60 Years of Pathfindering
July 2010 marks 60 years since the formation of the worldwide Pathfinder Club. Growing out of the Missionary Volunteer (MV) and Junior Missionary Volunteer (JMV) Societies of the first decade of the 1900s, the program we know today as the Pathfinder Club developed slowly. In 1922, the first two progressive classes, Friend and Companion, were introduced to the JMV societies, followed five years later by the Master Guide curriculum (then known as Master Comrade). In addition to the MV and JMV societies and the progressive classes, the Seventh-day Adventist Church began to host summer camps in the latter half of the 1920s, with the name “Pathfinder” attached to one camp in California in 1929. In 1932, the first JMV Pathfinder Camp was established in Idyllwild, California, and in 1946 the first conference-sponsored Pathfinder Club was founded in Riverside, California, to carry on the activities and youth involvement of the summer camps year-round. That same year, John H. Hancock (later World Pathfinder Director) designed the Pathfinder emblem, the shield and sword surrounded by a triangle, and two years later Helen Hobbs made the first Pathfinder flag. In 1949, Henry Bergh wrote the Pathfinder Song - “Oh We Are The Pathfinders Strong.” Then, in July 1950, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists approved and encouraged the formation of Pathfinder Clubs as a worldwide mission for youth.
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