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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:09 am 
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Superlative Voyager
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This is in response to Chris' thread on why do we teach progressive classes, and an excerpt from a manual that followed. It's quite a long read, and I know I got a little carried away, but please take the time to read it, and leave your feedback on it. You may want to read the excerpt from the other thread first.
Phillip




Whether that was written 57 years ago, or 57 minutes ago, it was written by a writer that, I believe, was inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit.

The words that were written in there may need to be "updated" ever so slightly (maybe it's less than the 40% now) but the overall message behind it still stands as relevant truth today.

"The Progressive Classes" as they're being called are a vital part of the growth of a Pathfinder in my eyes. We are an outreach ministry. I grew up in the church and in Pathfinders. The kids that joined and were faithful, stayed in the church and kept on. Those that didn't join, or joined and fell to the waysides are no longer in church. And that's true of about 90% of the Adventist young adults I know.

Pathfinders is a ministry. It's a ministry that teaches about Christ. It's a ministry that teaches children about the outdoor world that they never would have known about any other way. In ONE YEAR... I've had the entire club tell me that it's made a difference in their life. Before they couldn't tell a Mourning Dove from a Scrub Jay... now they can tell dozens of birds by sight, clouds by formation and altitude, they know what to do in emergencies, and the list goes on.

Things I learned in Pathfinders I've applied to my everyday life even when I wasn't in Pathfinders. Not only does Pathfinders and "The Progressive Classes" teach the kids something about Christ, the outdoors, and different things around them, it teaches them something about THEMSELVES. I've had kids who were deathly afraid of the water, and never succeeded at anything. After their first year, they could swim and they believed in themselves. They started fires in the wet weather and wind with no matches and no paper. Pathfinders gave them a sense of accomplishment far beyond honors on a sash.

The Progressive Classes build upon each other, but as Chris said, they don't need to know they're in classes. By the time they've gone through all the classes, they'll be prepared to pass on the knowledge that they've learned to the next generation of Pathfinders behind them. By the time they EARN their Master Guide (not take a 2 week crash course, and go on an "expedited" course to become MG), they'll have knowledge of over 6 years prior to their MG training in Spiritual Discovery, Personal Growth, Nature Study, Community Outreach, Health and Fitness, Honor Enrichment, Making Friends, Outdoor Living and Youth Organization.

I'm not yet a Master Guide because I haven't fully earned everything that accompanies it, and I expect myself to be held to the same standards that I hold the Pathfinders to. We repeat the Pledge and Law not just out of rote repetition, but because it's something that we should believe in as leaders. Apply it to every meeting. Quote the Pledge and Law at any time possible during your meetings. Show the kids that it's a real pledge, a living pledge that everything in their lives should abide by. We don't have our pledges for each other, for the directors, or for special visitors. We have our pledges to God to do our honest parts... Each week when we raise our right hand, we pledge before Christ and the host of heaven the Pledge and Law.

What makes Pathfinders special... is the leader's dedication. Pathfinders has FAR more to offer than ANY after school program or curriculum. NO scouting organization or social club can even BEGIN to compete with what Pathfinders has to offer. I believe that with all my heart, and you should too. Because as Pathfinder leaders, we have to believe that we are called to a ministry to minister and outreach to these kids. Some of them will never come in contact with anyone else that will lead them spiritually except Pathfinder Leaders. We have a responsibility before God to the task of reaching these youth and doing all we can to secure their salvation.

Be a friend to your Pathfinders, be there for them when they need it. In the last year, I've had EVERY SINGLE Pathfinder in my club talk to me about a personal issue, and almost all of them in tears about it. Our kids go through alot. I wasn't there too long ago, and I know exactly what they're having to deal with. They need support. I don't know where I heard it, but I heard one time that in a poll of Pathfinders... their most trusted and respected role model and figure in their lives were the Pathfinder leaders by a percentage of over 80%. Don't let them down, don't cheat them from what Pathfinders has to teach them.

DEDICATE YOURSELF. Pathfinders is beyond time consuming... it's 5:04 AM and I just finished working on a calendar for the summer months. I have work at 8 AM... oh joy. But all the hard work that you do is WORTH IT because YOU make a difference in the lives of teenagers and impressionable youth around you. Pathfinders has been here for many years, and will continue to be here. Some things may change, but we must never attempt to modify the principles that the heart, the spirit of the program was founded upon years ago. Bring your Pathfinders up to The Pathfinder Standard. Don't lower the Pathfinder Standard to the standards of the world, we have SO much more to offer than what the world does, and there are kids out there hungry to accept it. Give it to them.

_________________
Phillip Bautista - Director
Madera International Ambassadors - 2004
Area 7 Pathfinder Club
Central California Conference


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:37 pm 
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Superlative Voyager

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Philip,

You have worded this beautifully. Would it be ok if I used this post when promoting Pathfinders and Staff committment.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:28 am 
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Superlative Voyager
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Location: Pacific Union
uh... haha, sure. Why not? Didn't think anyone would want to share it outside of here, but I guess I just didn't think about that when I wrote it. If you have a Pathfinder staffmember that could benefit from this, please do share it.

_________________
Phillip Bautista - Director
Madera International Ambassadors - 2004
Area 7 Pathfinder Club
Central California Conference


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 2:34 pm 
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Master Guide
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Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 5:26 pm
Posts: 859
Location: Phoenix, Arizona (USA): NAD
Phillip,

Thank you for taking the time to respond from you passion for Pathfnders and for the care you take in your ministry.

God Bless,

Chris Fishell
Xtreme Youth Resources International


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2005 1:17 pm 
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Location: Altoona, WI
Thank you Phillip for sharing your thoughts on how important Pathfinders really is. I was too a Pathfinder youth and now a leader. My goal is to get all our young people into Pathfinders to learn not just about nature, crafts, hobbies etc - but GOD! The more important we show these kids that He is to us - the more willing they will be able to accept Him in their own lives and devote themselves to Him. We are an example.

God bless,

Marcie

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Marcie
Pathfinder Club Director & Master Guide
Chippewa Valley Lightning Pathfinder Club


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 6:02 am 
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Helpful Explorer
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:55 pm
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Location: Orlando, FL
AMEN!


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