Frequently Asked Questions for Parents and Club Leaders
Do you have to be an Adventist to be a Pathfinder?
No, Pathfinders is a club-based ministry that welcomes all children grades five through twelve. This ministry does teach Seventh-day Adventist Christian beliefs and all members are asked to respect those teachings.
How much does Pathfinders cost?
The cost of membership varies from club to club. You should talk to the director of the club you are interested in joining. This is a church-sponsored activity and often churches will have sponsors that are interested in helping children afford the membership.
How much time is involved if my child joins?
This also varies from club to club. Typically, clubs meet weekly or bi-monthly during the school year. In addition to the weekly meetings, clubs have activities and campouts over weekends once a month or quarterly.
What is Investiture achievement and what are honors?
Investiture achievement levels are classwork levels that members work on a yearly basis. They are based on the grade level in school that the student has attained. Each level has a curriculum involving multiple areas of learning. Ie. spiritual classes, nature classes, physical classes, etc. Honors there are over 300 honors that can be earned by Pathfinders. Honors cover a wide range of topics from science to legos to flowers and bible study. Honors are an intensive area of study that broadens in a practical way the knowledge of the world in which we live and hobbies that can be enjoyed.
Will my child be in mixed-gender groups?
Yes; however, at overnight activities they are separated by gender during sleeping times.
How will you keep my child safe?
All Pathfinder staff are required to take child protection safety classes and have background checks prior to serving as staff. There is a requirement of staff to child ratio for all Pathfinder functions of no more than 10 children to one adult.
May parents or guardians volunteer to go along on trips or help with meetings?
Each club determines its needs. It would be good to ask the director of the club about their needs. Keep in mind that parents would be required to meet the same safety criteria as staff if they would like to volunteer to attend or provide assistance in driving etc. Safety Booklet
Does my child need any specific camping equipment?
Most clubs provide some equipment, You will need to check with the director about what their club provides. Typically Pathfinder members supply their own sleeping bag, flashlight, bible, toiletries, clothes, and pack.
Will my child need a uniform?
There are two uniforms that Pathfinders wear:
- “Class A” This is the formal dress uniform that is worn for special occasions. Talk to the club director to find out how to acquire one that fits. Uniforms can be Purchased Here. For tips on patches, check out this link: Where/How to Apply Patches.
- “Class C” or field uniform This uniform is jeans and tennis shoes with a pathfinder T-shirt that has either club/conference or NAD logo. It’s style is determined by the club.
How does my church start a club?
The easy answer: Start with Prayer! Then talk to other members of your church to see if there are people willing to join you in this ministry. Then ask the church pastor and board to authorize you to submit an application to the conference. Contact the area coordinator for your area to help you in the starting process.
The complete step by step requirements: Full details of the process for starting a club can be found in the Pathfinder handbook here.
Are there classes that teach how to lead a club?
YES! Typically in August, there is a Pathfinder leadership convention where leaders gather to learn skills in running this ministry.
I hear Clubs earn points…what’s that about?
The conference has developed a point system for clubs that encourages a well-rounded club ministry. If a club follows the point system each month then the leadership of that club knows that they are encouraging the kids in their club in all that Pathfinders has to offer. The Goal for each club is to be a 700 point club. No matter the activity level of a particular club points reports should still be turned in. In this way, conference leadership knows how many clubs are active and how many kids are involved.
Do I have to have approval to have off-site activities?
Yes, for two reasons.
First, the local church board must approve all activities of the local club which are off-site. In addition, Risk Management requires board approval and review. Be aware some Pathfinder activities require supplemental insurance.
Pathfinder activities require parental permission for each off site activity. Permission forms can be found here.