The history of Adventurer and Pathfinder Club Ministries includes ‘earning’ patches and pins by completing requirements for awards, honors or levels. These items are traditionally awarded at an Investiture service where each child is recognized for their achievements. This practice extends to young adults and adults who, upon completion of the Master Guide requirements, are Invested and charged with the challenge of leading children and youth to Jesus.
In 1982, when AdventSource was recognized as the ‘official’ Pathfinder distribution center for the North American Division, it was with specific directions that Investiture patches and pins would only be sold to conferences in the NAD (other divisions get their materials from the General Conference). This policy had been in place since the ministry launched in 1950 and was intended to protect the integrity of Investiture items by restricting them from purchase by individuals who may want to decorate their uniform.
In the 90’s as conferences were downsizing AdventSource was asked by conference administration in several small conferences to develop a plan where their conference youth director could issue an authorized code to club leaders that would allow for them to purchase these items directly from AdventSource. This plan allowed for conferences to reduce the inventory they were holding, reduce staffing and eliminate the billing and collection process for these items. In order to retain the integrity of the Investiture items the code can be changed by the youth director every year or more often if desired.
Concern for the Integrity of Investiture Items
With the explosion of the Internet the potential of finding and purchasing items has expanded significantly. The internet allows for a single conference to set‐up a Pathfinder supplies website to serve their constituency and sell items directly to individuals in a different conference or union who may or may not have completed the requirements. (Note to NAD Administration ‐‐ currently we have a conference that has a very active website and is selling to the entire North American Division. They purchase items from AdventSource, increase the price by 20% and sell to people who cannot purchase from AdventSource because they do not have the authorized code. The youth ministries director of this conference is willing to change this practice but is asking for a formal statement from NAD Administration to support him in this change.)
We are recommending the following Guideline statement. ‘Investiture* patches, pins and other uniform items created by the North American Division and General Conference for Adventurer Clubs, Pathfinder Clubs and Master Guides will only be sold to individuals/churches by their constituent conference. Conferences choosing not to stock Investiture materials may make arrangements with AdventSource to maintain an authorized code system to allow for sales of these items to member in their conference.’
‘Unions and Conferences who develop conference awards and honors as outlined by the NAD Adventurer and Pathfinder committee protocol may sell these items outside of their conference. ‘
* the official list of Investiture materials created by NAD and GC is available from AdventSource