About the Pioneer and Navigator Classes
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Author:  Christine Wall [ Wed Apr 30, 2008 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  About the Pioneer and Navigator Classes

As far as I know, the Iowa-Missouri Conference does not incorporate these levels into their Pathfinder classwork. I believe that is mainly because most of the people in these age levels go on to the Adventist academy and are so busy with regular school work, mission work and regular "work" that there isn't enough time for them to incorporate Pathfindering into their schedules.

We do have some members in our local Pathfinder club, however who would benefit greatly from these levels of coursework. If we were to go ahead and work at these levels with our Pathfinders, would it be possible that they could receive the class badges, pins and chevrons once the coursework is complete? My daughter has already expressed an interest in working on the Navigator level while she works on her Guide.


Christine Wall
St. Louis Shadows

Author:  jomegat [ Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: About the Pioneer and Navigator Classes

Hi Christine,

Yes. We offer those levels in our club even though we are not part of the Florida Conference. Florida will happily sell you the insignia (I know this from experience). We did clear this with our own conference before starting, and they had absolutely no problem with it.

In my opinion, the Pioneer and Navigator curriculum are a bit lighter than the NAD's Voyager and Guide, and I would guess they did that because teens are so busy. Florida also revamped Voyager and Guide, but we continue to use the NAD version (Pioneer and Navigator should go between Voyager and Guide).

Our teens in these classes have been pretty enthusiastic about it, so it would be fair to say it has been well received in our club. Next year I anticipate having two in Pioneer, and two in Guide. I will offer the option of the two 10th graders going straight into Guide instead of working on Pioneer, but I seriously doubt they take me up on it.

Author:  fish [ Sun May 04, 2008 8:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: About the Pioneer and Navigator Classes


I liked both, they are very Bible study oriented versus activity oriented. They may be best suited to kids who are well on their way to becoming kids leaders, Deacons, and Elders.

Good to see you are still around.

God Bless,

Chris Fishell

Author:  w126jep [ Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: About the Pioneer and Navigator Classes

I am in the Florida Conference. I do not use these levels in my club. Florida revised the placement of the levels a few years ago so that Pioneer and Navigator now actually come after Guide. This was so that the age/grade requirements could still coincide with the NAD version, instead of having Guide be completed at age 17.

I do not use these two levels for a couple of reasons. First, the FL conference no longer requires these two levels, but only encourages them. My club is also a Spanish club and there is no material in Spanish for these levels, nor do I care to translate the requirements.

Using these levels makes it difficult to find appropriate activities to do for the entire club. There is such a difference in age and maturity that it becomes difficult to find activities that are sufficiently challenging and stimulating for 15-17 year-olds, yet not so difficult for 10-year-olds. Things like skits and puppet shows often delight the younger Pathfinders, while the older Pathfinders nearing early adulthood and having already experienced such things, find them boring and dull and repetitive.

Florida actually makes the suggestion to split the club into two, having a separate director for e-Trackers (Friend-Ranger) and another for Varsity (Voyager-Navigator). I personally find this idea appalling simply because Pathfinders is Pathfinders, and should be one group, not two separate clubs.

One of the more popular reasons for including these two extra levels is so these ages can still be a part of the club and have activities and a program to participate in. I honestly think that is a lazy excuse. The church offers many other outlets and opportunities for this age bracket, including Master Guides, AY Society, Ambassadors, Sabbath School, ACS, and even Pathfinder staff.

I strongly believe this age range needs to be molded and encouraged to pursue some kind of leadership training and role, whether it be with club ministries or any other ministry in church, and I do not think this can be done appropriately while still being an active Pathfinder at this age.

The school component, in my experience, is actually a hindrance for this age group to participate fully in Pathfinders. They really are often busy with school work, projects, events, and outings. This is an age group thinking about graduation and going to college, a completely different mindset than that of a Companion, who might be worrying about finishing a model volcano project for his Science class. Their school schedule often conflicts with Pathfinders (especially if they attend an Adventist academy) and they are many times absent for camping trips, community service, or outreach.

Competition events at Camporees are hardly fair, also. One club drum corps might consist entirely of 17-year-olds while its competitor has kids who have trouble keeping the bass drum lifted. Timed obstacle courses are easily completed in record time by older Varsity Pathfinders who might be on a school football team and sporting a full-grown beard, while younger e-Trackers are just happy to finish the course. Yet they are all judged on the same time scale.

These two levels are completely unnecessary and I think churches could spend their time more wisely attempting to better programs such as AY and Master Guide and making them more attractive and participant-friendly to these ages, instead of looking for and expanding ways to try and keep the older adolescents in Pathfinders.

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