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Networking ideas for Pathfinder Ministry
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 1:47 pm 
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I've read the handbooks and manual about how a PF club works. We have a very small club in our church. So I would like to ask other clubs some questions.

Who makes out the yearly schedule of what each level is doing when?

Who grades the honor work that is handed in?

How much self motivation do the level leaders have? Do they look at the schedule, see what needs to be done and do it? Or does the Director assign tasks to level leader?

How many directors do you have? Are they a married couple, if man/woman?

How much reporting do the level leaders do to the director?

Does your church nominating committee decide who is PF director?

Thank,

Tiffany Thomas

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 4:41 pm 
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Location: Central New Hampshire
Quote:
Who makes out the yearly schedule of what each level is doing when?

As the director, I make a DRAFT of the schedule. We have a meeting in mid-July to revise it, and I invite all staff, parents, and PFs to attend and contribute. The draft is just a starting point, and I expect people to propose changes to it. When we're done, I expect everyone to be happy with it, and commit to it. That covers some of what the classes do, but not the bulk of it.

Quote:
Who grades the honor work that is handed in?

The honor instructor does.

Quote:
How much self motivation do the level leaders have? Do they look at the schedule, see what needs to be done and do it? Or does the Director assign tasks to level leader?

It depends on the leader. An experienced leader does not need (or want) my input. A new one does. I offer to schedule out their class activities if they want me to. There are some things that the club does together (knot tying, camping skills, CPR, sometimes first aid), and those are built into the "master" schedule. We also schedule our outreach activities as a club.

The master schedule also includes which class is responsible for worship during the meeting, but I let the leader choose their own worship topic (based on what they need to present for their class).

I also tell new leaders not to use class time working on the pledge, law, pledge of allegiance, PF aim, motto, or books of the Bible, as those are built into our opening exercises. By the end of the year, every kid in semi-regular attendance will know all of that.

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How many directors do you have? Are they a married couple, if man/woman?

We have but one, but I am half of a married couple!

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How much reporting do the level leaders do to the director?

We try to have monthly staff meetings, and I ask how it's going then. I also set benchmarks for the reading, but that's more on the kids than on the staff. We have a Fun Night on New Year's Eve, and they have to have their reading done (and 75% of the merit points) to qualify. For Fun Day at the end of the year, they have to have 75% and be invested in a basic level.

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Does your church nominating committee decide who is PF director?

The PF director is a member of the Church Board, so must be nominated and elected. Our church office year runs from Jan 1-Dec 31, but PF and Adventurer leadership works better when it runs from Jul 1-Jun 30. The Church Manual allows the Church Board to serve as the Nominating Committee when the Nominating Committee is not in session, so our church board nominates those positions separately at a time that works better for those two offices. Then we have a first and second reading, and the church votes on the nominations. I would prefer it if church offices all ran from Jul1-Jun30, but our conference prefers it the way it is and pushes for that.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 9:52 pm 
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PatchTrail wrote:
Who makes out the yearly schedule of what each level is doing when?

As director, I make out a draft of the year's schedule with my staff and present it to the church board for approval before the beginning of the PF year. Usually this includes things like outings, trips, campings, visits to different churches and witnessing events.

Each counselor is responsible for working out a schedule of how they'd like to present and teach their class. It does not require review or approval of the director, just as long as all the requirements will be met before investiture.

We usually try to incorporate general stuff with the club schedule; for example, different camping skills for each class are included in a camping schedule (build a fire, cook bread, clean dishes); another example is first aid skills, we have a nurse or medical doctor from the congregation come by and give a class or two during the year, and we ask them to cover certain topics so the kids can fulfill most of their requirements (such as the First Aid honors, Basic Rescue, CPR).

PatchTrail wrote:
Who grades the honor work that is handed in?

We always use the worksheets from the Honors Manual and Worksheets provided by AdventSource, which has convenient charts and spaces for the kids to write their answers and take notes. Either the director or the instructor will sign off on completed worksheets, which are saved in each PF's binder and handed in close to the end of the year for ordering the patches.

PatchTrail wrote:
How much self motivation do the level leaders have?

There is a specific seminar and training as part of the curriculum for the Pathfinder Leadership Award which deals exactly with how to motivate your volunteers. It depends a lot on the person; some have the passion and drive for the club and need little motivation. Others, though, need lots of encouragement and follow-up to make sure they're still on track and keep their class up to date. Specifically in my club, most of my counselors need consistent encouragement and checking up on, to make sure they're understanding what they need to do and that they're not feeling overwhelmed.

PatchTrail wrote:
Do they look at the schedule, see what needs to be done and do it? Or does the Director assign tasks to level leader?

As I mentioned before, each counselor is in charge of making use of their time wisely. I as a director do not tend to micromanage my team, unless I see that a counselor is falling behind (which sometimes occurs because life happens). Being in charge of a whole club and team is challenging enough, I cannot imagine what it would be like to also have to assign tasks to my counselors.

PatchTrail wrote:
How many directors do you have? Are they a married couple, if man/woman?

Currently, I am the director and have a subdirector. Should I not be present at a meeting for any reason, I will make sure my subdirector knows the plan and takes charge. I have been part of other clubs where the director and subdirector are a married couple and this worked well because both were passionate about the ministry. I am a man, but again, I've seen other clubs be led just fine with a woman, and have been led by women as directors several times.

PatchTrail wrote:
How much reporting do the level leaders do to the director?

The reporting is usually done at staff meetings, so it would depend on how many times you have staff meetings. We have them every time before a PF meeting, half hour before it starts. Because it is so frequent, we do not spend a lot of time with updates. If one of my counselors has a question or is having an issue, they either seek me out at another time or I will speak to them to help resolve the challenge.

PatchTrail wrote:
Does your church nominating committee decide who is PF director?

The church board is in charge of nominating the director for the club. The director is the one who picks the staff. At my church, we have all three ministries so the church will nominate four directors: Adventurer, Pathfinder, Master Guide and the Administrative Director (who is in charge of overseeing all three clubs).


I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, let us know!

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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 1:17 pm 
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LOL, Jim Thomas. I like your reply on being a married couple! I guess maybe I should rephrase that question. Have you ever heard of a married couple who are both MGs sharing the director position?


Thank you both for the information.

Tiffany Thomas

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PostPosted: Mon May 18, 2015 2:20 pm 
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One of the clubs operating in our conference did that for years. Then they became AC's and handed directorship over to another.

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