Pathfinders
Written by Brienna Thompson   

The St. Louis Shadows Pathfinder Club had a great year: it has grown to 21 Pathfinders. This year’s theme for [the] Pathfinders in Iowa-Missouri was “Created by Design”, focusing on the days of creation and God’s intelligent design. Throughout the year, Pathfinders had opportunities to understand how God demonstrates His love for them through His creation. The fall campout included a number of honors and activities: it taught Pathfinders more about creation; it offered them the opportunity to be close to nature through camping, and at honors weekend, they participated in a number of honors emphasizing evidence of God’s design.

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The year culminated with Spring Camporee April 30th through May 3rd. It was the highlight of the year. The weekend began with six of our Pathfinders lowering the camp flag Thursday evening. They were one of the only groups that used a creative marching formation. We were proud of how well they did. On Friday, Pathfinders participated in events designed around the days of creation. The obstacle course and Roman cart races were huge hits. One team from our club placed 3rd out of all the Iowa-Missouri clubs in building and racing Roman carts. They did GREAT! During the evenings, Pathfinders got to enjoy programs with singing, drama, and sermons emphasizing this year’s theme.

 

Sabbath was a day full of youth-centered programming. Pathfinders from around the conference led song service and Sabbath school. Pastor Dickhaut gave another thought-provoking sermon about the Creation. Sabbath afternoon, Pathfinders got to enjoy an animal presentation. The presenter brought a tortoise, python, tarantula, legless lizard, hornbill bird, and capybara. No doubt, you can imagine the reactions the tarantula got! It was one of the largest any of us had ever seen, about the size of an adult’s palm. Sabbath closed with Vespers, followed by the awards ceremony. Our club brought home several awards and ribbons. We earned a 1st place trophy for our club activities this year. The award is based on having regular meetings, attending conference events and the number of honors taught throughout the year. Saturday evening, Pathfinders participated in a circuit of games and had fun interacting with other Pathfinders from around the conference. Pathfinders always leave Camporee talking about the new friends they’ve made. It’s so much fun to watch kids start to develop their own Christian networks.

 

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One of the highlights for us as leaders and for our older Pathfinders this year was being able to introduce the Teen Leaders in Training (TLT) program to our club. It has been amazing to watch our three TLTs develop and demonstrate leadership skills. TLTs are an integral part of Pathfinders and carry much more responsibility than younger Pathfinders. They have been a huge help in keeping our club organized and teaching younger Pathfinders the skills they need to be successful. Perhaps most importantly, they serve as positive, Christian role-models for younger Pathfinders who look up to them. TLTs also played a huge role in the success of Spring Camporee. They were put in charge of organizing and leading events throughout the weekend. As older Pathfinders, they get to enjoy some privileges of taking on extra responsibility. Saturday evening at Spring Camporee, they attended an exclusive TLT-only party and stayed out until midnight. They may have been tired the next day, but they worked hard and had earned a fun night out. We couldn’t be more proud of our TLTs and all they do to help our club.

 

Pathfinders is an important ministry to the youth of our church. Research shows that kids who are actively engaged in church life and events are more likely to remain active in the church throughout the rest of their lives. Pathfinders is not only a great way to keep kids involved in church; it also provides them with youth-centered exposure to Adventist and Christian values. Most importantly, Pathfinders emphasizes having a personal relationship with Christ and helps provide them with youth-friendly ways of building that relationship. We are proud of how our club has grown over the past two years and hope to continue growing as a ministry for Christ and the St. Louis Central church. Please pray for our Club and the young people in our church.

 

We would like to give special thanks to all the Pathfinder parents and church members who helped with Pathfinders this year, especially those who took the extra time to go on trips with us.

 

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