The official news service of the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church


10 August 2021 | St Albans, UK [Victor Hulbert]  

Pathfinder and Adventurer leaders across the Trans-European Division have used creativity, innovation and determination to help children continue with their learning and achievements during lockdown.

At Newbold church in Binfield, England, regular zoom meetings started along with lockdown in March 2020 and only ended in May 2021 as restrictions eased and the children could once again meet face-to-face.

Newbold Pathfinders Drum Corp

Surviving Lockdown BadgeSurviving Lockdown BadgeNewbold Pathfinder and Adventurer Club leader Cedric Lux said, “the dedication of the counsellors, pathfinders and adventurers alike during lockdown was remarkable.” Lux added, “we navigated through the challenges together and week-in-week-out we saw very eager-to-participate club members.”

The result was an investiture of 86 club members on Saturday, 10 July. In addition to all the normal Pathfinder and Adventurer rewards was the gift of a ‘surviving lockdown’ badge.

“It was amazing to see the smiles and the joy of each member as they were called forward to receive their certificate and badges,” said parent, Judith Nyirenda who, for safety reasons, watched the service online.

E-club reaches Europe and the world

BUC e-Club Recognising that many clubs would struggle to continue without face-to-face meetings, Dejan Stojković and Natalie Davidson from the British Union Conference rapidly established an e-Club in March 2020 that ran every weekend for 15 months.

Live on Zoom and Facebook every weekend and then uploaded to YouTube, the Adventurer and Pathfinder honours reached thousands of families, engaged children, and started to spread far beyond the shores of the British Isles. Pathfinders from as far away as Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, North America, and many Atlantic and Caribbean islands joined in. The e-Club reached beyond borders combatting feelings of isolation and creating a global Adventurer and Pathfinder community.

The presentations and links to the online recordings and supporting worksheets were all held on a central database on the www.adventistyouth.org.uk website.

BUC e-club, YouTube

"Thank you all for your consideration and thoughtfulness in ensuring that we are adequately supported as clubs. It is not easy and is no mean feat,” stated one club leader, Janet White. Her words echoed those of many club directors who appreciated the role played by the e-Club when so many churches remained closed.

As the lockdowns continued in various guises throughout the world, the e-Club also continued its commitment by partnering with other unions including Belize and the Gulf Field, as well as Conference Pathfinder leaders within the BUC. The North American Division (NAD) Club Ministries team came on board in the second half of 2020 and the chair of the NAD Pathfinder Taskforce, Pastor Mark O'Ffill, became a regular presenter and facilitator of the e-Club programme.

His experience and contacts meant that the range of awards and honours being taught was expanded to include many of the newer subjects developed by the NAD.

The final programme aired on 26 June 2021 to a larger than average audience, including those families and club members who had participated since the very first e-Club programme. The e-Club concluded having taught 98% of the Adventurer awards available and a very large percentage of the Pathfinder honours.

Moving Forward

Many clubs and unions across the TED are now able to operate closer to normal but Pastor Stojković, recently elected as TED Youth Ministries director, thanks all who have gone to such lengths in difficult times to inspire Pathfinders and Adventurers.

Pathfinders camp, Estonia 2021Pathfinder camp in Estonia [Photos: courtesy of Estonian Conference]There are still challenges. Estonia restarted their Adventurer and Pathfinder camps this July. Meeting at the Rõõmusaare Camp Centre, Samliku, the ‘God is Great’ Adventurer Camp, running 8-11 July, lost 37 of its 90 participants just two days before the camp as they had to go into isolation due to Covid.

Estonian camp 2021 - baptismNevertheless, the remaining 53 children had a wonderful time both exploring the creation stories in worship, and God’s creation itself in all their activities. Some of those who missed the camp were then able to join with the Pathfinder camp the following week. This also allowed them to witness a Sabbath Baptism – part of a strong tradition in many Pathfinder Camps and camporees.

Based on the resilience, determination and innovation seen over the past 15 months it would seem clear that as clubs move forward, there will be an increased number of commitments of faith and baptisms. The first line of the Pathfinder theme song may never have been more appropriate than for today, “Oh, we are the Pathfinders strong”.
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This article is based on fuller original articles on the British Union Conference website: Surviving lockdown badges, E-Club ends after 15 months, and reports of the two camps were published on the Estonian Conference website. Contributing authors: April and Judith Nyirenda, Dejan Stojković, Natalie Davison, Jaanus-Janari Kogerman.

tedNEWS Staff: Victor Hulbert, editor; Deana Stojković, associate editor
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