Pathfinders

Philosophy

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.

Objectives

This philosophy is an integral part of the club. The Pathfinder Club curriculum of six classes and nearly 250 Honors lies at the heart of the program. The following objectives can be achieved as the club leaders seek to fulfill these.
  1. Help the young people to understand that God and His church love them, care for them, and appreciate them. As Pathfinders are accepted and affirmed they will begin to appreciate the love of God revealed through the church and its ministry, and feel a need to be more committed to and involved with its program.
  2. 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.
  3. Inspire young people to give personal expression of their love for God by uniting them together in various outreach activities.
  4. Make the number one priority of your club program the personal salvation of every Pathfinder. The Pathfinder age is a time when many decisions are being made that will affect the youth’s future relationships and his or her own personal development. The peak time for discovering and making a relationship with God seems to be around 12 years of age.
  5. 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.). Pathfinders will experience a sense of wonder and worship as they observe and explore the beauty, the majesty, and the creative power in nature. Fellowship with God will become more meaningful.
  6. Teach Pathfinders specific skills and hobbies that will make their lives more meaningful and will occupy their time with profitable accomplishments. Young people experience satisfaction and delight as they use their hands to fashion 5 useful articles from wood, plastic, steel, clay, felt and yarn and as they discover how things work and operate.
  7. Encourage the Pathfinder to keep physically fit. This is one important way to safeguard against idleness and boredom. Teach children to care for their body and establish habits that will provide for their future happiness and usefulness (cf. 2T 536, 537; Educ. 195).
  8. 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.
  9. Seek to foster the harmonious development of the physical, social, intellectual, and spiritual life of the Pathfinder. The invigoration of mind and body, the fostering of an unselfish spirit, the attention to recreational and cultural activities, will provide stimulus for personal growth and act as an outlet for that restless energy, which is so often a destructive source of danger to the young person.

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 10 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 is divided into separate units, each unit averaging between six to eight Pathfinders, including a captain and scribe.

Pathfinder Chart Organization

  • Pathfinder Club Members
  • Counselors & Instructors
  • Deputy Directors & other support staff
  • Club Director
  • Local Church Board
  • Area Coordinators
  • Local Conference Pathfinder Director
  • Union Pathfinder Director
  • Division Pathfinder Director
  • General Conference Pathfinder Director
The Pathfinder Club has a flag, bearing the Pathfinder’s Club Emblem. The flag is flown at local and conference Pathfinder programs and activities. There is a specially designed full-dress uniform and also a field uniform. The Pathfinder Club has a Pledge and Law, highlighting the spiritual basis on which the club is built. The club operates on a 9, 10, 11, or12 month calendar year, with a weekly or biweekly program of at least 1½, 2, or 3 hours’ duration. Within this 1½, 2, or 3 hour period the Pathfinders perform drill and marching, crafts and/or hobbies and games, as well as taking part in devotional activities and class work. There are six classes, with given names, which begin at 10 years of age and conclude at 15 years. Each class is represented by a chosen color as listed.
  • Friend – 10 years – Blue
  • Companion – 11 years – Red
  • Explorer – 12 years – Green
  • Ranger – 13 years – Silver
  • Voyager – 14 years – Burgundy
  • Guide – 15 years – Gold
At the completion of the classwork requirements, the Pathfinder receives insignia as an award consisting of a pin, Pathfinder Class pocket strip and chevron at a special Investiture service.

 Pathfinder Logo

Pathfinder World Logo

Pathfinder Logo

Pathfinder World Logo

Logo Downloads »

Logo Downloads »

Club Membership Requirements

  1. To be considered for Pathfinder Club membership the applicant must be at least 10 years of age and no more than 15 years of age. Where two clubs exist; children aged 10 to 12 will join the junior club and those aged 13 to 15 will join the teen club. (In some areas school level is used as the guidelines).
  2. Application forms for membership available from the club director/secretary must be completed and returned to the club staff committee for consideration and induction as a club member.
  3. A Pathfinder Passport is available upon application to the club director/secretary. (Optional)
  4. All members must pay membership and insurance fees as required by the club executive committee.
  5. Each Pathfinder should have and regularly wear the complete Pathfinder dress uniform and a club field uniform where applicable.
  6. Pathfinders must come to meetings and club-sponsored events in the uniform as indicated by the club director.
  7. Members must be faithful in attendance. Many clubs establish limits on absences and tardies, and Pathfinders who do not comply with these regulations may be placed on probation or be asked to withdraw from club membership.
  8. Pathfinders must learn and keep the Pledge and Law.
  9. Club activities include crafts, outings, regular club meetings and Classwork, fund raising, camp-outs, outreach activities, honors, and other activities. The Pathfinder must agree before joining the club to participate and cooperate in these activities.
  10. The Pathfinder’s parents must be willing to cooperate with the regulations and activities of the club. At times they will be asked to supply money and time to support their child’s membership.
  11. All elected directors and regular staff are members of the club by virtue of their office.

