What does it take to stop a Pathfinder from pursuing their ministry? Before you answer that, consider that these are the young people who take their Pathfinder pledge seriously: “By the grace of God, I will be pure, and kind, and true. I will keep the Pathfinder Law. I will be a servant of God and a friend to man.” That is quite a pledge, and obviously, it would take quite a lot to stop young people who are so intent on carrying out the mission and ministry God has given them.
Now consider a second question: What would it take to stop Pathfinder leaders? Specifically, Northern New England Pathfinder leaders? The answer, just going by the available evidence, seems to be that we haven’t found anything yet that stops them. Certainly not COVID, at any rate. Pathfinder leaders just keep going and going and going. Proof of that is the recent NNEC Pathfinder Leadership Meetings. Club directors, regional coordinators, and conference directors kept their appointed time for their annual worship and training weekend. Even though the meetings were all virtual, the weekend was as packed with activities as it would have been if they were meeting in person.
The scope of the agenda helps people who are not deeply familiar with Pathfinders to understand just how broad and important this critical ministry is. There were excellent worships and devotionals, of course, and there was also a multitude of useful break-out training sessions. Becky Barcelow led a session on Small Club Organization. Paul and Seth Noyes led a session on Suicide Awareness (how to spot risk signals and what to do). Mark Tamaleaa led a session on Realizing Your Spiritual Gifts. Beverly Tier led a session on Adolescent Development, and Karen Amos led a session on Medical, Risk Management, and Child Safety. There were, in all, 34 break-out sessions over the weekend.
NNEC’s Pathfinder Leadership Meetings were spread out over three days with 51 leaders in attendance, including 17 teen leadership trainees. Those in attendance represented 11 clubs with membership of about 150 Pathfinders and leaders. True to their “git ‘er done” nature, the meetings started early in the morning and went until late at night. When chided about the non-stop nature of the weekend, conference Pathfinder director Kurt Amos said, “Hey, we expect a lot from our kids, and we know they expect a lot from us, so putting in the hours is just part of leadership in the Pathfinder ministry.”
But, even though the passion and dedication that Pathfinder leaders have for their ministry were on full display over the weekend, there was one common refrain that, if not a complaint, was a heartfelt observation: “I can hardly wait until we can do all our Pathfinder activities in real life!” None of the attendees knew exactly when all clubs could resume regular schedules, but there was one thing for certain: all Pathfinder leaders were praying for a rapid resumption of all aspects of their ministry (including camporees).