Pathfinders (Seventh-day Adventist)
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The Pathfinder Club is a worldwide program organized and directed by the Youth Department of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It offers a wide range of learning experiences for young people 10 to 18 years of age (and older) and is operated by the international Seventh-day Adventist church under the direction and control of the local conference youth director. There are Pathfinders all over the world.
Pathfinder clubs are sponsored by a local Seventh-day Adventist Church or school and meet on a regular basis - often weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
Annually, each conference will hold a large event known as a camporee where Pathfinders from throughout a local conference will come together to participate in events, activities, competitions, and religious meetings.
An estimated 38% of Adventist youth aged 18 and under "Are members of Pathfinders or a similar church-sponsored youth group", according to a 2002 worldwide survey of local church leaders.
Activities include community service, camping, crafts, classwork, marching, Bible study, Seventh-day Adventist Church history, and leadership training. Staff to student ratio is said to be about 1:5, which the organization stresses as an important learning benefit for participants. Participants are children and teenagers aged 10–18, progressing through different ranks called class levels each year.
- 1 Program organization
- 2 Pathfinder Pledge, Law, Aim and Motto
- 3 Pathfinder Song
- 4 Pathfinder emblem
- 5 History
- 6 Uniform
- 7 Activities
- 8 Events
- 9 Honors
- 10 International camporees
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Adventist Youth (AY) classes
The Pathfinder program is organized around the Adventist Youth (AY) Curricula, which divides the members by age (or grade) into six class levels. Though each class level builds on skills earned in the previous levels, earlier levels are not prerequisites to subsequent levels. A complete and official list of requirements with teaching helps can be found at NAD Pathfinders Wiki. The class levels are:
|Standard classes||Advanced classes||Minimum grade/age||Class color|
|Friend||Trail Friend||5th Grade/Age 10||Blue|
|Companion||Trail Companion||6th Grade/Age 11||Red|
|Explorer||Wilderness Explorer||7th Grade/Age 12||Green|
|Ranger||Wilderness Ranger||8th Grade/Age 13||Silver|
|Voyager||Frontier Voyager||9th Grade/Age 14||Burgundy|
|Guide||Frontier Guide||10th Grade/Age 15||Gold|
Pathfinders also provide a Teen Leadership Training (TLT) program for teens aged 14 and older. The TLT program is designed to develop the leadership skills needed to serve as staff members of a Pathfinder club.
In addition to the six class levels listed above, the Florida Conference has added two additional levels inserted between Voyager and Guide. These are the Pioneer (10th grade) and Navigator (11th grade) levels. In this case the Guide class is taught to Pathfinders in grade 12. The Pioneer and Navigator classes have not been adopted by the North American Division or at the General Conference level.
Staff members and Pathfinders over the age of 16 can choose to work on earning the rank of Master Guide. The Master Guide program is more independent, requires more effort and self-motivation than the other levels, and its requirements focus on witnessing and leadership more than on individual skills. This class was designed to train youth leaders in the basic skills of youth ministry and leadership.
The curriculum varies from division to division in order to suit the needs and circumstances of the local population. Recently, the Southeast Asia Union Mission revised the curriculum in order to better serve the churches in the so-called 10/40 Window.
Master Guide is considered to be the highest level in Pathfindering. The Master Guide class is intended to prepare future club leaders. There are two levels of continuing education for Master Guides:
- Pathfinder Leadership Award (PLA)
- Advanced Pathfinder Leadership Award (APLA) or Pathfinder Instructor Award (PIA)
Pathfinder Pledge, Law, Aim and Motto
General Conference version
By the grace of God:
I will be pure, kind, and true,
I will keep the Pathfinder Law,
I will be a servant of God
and a friend to man
South Pacific version
Loving the Lord my God, I will:
Daily seek His presence
Show Friendship to others
Keep the Pathfinder Law
And honour my country
AIIAS versi on
By the grace of God, I will be pure,and kind and true.
I will keep the pathfinder law, I will be a servant of God and a friend to man.
General Conference version
The Pathfinder Law is for me to:
Keep the Morning Watch,
Do my honest part,
Care for my body,
Keep a level eye,
Be courteous and obedient,
Walk softly in the sanctuary,
Keep a song in my heart,
Go on God's errands.
South Pacific Division version
The Pathfinder Law is for me to:
Look for good in others
Aim to do my best
Love and Respect my family
Be thankful for what I have
Preserve God's creation
Take care of my health
Be involved in my Church
And go where He sends.
The Advent Message to all the world in my generation.
The love of Christ compels us.
