The North American Division Youth Ministries Department is pleased to offer a new curriculum for Pathfinders to complete as part of their Pathfinder Club experience.
For the last several years a committee of Pathfinder leaders has been working on assessing the AY Classwork curriculum that was developed in 1987-88. That curriculum has served us well but more and more club leaders were asking for something that would connect with our 21st century Pathfinders. After surveying local club staff, area coordinators and conference leaders the following themes surfaced:
- There is too much reading
- Require memorization that is manageable
- Clubs must be able to complete the curriculum within a Pathfinder year
- Updated resources for leaders and instructors must be provided
- Curriculum must make it clear what outcome we want to achieve (more than just doing the requirement)
- Completing requirements should be hands-on rather than writing and reading
- Advanced requirements should be interesting and inviting
Based on these recommendations and with the guidance of an educational specialist the task force reviewed each of the requirements to make sure they aligned with our curriculum objectives, educational practices and Pathfinder ministry goals. During this process there was special focus given to age appropriate requirements and to creating a series of requirements that was sequenced from year to year, allowing the Pathfinder to build on the skills they had previously learned.
The Investiture Achievement requirements are divided into eight sections. Requirements can be met in a variety of ways based on the way the individual Pathfinder learns best. Each year that a Pathfinder is Invested and advances to the next level the sections remain the same as the previous year. However, the activities to fulfill the requirements change, in order to allow each Pathfinder the opportunities to participate in new experiences and challenges and to practice skills and information previously learned.
This Investiture Achievement curriculum moves from a focus on completing requirements (although Pathfinders will complete requirements) to creating a learning environment. For successful implementation directors, instructors and all Pathfinder staff must:
- Inspire and motivate learners.
- Emphasize quality, not quantity, of learning.
- Build on knowledge that has been gained in earlier levels.
- Allocate time to practice new concepts and skills.
- Aim for understanding rather than memorization.
- Consider developmental and individual abilities of each Pathfinder.
- Employ effective and flexible strategies to aid learning.
- Use meaningful activities that utilize learning strategies..
In 2009 the Pathfinder Committee voted to accept the requirements presented as the framework for a new curriculum. Over the next 12 months clubs from across the North American Division piloted the curriculum and gave their feedback to the task force. Based on the feedback received final changes were made and the Pathfinder Committee voted in March, 2011 to implement this Investiture Achievement curriculum Division-wide in the Fall of 2011.
Many clubs use "Class Levels" as a curriculum to help train pathfinders in a variety of educational, spiritual, and physical areas. For many clubs "Class Levels" forms the "template" or "lesson plan" for the year. Many staff enjoy the structure provided by "Class Levels," since it helps them create a organized plan of fun activities without spending many needless hours in "prep time." Instead, they are able to take the Class Levels framework and let loose their creativity in making the Class Levels exciting and interactive for their pathfinders.
Friend -- Fifth Grade
Companion -- Sixth Grade
Explorer -- Seventh Grade
Ranger -- Eighth Grade
Voyager -- Ninth Grade
Guide -- Tenth Grade
Master Guide -- The top award granted to Pathfinder ministry. This indicates a person's commitment to the ideals of Pathfindering and to the Pathfinder organization and often requires two or more years to complete.
Investiture Achievement is a multi-year curricula developed to provide a balance of activities and learning experiences for Pathfinders in the North American Division (United States, Canada, Bermuda, Guam-Micronesia). For those outside the North American Division click here.
Teacher helps are provided in a peer-support database called a wiki. Contributors from across the world have provided real-life working models in many areas across the curricula. Feel free to add your ideas and support your peers across the North American Division.
Elephants can weigh up to 13,000 pounds (5,500 kg). Their noses (trunks) can store up a gallon of water, which they squirt in their mouths for a nice swallow of refreshing drink. Their two upper incisors--tusks--have been known to grow to over 20 feet long. An elephant's heart alone weighs 60 lbs (over 27 kg).
We had just finished lunch near a pan and were heading out to new adventures. Pans in African grasslands are large shallow depressions in the landscape that collect water during the rainy season, forming small ponds or lakes. Some are large enough to keep water all year round and serve as drinking sources for lots of different animals during the dry season. That makes a pan a very good place to go and watch for all kinds of animals.
We came to the first "T" on the dusty road, turned left and almost immediately saw Chokwane. He was an elephant, the last of the "Magnificent 7." Later a ranger told us no one ever sees him anymore; he roams the isolated regions of the game park alone and away from all other elephants and humans. He wears a small radio and park staff fear the day the radio stops because poachers found him.
The "Magnificent 7" have for nearly a century been the proud rulers of the animal world of those regions. They survived many a battle and many a hunter's efforts before the region was set aside as a refuge and they were supposedly safe. However, in recent years poachers had managed to kill all but one--Chokwane.