How to Organize a Pathfinder Club

  1. Counsel with the Conference Youth Ministries personnel.
  2. Meet with the Pastor and Conference Youth Ministries personnel.
  3. Present your plans to the Church Board. Church Board authorizes the organization of the Pathfinder Club. Familiarize Board members with the Pathfinder philosophy, aims, and objectives.
  4. Second meeting of the Church Board (or Nominating Committee) with Conference Youth Ministries personnel or Pathfinder area coordinator present, to elect Pathfinder director and deputies.
  5. Inform congregation during Divine Service about Pathfinder Club, its objectives and program.
  6. Pathfinder officers elect remaining Executive Committee members.
  7. First meeting of Pathfinder Executive Committee to elect remaining Pathfinder staff as needed.
  8. Pathfinder officers and staff attend Conference Pathfinder Basic Staff Training Course.
  9. Call Pathfinder Executive Committee meeting to plan yearly program.
  10. Present all plans at a Pathfinder Staff Meeting.
  11. Advertise the program at least six weeks before opening night.
  12. Write letters or personally contact the potential Pathfinder families.
  13. Enrollment night – completion of Pathfinder Passport applications.
  14. Home visitation by Pathfinder counselors.
  15. Induction Ceremony – Pathfinder Passports given out.
  16. Establishing church and community interest.
  17. Evaluation.
 

Pathfinder Uniforms

Uniform

The Pathfinder uniform helps make the Pathfinder program real and visible. It is emblematic and representative of the worldwide club’s ideals and standards. Each individual member becomes a very vital representative of the organization, and wearing the uniform will help to provide a consciousness of belonging to a club that rightly represents the Adventist youth of today. If the uniform is worn as ordinary clothing it will have failed in its purpose.
Front Shirt
Front Shirt with Sash
Right Sleeve
Left Sleeve
Left Sleeve – Other Options
The uniform should always be neat and clean. To wear it commonly for ordinary play or work lowers its dignity. The Pathfinder Club program should be so valuable to each member that the uniform will be acquired and worn with enthusiasm.

Uniforms should be worn:

  • At all Pathfinder meetings
  • At any public gathering when any or all act as: Messengers, Ushers, Guard of honor, Color Guards
  • On occasions as specified by Pathfinder director
  • At special Pathfinder services
  • While engaging in witness activity, or community service such as Ingathering, distributing food baskets, flowers, literature, etc.

Uniforms should not be worn:

  • By nonmembers
  • When engaged in selling or solicitation for personal profit, or for commercial or political purposes
  • At any time or place when it’s wearing discounts the organization or casts reflection upon the uniform, lowers its dignity and esteem, and makes it commonplace.

The Uniform

The official uniform for the Adventurer, Pathfinders, Master-Guide, and Ambassador is stipulated by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist® Youth Ministries Department. Any deviation or changes, including, but not limited to, the uniform’s style and color, must first be authorized by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist® Youth Ministries Department.

Basic Uniform

Should include the Pathfinder world emblem and the Pathfinder scarf. Other insignia and styles of uniforms are determined by each Division in keeping with the norms and economic conditions of the fields under their care.

The Insignia

While the uniform of the Pathfinder Club varies in regions or even countries around the world, the insignia and where they are placed are well nigh universally the same. Designing and setting the position of the insignia and/or working any changes or additions is the responsibility of the World Pathfinder Director and the General Conference in consultation with the divisions. Clubs, conferences, unions and divisions may make no exceptions or variations without the definite permission from the World Pathfinder Headquarters. The insignia are divided into two categories:
  1. Identification Insignia are the group of emblems that signify the organization to which the person belongs.
  2. Recognition/award Insignia are emblems indicating class achievement, position, or special achievements in conduct or service.

The following are a description and position of official Pathfinder Club Identification Insignia:

Pathfinder Triangle Emblem

This is the symbol that represents the Pathfinder Club. The 2-inch (5-cm.) triangle is worn on the cap, beret, etc. The Pathfinder Club emblem 3-inch triangle (7.5-cm.) in the local language is worn on the right-hand sleeve, shoulder high.

Pathfinder Club Name

These are worn on the right sleeve of the shirt/girl’s blouse, and dress uniform jacket ½-inch (1.2 cm.) below the shoulder seam. It is worn above the staff name strip and Pathfinder triangle on the right-hand sleeve.

Staff-Office Sleeve Strips

Area/district director/coordinator, club director, deputy director, instructor, counselor, and junior counselor may wear a strip designating their position; it is centered below the club name 2-inch (5 cm.) below the shoulder seam and ¼-inch (.08-cm.) above the Pathfinder triangle on the right-hand sleeve.