Written by Henry T. Bergh
Oh we are the Pathfinders strong,
The servants of God are we;
Faithful as we march along,
In kindness,truth, and purity.
A message to tell to the world,
A truth that will set us free,
King Jesus our Savior is coming back
For you and me!
Note: Different countries may choose to sing the Pathfinder Song in their respective languages.
===Alternative Pathfinder Song===Written by Stan Schirmer
'Running up the highway
Following the Son
We are the future
A promise just begun
We're the next Generation
Tomorrow's in our hands
In a world of problems
We're gonna make a stand'
We're the Pathfinders
Tomorrow's in our hands
In a world of problems
We're gonna make a stand
We're the Pathfinders
Believe us when we say
We're headed in the right direction
'Cause Jesus leads the way
Jesus is my Friend
He's a true Companion
We are God's Explorers
Rangers for the Lord
working side by side
No matter what the problem,
God's gonna be my Guide
The Pathfinder emblem meaning:
The red color on the emblem represents the blood of Jesus Christ and how Pathfinders believe that he gave his life as salvation from sin.
The white color represents purity, and how the objective of Pathfinders is to have the purity and righteousness of Jesus Christ in their lives.
The blue color represents loyalty and how one of the objectives of the club is to be loyal to God, their parents, and their church.
The gold color represents excellence and how it is a standard of measurement. The Pathfinder club has high standards to help build a strong character for the kingdom of heaven.
The 3 sides of the emblem represent completeness. Completeness of the Godhead: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It also represents the tripod of education: Mental (as done through Honors and Crafts), Physical (as done through work bees and campouts), and Spiritual (as done in witnessing and missionary activities).
The shield represents protection. In the Bible, God is often called the shield of His people.
The sword represents the Bible. They are in spiritual warfare against sin; their weapon is the Bible. (Ephesians 6) and God the most important part
The first camp was held in Town Line Lake, Michigan USA in 1926.
The first South American Division Camporee "From nature to Creator" was held in 1983, in Foz do Iguaçu, PR, Brazil. The first Far Eastern Division Camporee was held in Phuket, Thailand, in 1984. This was followed by the North American Division's (NAD) camporee at Camp Hale, Colorado in 1985. This was followed by the "Friendship Camporee" in Pennsylvania in 1989. In 1994, the NAD hosted the first International Camporee near Denver, Colorado. Other international camporees have been "Discover the Power" in 1999, "Faith on Fire" in 2004, and "Courage to Stand" in 2009, all of which were located on the grounds of the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. At this year's camporee, about 36,000 Pathfinders attended. The next international camporee, themed "Forever Faithful", is scheduled for 2014, also at Oshkosh.
- 1907 - Missionary Volunteer (MV) Society (forerunner of the Adventist Youth) was founded
- 1928 - At Southern California's first youth camp in San Gabriel Canyon, Arthur Spalding first challenged youth to be "Pathfinders" like John C. Fremont, early California explorer, and like David Livingston, missionary to Africa.
- 1928 - "Pathfinder" first used as name of a summer youth camp, near Julian, in Southeastern California
- 1946 - The first conference-sponsored Pathfinder Club, in Riverside, California
- 1946 - Pathfinder Club emblem designed by John H. Hancock
- 1949 - Henry T. Bergh composed the Pathfinder song
- 1950 - General Conference authorized the Junior Missionary Volunteers (JMV) Pathfinder clubs for world field
- 1950 - First Conference-wide Pathfinder fairs: the "Field Day," or "Harvest Festival," in St. Helena, Northern California; and the Southern California fair, one week later, in Lynwood, Calif.
- 1954 - The first Pathfinder Camporee was held on May 7–9 in Idyllwild, California
- 1960 - The first Union Camporee was held on April 11–14, Lone Pine, California
- 1983 - The first SAD Pathfinder Camporee "From nature to Creator" was held in Foz do Iguaçu, PR, Brazil 
- 1985 - The first NAD Pathfinder Camporee was held in Camp Hale, Colorado, (USA)
- 1987 - The current NAD Pathfinder emblem was designed by Norm Middag
- 1994 - "Dare to Care" International Pathfinder Camporee, August 2–6, Denver, Colorado
- 1999 - "Discover the Power" International Pathfinder Camporee held in Oshkosh, WI (USA)
- 2001 - "No. 1 with Jesus" International EUD Pathfinder Camporee in Friedensau, Germany.
- 2003 - "Follow to Lead" first ever Thailand Mission-wide Pathfinder camporee
- 2004 - NAD Pathfinder Ministries under the leadership of James Black and Ron Whitehead hosted the "Faith on Fire" International NAD Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, WI (USA).
