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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:30 am 
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Fellow Master Guides, I have an issue that I have been struggling with. I do not feel this is a clear issue of right and wrong, more an inner struggle that tugs at my thoughts and is a subject of regular prayer on my part, trying to see my way clear. I wonder if others out here have struggled with this and if you have come to a personal resolution.

I am a Master Guide, I have been for some time, and I am beginning work on my PLA. Beginning in 4th grade and in most of the years following, I was and still am an enthusiastic Pathfinder. I got invested every year with the advanced work, I pursued lots of honors at Pathfinders, Camp and even at home. Hence my full dress uniform, like many of yours I presume, is covered with many awards. Here is where I have my two-fold problem.

(1) I have never been in the military, but I am wearing what is essentially their uniform, with a few minor variations. I understand reasons why this choice may have been made, it does not change the fact that it is a military uniform. Without bringing any politics into the discussion, most of the men and women who have the opportunity to wear this uniform are putting their very lives on the line for us.

(2) I have understood for years that we should not adorn ourselves. I know this brings us very near a contentious topic that I don't want to stray into. However, it seems to me that the very act of wearing the uniform with the pins and awards and honors is gathering honor from men. I don't want that honor. I don't want to point to MY accomplishments and MY awards. I don't want to trapse into church wearing something that shows everyone everything that I have done.

On the other hand I very much enjoy Pathfinders and the tremendous opportunity for ministry.

Have you struggled with this? I would never want to disrupt the program in any way. I know there are those that believe that the uniform is very important and I am not trying to take away anyone's right to wear it. I just merely feel I would prefer something simpler without all of the patches, pins, awards, etc. and that did not look like I am in the military.

Is there another reasonable option out there? Something as simple as slacks, shirt and a tie would suite me just find, but I don't want to appear to be a troublemaker that is going against the program.

Your Brother in Christ,
Keith

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Keith A. Hannah Jr.
Thankfully serving God as a Master Guide and Area Coordinator in the Indiana Conference.

We are the clay and You are our Potter; we are all the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:8


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 1:20 pm 
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Location: Carolina Conference, Southern Union Conference, NAD
You raise some very good issues. I will try an answer them as best I can. Keep in mind, however, that what I wright is infallible.

1) I wish to first list the differences in the (NAD) Pathfinder uniform compared to the US Armed Forces uniforms
    Compared to the US Army Green Class A (No longer in use by the US Army):
      A tan shirt is worn by Pathfinders instead of a pail green/blue.
      Black pants or skirts are worn by Pathfinders instead of "Army Green."
      There are no stripes on the pants of Pathfinders, unlike the Army officer uniforms.
    Compared to the US Army "Dress Blue" Class A
      Once again, a tan shirt is worn by Pathfinders instead of a white shirt.
      Blue pants or skirt is worn by the Army, except for higher ranking officers who where black. Pathfinders wear black pants.
      Once again, no stripes on the pants are worn by Pathfinders, unlike the Army.
    Compared to the US Navy "Service Dress Uniform"
      Pathfinders wear a tan shirt instead of a white shirt.
    Compared to the US Air Force Uniform
      Pathfinders wear a tan shirt, instead of a pail blue or white shirt.
      Pathfinders wear black pants or skirts instead of the blue pants or skirts worn by the Air Force.
    Compared to the US Marine Corp Uniforms
      Dress Blue
        Blue pants with a red stripe is worn by the USMC, Pathfinders wear black pants.
      Blue-White Dress
        The USMC wears white pants instead of the black pants that every Pathfinder uses.
      USMC Service Uniform
        The color of of the pants worn by the USMC is olive green. Again, Pathfinders wear black pants.
Pathfinders also wear sashes (with honor patches on them) an scarves, but don't wear uniform jackets like the US Military. These items have no equivalent in the US Military. These items are the real distinguishing factors between Pathfinders and the Military. That said, Pathfinders is an army of youth that is taking "The Advent Message to all the world in this generation."

