Brandon Westgate – Gillette, Wyoming … Several personnel from the Rocky Mountain Conference (RMC) made their way to Gillette, Wyoming, October 18, to lay eyes on the place where the Pathfinder International Camporee will take place August 5-11, 2024.

Mic and Jana Thurber, RMC president and RMC Women’s and Prayer Ministry coordinator, respectively, along with Jade Teal, RMC Youth assistant director, and Eli Gonzalez, RMC Club Ministries executive coordinator, rode in one vehicle. Doug and Susan Inglish, RMC vice president for administration and RMC Treasury accountant, respectively, with Brandon Westgate, RMC Youth director, and Mickey Mallory, RMC Ministerial director, rode in the other. Brent Learned, RMC Youth assistant director, drove from Casper, Wyoming, to meet with everyone at the Gillette Seventh-day Adventist Church where they were greeted with open arms and a nice supper that the members had prepared.

The purpose of the trip was twofold. One was to walk the area where the Mid-America Union Conference (MAUC) Pathfinders will be camping during Camporee and to explore the city of Gillette to see what it has to offer. The other, and perhaps more important reason for the visit, was to meet with and pray with the members of the Gillette Seventh-day Adventist Church to encourage them and offer support to them as they prepare to engage in a special way with their community.

Can you imagine what it would be like for your small congregation in a town of 32,000 people to have a spotlight shone on you as the population of your town is increased by 55,000 Seventh-day Adventist Pathfinders? It is quite a challenging position the local church finds itself in.

I am pleased to report that this congregation is eager to do what they can to make a great impression before, during, and after Camporee. They do not have many young people in their church but local community people are interested in their young people being involved in Pathfinders so they can be a part of the Camporee.

Mic Thurber commented, “It was great to see the big dreams that will come to fruition with the camporee in Gillette. What a joy to have more than 50,000 Adventist young people together right here in our territory! Lives will be changed, and heaven’s census increased because of it. I am looking forward to seeing how God will bless our work in this town because of the blessing of having this event in our backyard!”

To which Doug Inglish added, “I was really impressed with the facilities and with the welcoming spirit from a few people we met in the community who are looking forward to the Camporee. And the church was really willing to take advantage of this opportunity to get involved. I can’t wait to see how God blesses them for their faithfulness.”

The city of Gillette is fully equipped to host an event of this magnitude. Their recreation center, ball fields, and basic infrastructure are top notch. Truly this is a great location for Camporee!

Since our visit, the local church in Gillette has already started a Pathfinder club! They are excited for the opportunity to minister to the young people and their families in their community. They will be investigating and praying for other ways to minister to the inquisitive folks in Gillette and extend to them a hand of fellowship. This church is on the move!

When asked what his impression was of the camp site area known as Cam-plex, Mickey Mallory said, “To be able to see the location of the Camporee caused me to dream of what it is going to look like next summer. In my mind, I could see over 55,000 Pathfinders worshiping Jesus on those grounds. And some of them even surrendering their lives to Jesus in baptism. Wow! What an amazing experience it will be! The words God spoke to Moses came to mind: take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground (Exod. 3:5).”

—Brandon Westgate is the RMC youth department director. Photos supplied.