GILLETTE, Wyo. — Camporee staff made a presentation this afternoon to about 125 Campbell County community members who gathered for the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s event at CAM-PLEX.
Camporee Executive/Fundraising Director Pastor Ron Whitehead, Off-site Community Service Cindi Young and Website Content Manager April Romuald explained what the community can expect regarding the event, which will take place Aug. 5 to 11, 2024.
Camporee participants, or Pathfinders, will be doing volunteer work that Campbell County community members recommend. That might include free car washes, murals, visits to senior centers, flag retirement ceremonies or planting trees, Young said. Planting flowers on the sides of the interstate near the Gillette exits to encourage passersby to visit the city might also be possible. Camporee would provide a specific project leader, communication with a Campbell County leader to have the appropriate amount of volunteer help, transportation and additional adult supervision. Campbell County would provide the supplies, a local project leader and knowledgeable adult help. Camporee’s working with Energy Capital Habitat for Humanity to come up with projects that Pathfinders can complete in a few hours.
He said Pathfinders would be happy to wash Gillette’s “baddest, biggest, dirtiest” trucks.
Whitehead said that in addition to leaving lots of cash in Campbell County, they want to build memories and support the community.
“We don’t want to do something to the community,” Whitehead said. “We want to do something with the community.”
Community service is an opportunity for leadership modeling for the youth participants, Whitehead said.
“They gotta be reminded life is not about me, myself and I,” he said. “It’s about taking care of others.”
Romuald said anyone can sign up for the Camporee e-newsletter for more information. Whitehead said businesses can contact Camporee for free marketing opportunities, and the organization’s preference is to put money into the community instead of buying out of town.
In the last week, about 7,750 people signed up so far for the Camporee, according to ticket sales reports on the event’s website. That’s faster sales than usual, he said.
Residents should plan to get food, medications and gas by Aug. 2, before Camporee comes, he said. Thousands of vehicles will be coming to Gillette.
“It kind of sounds like a storm, doesn’t it?” he said.
Owners of houses or RVs could easily find a Pathfinder who’d rent them, he said. Half of the group is vegetarian, and most of those who aren’t vegetarians eat fish. Gillette’s pizza delivery places and ice cream shops will be inundated with business. Thousands will arrive Aug. 5, and thousands more will arrive Aug. 6, the day programming starts. By 11 a.m. Sunday, everyone from Camporee will have left.
The Camporee’s going to help Gillette, with the Gillette razors company, be the site for breaking a world record regarding shaving, Whitehead said. A world record judge will come in from England to be in Gillette onsite so the organization can validate it immediately.
He said the Camporee is a unique opportunity for the city of Gillette to showcase itself to the world and that they’d appreciate the community’s thoughts and prayers.
He said he wishes he could invite the community to come in person to the evening program but because parents around the world are giving Camporee the responsibility of caring for their children, residents will only be able to stream it.
“This is a disappointment,” he said.
Traffic will be tricky, especially with the participation of drivers from other countries who are accustomed to driving on the opposite side of the road.
Upcoming Facebook live sessions will be on the first Sunday of each quarter, the website said. The 2023 ones will be April 9, July 9 and October 8. In 2024, the events will be Jan. 14, April 14, July 14 and Oct. 13.