Pathfinder World Emblem

This oval symbol, containing the Pathfinder triangle, represents the worldwide organization of Pathfinder Clubs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This symbol is worn on the left-hand sleeve of shirt/girl’s blouse, and dress uniform jacket. It is positioned ½-inch (1.2-cm.) below the shoulder seam.

Neckerchief, Pathfinder

This is yellow in color with the World Pathfinder emblem as the logo on the back. An optional slide is available. This may be worn by all inducted Pathfinders and Non-Master Guide Staff.

Neckerchief, Master Guide

This is yellow in color with the Master Guide Crest printed on the tip of the triangle. The distinctive Master Guide slide with the Master Guide Crest is used with the neckerchief. It is to be worn only by those invested as Master Guides.

Pathfinder Class Chevrons

The following are a description of Pathfinder recognition insignia: Are located on the left sleeve below the Pathfinder world emblem. The order from top to bottom is Master Guide, Guide, Voyager, Ranger, Explorer, Companion, and Friend. All persons (Master Guide Included) should wear only the class insignia in which they have been invested.

Master Guide Star

An embroidered gold star is worn on left-hand sleeve. When all Pathfinder classes and the Master Guide course have been completed, the Master Guide Star and all the individual chevrons may be worn.

Pathfinder Class Pins

Upon Investiture for each class, the Pathfinder obtains a pin of recognition to be worn on the uniform: These may be worn centered across the top of the left pocket. The Master Guide pin would be placed in the center at the top of the left pocket with pins of other classes in which the Master Guide has been invested centered in a row below, or the Master Guide may choose to wear only the Master Guide pin. When advanced level insignia have been earned, the class pins may be placed on the sash.

Class Pocket Strip

Centered just above the left pocket of the shirt or blouse is the Pathfinder Class pocket strip for the highest Pathfinder Class in which the individual has been invested. It should be level with the top of the uniform shirt pocket.

Advanced Pathfinder Class Ribbon/Bar

This is worn only by those completing the requirements, on the left side of shirt or dress just above the Pathfinder Class pocket strip.

Pathfinder Excellence Ribbon

This is worn on the left side of shirt, blouse, or dress above the pocket. It is usually above the Pathfinder Class pocket strip or Advanced Pathfinder Class Ribbons.

Captain and Scribe Badges

To be worn by captain and scribe on the sash, or positioned above the right pocket, on the shirt/blouse.

Pathfinder Honor Sash

This is worn over the right shoulder (under neckerchief) and under the left arm, the lower point of the sash resting against the left side of the body. It serves as a collecting point for Honor patches and all other Pathfinder related emblems the wearer has earned. (Traded items are not to be included here.)

Pathfinder Staff Service Stars

These are obtained from the conference/mission director. There are two options: 1) Embroidered fabric stars may be worn on the right sleeve centered ¼-inch (0.08-cm.) below the point of the 3-inch (7.5-cm.) Pathfinder triangle emblem. 2) Metal stars may be worn on the left pocket. Only one star with the numeral indicating the accumulated years of verifiable service should be worn.
Service stars are awarded annually by the conference/mission that keeps a record of the years of service.
Epaulettes, Stripes, Stars of Rank.
An optional green epaulette is worn by teen Pathfinders, junior counselors, counselors and instructors. Optional gold stripes, bars, stars or various colored braids are worn for each level of conference leadership. These items are selected by local conferences, unions, or Divisions. Not more than one option may be worn and must be standard within the organization level selecting in.

Militarism

The use of a uniform in Pathfindering provides many positive results. It meets certain psychological needs of the Pathfinder age bracket; it encourages what could be called upgraded behavior; and it provides a sense of cohesiveness. In most regions the official uniform adopted in many ways resembles local military uniforms as local laws will or will not allow. While this is acceptable to a degree, those who have the decision making authority must be very careful to not create nor allow militarism to creep into Pathfindering. Militarism is defined as the use of military discipline and the wholesale adoption of military-style uniforms that would create confusion in the minds of those who do not know what Pathfindering represents. Around the world there are governments that are very sensitive to the existence of paramilitary organizations. Pathfindering in other parts of the world cannot be seen by these governments as involved in training guerrilla or terrorist-type personnel. Camouflage, combat boots, “blousing” of pant legs, and other similar military practices in uniforms should not be used at all. No military insignia are allowed. The Pathfinder scarf should always be worn as part of the dress (Class A) uniform to distance it from the traditional military uniform. Attaching weapons to dress uniforms such as swords, bayonets, or machetes and guns even if they are fake ones should not be allowed even in drill ceremonies.