PATHFINDER CLUB STRUCTURE & ORGANIZATION
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 6 to 15 years of age and is operated by the local Seventh-day Adventist church under the direction and control of the local conference youth director. Each Pathfinder Club is administered by a club director, deputy directors, counselors, instructors, chaplain, secretary, and treasurer. The club organization has two branches: the Adventurers (ages 6-9) and Pathfinders (ages 10-15).
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is committed to understanding young people and training its youth for leadership and service to humanity. The Pathfinder Club is a church-centered spiritual-recreational-activity program designed for young people 10 to 15 years of age. Pathfindering appeals to this age group because its program features activities that meet their needs and interests. Much of the Pathfinder Club program is built around physical action. This is because youth from 10 to 15 years of age are in a fast-growing physical stage of development. It is filled with action, adventure, challenge, group activities, and provides opportunities for the development of new attitudes and skills that produce personal growth, team or community spirit and a sense of loyalty and respect for God, His Creation, and His church.
While the Pathfinder Club exists primarily for youth, one of its basic purposes is to also bring together parents and church members through active involvement with the club and its members. Here the so-called generation gap disappears as young and old worship, work, and play together in a bond of common experience. Meaningful relationships are forged as leaders and counselors join with Pathfinders in sharing, building confidence, and working together. The whole philosophy of Pathfindering is built on the premise that "children learn best by example, rather than precept." As they see leaders and parents model spiritual and social values, they too will aspire to develop high moral principles, loving and caring attitudes, and determination to excel in all their various pursuits.
Young people learn most effectively in a positive, happy, and secure atmosphere. The attitude of the club leaders is therefore a vital ingredient in guaranteeing the success and effectiveness of this ministry to youth. A failure to listen to and understand the needs of the young people will only erect barriers to real spiritual growth and development and may prove to be a contributing factor in making the church and its mission unattractive to the youth.
This philosophy is an integral part of the club. The Pathfinder Club curriculum of six classes and nearly 350 Honors lies at the heart of the program.
The following objectives can be achieved as the club leaders seek to fulfill these.
Help the young people to understand that God and His church love them, care for them, and appreciate them.
Encourage Pathfinders to discover their own God-given potential and to use their gifts and abilities to fulfill God's expectations for them and the part they can play in the great plan of salvation.
Inspire young people to give personal expression of their love for God by uniting them together in various outreach activities.
Make the number one priority of your club program the personal salvation of every Pathfinder.
Build into a Pathfinder's life a healthy appreciation and love for God's creation by enjoying outdoor activity (campouts, nature walks, nature honors, etc.).
Teach Pathfinders specific skills and hobbies that will make their lives more meaningful and will occupy their time with profitable accomplishments.
Encourage the Pathfinder to keep physically fit.
Give opportunity for the development of leadership by encouraging club members to work together and share in leadership responsibility. This will teach them to learn the lessons of obedience, discipline, resourcefulness, patriotism and the processes of group dynamics.
Seek to foster the harmonious development of the physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual life of the Pathfinder.