienteering course was mapped out, the abseiling instructors were rolling in, the worship area was set, and plenty of fun was waiting to happen. The Pathfinders arrived and then proceedings began with an opening worship from our guest speaker from Darwin, Pr Sean Tavai. Over the course of the weekend, Pr Sean shared a number of messages where he challenged and encouraged the Pathfinders to “Rumble in the Jungle” of life!

Drawing on 1 Timothy 6:12; “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses,” Pr Sean reminded us that eternal life is only found in Jesus Christ and He is the one who will lead us through the struggles we face in this life.

Pr Sean’s powerful messages were just the beginning of the blessings! We also enjoyed dramas led by Mariah Reed, praise and worship lead by Heritage College Pathfinder Club and some exciting Sabbath afternoon activities!

By Saturday night the Pathfinder flags were lowered, Sabbath was closed, and it was time to Hike Out. The Level 2 and 3 Pathfinders hiked to their sub camps while Level 1 Pathfinders did an orienteering activity at base camp.

Sunday proved to be exciting – the Level 3’s began the day with a 30 metre abseil on Rocky Ned. It was pretty daunting for some, but the Pathfinders showed their courage, pushing through it with a 100 % completion rate! Level 1 and 2’s hiked the day away, and, despite taking a wrong turn or two, the pancake and worship team did the afternoon rounds to ensure they all went to bed happy campers!

Even with the freezing weather, many clubs experienced the unique blessing of Expedition. Some of the feedback included how really great it was for the kids – getting them out in the wild and roughing it a bit, the blessings received from the messages and how clubs are already planning next year’s Expedition!

There is plenty room in Pathfinders for you and your children. If you would like to get your young people out of the house, into the bush, and equipped with some awesome skills, and experiencing God in a different way, then pathfinders is for you. For information on where to find a club and how to be involved contact VicYouth on 03 9264 7740 or [email protected] We would love to have you!

Simon Gigliotti