- 2006 - "Get Real Get Jesus" Southern England Conference Adventurer Camporee
- 2007 _ First South Pacific Division camporee "12th Gait" Stuarts Point NSW Australia
- 2008 - "Live" Pathfinder Parade (London)
- 2009 - "Courage to Stand" International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, WI (USA).
- 2010 - "Faithbook" International Camporee in Iso Kirja, [Finland].
- 2011 - Australian union Under Oath Camporee, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Jan 2011
- 2011 - "Walk with Paul" International EUD Pathfinder Camporee in Rome, Italy.
- 2012- "Love,Live,Lead" Pacific Union Conference Pathfinder Camporee in San Bernardino, California (USA).
- 2014 - "Forever Faithful" International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, WI (USA).
The most common pathfinder uniform in North America consists of a tan-colored dress shirt, black pants or skirts (an army green color used to be the standard and is still used in some areas), an honor sash (this is where badges earned throughout the program are attached), and a yellow scarf fastened with a gold slide with the pathfinder logo on both the scarf and the slide (sometimes just in black instead of full color). Uniforms vary between world regions and sometimes between countries. For example, Pathfinders in the Southeast Asia Union Mission wear light blue dress shirts and navy blue pants/skirt while those in the Hong Kong-Macao Conference wear green dress shirts and pants/skirt. Generally each Pathfinder shirt has the conference logo on the left arm side of their shirt along with a union patch. On the right side usually holds the name of the club or church along with the state, city, or area.
Many clubs also have what is called a Class B Uniform. This consists of a shirt with the club's logo on it. These uniforms do not conform to any particular standard, as they are highly individualized by each club. Class B uniforms are often utilized for less-formal events such as field trips and local club meetings.
In addition to regular meetings, Pathfinder clubs participate in other events and activities including outreach activities, community service, and campouts. During these activities Pathfinders may earn many outdoor-recreational honors and meet class level requirements.
A typical Pathfinder year will include the following events:
- The induction service is a ceremony where new members are officially welcomed into the club.
- Pathfinder Sabbath
- Pathfinder Sabbath is a service conducted during the regular worship service at a local church. Typically, the entire service, including the sermon, song service, prayer, and offering will be conducted by members of the Pathfinder club.
- Bible Achievement (Bible Bowl)
- Bible Bowl is an annual competition where Pathfinders answer questions from a predetermined portion of the Bible.
- The investiture service is usually held near the end of the Pathfinder year. Insignia is awarded during this service for honors earned and class levels completed.
- Camporees are camping trips attended by Pathfinder clubs from around a local conference, union, or division.
Honors are an important part of Pathfindering. Honors are similar to badges in Boy Scouts and require a combination of learning and/or completing activities or projects. There are over 350 different honors available, the first of which were introduced in 1928. A complete and North American Division authorized list of honors, including the requirements for each and nearly all the answers can be found at NAD Pathfinders Wiki.
Every 5 years, Seventh-day Adventist divisions hold division-wide camporees.
The North American Division has hosted 6 international camporees and will hold a 7th in 2014:
- The first NAD Camporee was held at Camp Hale in the Colorado Rockies in 1985
- Friendship Camporee was held in Pennsylvania in 1989
- Dare to Care was held in Colorado in the year 1994
- Discover the Power was held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the year 1999
- Faith on Fire was held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the year 2004
- Courage to Stand was held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the year 2009
- Forever Faithful will be held once again in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in the year 2014
Additionally the South Pacific Division held the 12th Gate Camporee in 2007 in New South Wales.
- Medical Cadet Corps
- List of Seventh-day Adventist hospitals
- List of Seventh-day Adventist medical schools
- List of Seventh-day Adventist secondary schools
- List of Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities
- Pathfinder Club Structure & Organization
- "Three Strategic Issues: A World Survey". General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2002. See question 63
- Master Guide
- South Pacific SDA Youth Website
- Pathfinder Pledge & Law
- General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, Youth Ministries Department "Pathfinders » Aim/Motto/Pledge/Law"
- Camporee SAD
- Camporee SAD
- NAD Pathfinder Uniform Colors / Pictures
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pathfinders (Seventh-day Adventist).|
- Official Seventh-day Adventist Church Website
- General Conference Pathfinders
- North American Division Pathfinder Ministries Website
- International Camporee Website
- 12th Gate South Pacific Pathfinder Camporee Website
- Florida Pathfinders (new class description)
- Sol das Araucarias Pathfinders Club - Brazil