For five years, the Sedalia Pathfinder Club has taken an annual backpacking trip.

This year they recently joined Pathfinders from Lees Summit and Moberly for a survival weekend. Before heading out the kids received instruction on what to do if they got lost, how to build a shelter, how to purify water, how to build a fire, how to catch a fish with just a hook and string, and how to properly clean a fish. They also started the Star Honor.

After receiving instructions, the group of 34 headed into 276 acres of backwoods near Florence, Missouri—hiking over miles of rocky terrain, past ponds and wildlife to their campsite. They were only allowed to bring what they could fit in their packs, and were not allowed to pack matches or tents. They had to find or build their own shelters, find and prepare their own food, and take care of themselves in general.

On Sabbath the Pathfinders had a full day of camping and learning more about nature, ending the day with songs and worship. As temperatures plummeted to around 28 degrees that night, these brave kids somehow stuck it out in their self-made shelters, making all their own food for breakfast the next morning over fires they built themselves.

These Pathfinders gained survival skills that most would have never gotten otherwise. With these skills and God’s protection these Pathfinders are more prepared for whatever life brings them. We feel blessed to have had the opportunity and grateful for those who joined us. We hope to make it available to all conference clubs going forward.