I guess what I am trying to say is that wearing the Pathfinder uniform doesn't, to me, make me feel as though I am, in any way, misrepresenting the military.

2) In regards to your second point. I have a harder time with that one myself. I think that I wear the sash (with all of the honor patches on it) for several reasons. a) I am not a military person, but a Pathfinder. b) God has given me talents to use. I think of the the honor patches that I have been awarded as a way to thank Him for His give (don't hide the candle under a bush). The scarf is the mark of a Pathfinder. I could be from any youth group without my scarf, but the yellow scarf says that I am a Pathfinder. I think of it as an honor to teach and prepare children with God at the center of their lives. As for the patches and pins that represent class levels, I use that to tell what age a Pathfinder is. I don't think of that as an accomplishment, but a way to tell what age and group within a Pathfinder club they are in. There are three or four items that I wear that don't fall into the above categories. These are my baptismal pin my Master Guide stuff (pin, patches, slide, and scarf). The Master Guide stuff is my way of saying what God has called me to do. This is to serve Him by teaching children about him. These show that I have taken steps to understand how God wants me to do this. My baptismal pin is the only item on my entire Pathfinder uniform that I proudly wear (sort of an accomplishment). This shows that God has convicted me. This tiny little pin shows that I have chosen to follow Him.

I guess I just don't view the Pathfinder uniform as "showing off." Rather, I view the Pathfinder uniform as a way to praise God for all that He has given unto me.

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"Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.' " John 13:8b


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:12 pm 
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I think it is more the patches, pins, etc. on the shirt more than the colors than make it seem military like. On the other side many organizations have similar type uniforms.

A church members husband died. He had worked in the prison so they had a full memorial service including 21 gun salute and color guard by the prison guards in full uniform. I do not consider prison guards as military but their uniforms were similar. The boyscout who played taps wore a uniform similar to military too.

When I was volunteering for the forest service I had a uniform that had patches that could be viewed as military like too. I remember when I came upon an accident where just a highway patrolman had just arrived at. I stopped to see if I could help and he asked if I would look for possible occupants of the vehicle. I did and later helped pull the driver up the bank while he was on a back board. Other big strong looking people came and offered to help but were sent on their way. They were not wearing any uniform. At another time I was driving up to the mountains and came upon a rescue in progress. I had just been training search and rescue 2 weeks before but was rudely turned away by the rescue team. I was not wearing any uniform.

Look at firemen when they are on parade. What are they wearing? Are they military?

The amount of service you will be allowed to give is determined by what you ware. If you are not wearing Christ's righteousness when He comes, He will turn you away too.

This is an age old discussion that some will always be ready to use to why the Pathfinder program has a fault. I choose to view uniforms as clothes to indicate how you serve people around you. Each organizational uniform is different from every other organization. Do these people want us to ware clown uniforms or Las Vegas show girl uniforms.

I have worked with many clubs and noticed that Pathfinders and staff behave better and work harder when wearing the uniform. (without the sash and neckerchief)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:46 pm 
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I am also in the same line of thinking with you once. We have no difference with those of the armed service except that we have no guns or special warfare equipment.And I get your point when you say:
Clay in HIS hands wrote:

(1) I have never been in the military, but I am wearing what is essentially their uniform, with a few minor variations. I understand reasons why this choice may have been made, it does not change the fact that it is a military uniform.

But that's my opinion once as your opinion now, and I respect that. That question of mine was answered by time indirectly, let me give you some of my insight.
This regards on your first question. In a survey and I think you heard also the phrase when people will be ask who are the Seventh-day Adventist the surprising answer is "I never heard of it." And poll reveal that less than 1 out of 8, knows us. In Pathfinder Administrative Manual page 52
Quote:
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.

Wearing uniform is just only for identity a way wherein the community will know that we exist, just like in our school a student may wear the proper uniform but it doesn't mean they are military...just only for the awareness, by that we are giving message in an indirect manner.

Blessings

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Ric Catanghal
Pathfinder all the time...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:14 am
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Location: Indiana
Thank you each for your responses on this matter of the Master Guide Uniform.

While I still struggle, I do see the place for the uniform. You have helped me to see this in a different light than I have thought for some time.

Your Brother in Christ,
Keith

_________________
Keith A. Hannah Jr.
Thankfully serving God as a Master Guide and Area Coordinator in the Indiana Conference.

We are the clay and You are our Potter; we are all the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:8


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:57 pm 
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I have had struggles with the sash. Ever since becoming a staff member 3 years ago, I only ever displayed the honors I earned as a student. Even when my students were displaying more honors than I did, even though I taught them their honors.

Later, at a Union camporee, someone pointed out another Pathfinder who had enough honors to fill up 2 wide sashes crossing their body. I then decided to get rid of all the honor patches and only display camporee patches on my sash.

I try to lead by example and by that, I want my Pathfinders to know that there are people like me who think of ~excessive~ honor display as personal adornment similar to boasting of acheivments. I know it's not for everyone, but for me, I choose not to display them at all. It is also much easier to handle sewing fewer large patches.

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~ALOHA~


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:51 am 
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Dear Brother: I have never been a pathfinder, I am a SDA church member since childhood. I am very proud of the way you put your concern of the uniform. I am a retired veteran with 21 years in military service. I have childrens who are member of the Pathfinder Club active and non-active. My answer to your topic is this: What I wear while I was in the military had nothing to do with what I had in my heart for the dedication of my Love for Jesus and service to Him. I always try to share Him to others and not to worry about how I look. As long as others saw the spirit in me
that was all I care. I went to Vietnam twice and I serve as an Infantry men and I can say in my heart that I never killed any one, even do I was under fire some time. I thank GOD that my childrens share their uniform to show others of how the LORD have bless them in the service of a Pathfinder Club. Also it makes me more happy to watch our kids
in uniform than being in another club that have no love and dedication for our LORD JESUS CHRIST. Dont show your uniform ,show the dedication that you have in your heart. May the love of GOD be with you until your service as a master guide be completed when HE comes. Christian Love!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:26 pm 
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I have been in Pathfinders 3 years and have never put on a patch. I have tossed back and forth on the issue and decided that it was better to keep humility in my heart and never boast in any way about my accomplishments. I do not believe that it is a matter of right and wrong but of personal conviction. Also I think that it also depends on the character of the person, if that person is naturally prone to bragging I think that the honors are a bad influence but as long as one stays humble I do not find a major problem with it but one must also make sure that they stay humble and that they are not a stumbling block to others.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:42 am 
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I am Master Guide and a Area Coordinator I used to work in Search and Rescue we had to wear a uniform. The uniform would let people know I was there to help them, it gave people around me some faith that I new what I was doing and I would make things better. Just showing up in uniform could calm down a bad situation.
I am now working with my conference visiting all the churches in my state. My uniform may have changed but now it does even more. It still lets people know that I am here to help and that I have been mentored in certain areas of leadership, but now it inspires are young people to try new things. When I visit a church the kids will ask were I got this one or what is this one or tell me I am going to do this one next. It is always gratifying to see kids who at first were just interested in what they could earn next grow up to be more interested in what they could learn next about Christ.
I do not lock on my uniform as a adornment of man but as a tool in my ministry to help young people to Christ. I look at name brand watches and designer suits and nice cars more as a adornment of man then a uniform that empowers me to better serves Christ and my Church.

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Iso Vernon
Utah Area Coordinator


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:34 pm 
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we solved a problem this way. It is far not a military uniform
https://plus.google.com/105948288229423 ... Yas7PTMYzb
first - for honors, 2nd for camp paches

PS sorry I don't know how add img to text


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