Pathfinder Camporee 2014 at Mountain View College

Last November 10-15, 2104, the SPUC-Wide Pathfinder Camporee 2014 with the theme “Love, Care and Serve” was held at Mountain View College, ...

Last November 10-15, 2104, the SPUC-Wide Pathfinder Camporee 2014 with the theme “Love, Care and Serve” was held at Mountain View College, Valencia City, Bukidnon. Kids were excited about meeting people from other part of Mindanao and to take part in many activities prepared for them. The weeklong activity was participated by more than 3,000 youths across Mindanao. This SPUC-Wide Camporee is held every five years.

It was first time for our son, Sean Justin, to attend this activity. On Sunday, we accompanied him on the first day in order to set up his tent and other materials as well as to witness some of their activities. It took us almost four hours to reach Mountain View College from Cagayan de Oro but its atmosphere relieved our tiring journey. Ms. Eurica Ferarren and Patrick helped us in our room accommodation.

During meal time, we proceeded to their canteen which serves vegetables, gluten, tofu, wheat and cinnamon bread for affordable price – healthy living. Our son stays in their campsite separate from us. In the morning, my wife and I walked around the campus with our jackets closely held as it was very cold. We were so happy to have seen our son participated and enjoyed their activities with the assistance of his teachers. Our son in his testimony after the activity states:

“On the first day, I felt scared but later on I enjoyed and excited of the activities. On the first day, we had our parade then followed by hand mime presentation in the evening. We had swimming, first aid application, hiking, sports, shoe repair, obstacle course, zip lining, rock climbing, wall rappelling and other physical activities. We woke up early in the morning at around 4 o’clock, take a bath then proceed to the church for early worship. We also have activities like sermon, Christian storytelling, and watching movie entitled “Journey to Bethlehem". We have investiture and social gathering where I met friends. On the last day, I packed my things and excited to go home. I learned a lot from this activity.”

Here are some of the memorable moments:

The Pathfinder Club, or simply Pathfinders, is a department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA), which works specifically with the cultural, social and religious education of children and adolescents in the age group between 10 and 15 years.

Similar in many respects to Scouting this differs by religious emphasis on their activities. Globally the Pathfinder Club is part of the church's youth ministry.

The Pathfinder Club is centered in the "physical-mental-spiritual tripod”, which develops activities to meet the needs and interests of children and adolescents between 10 and 15 years old, with a specific focus on this age group religious program.

Much of the Pathfinder Club program is built around physical activities. Pathfinder activities involving action, adventure, challenge and group activities "provide opportunities for the development of new attitudes and skills that produce personal growth, team and community spirit," which according to philosophy of the program, part of the tripod of "citizenship and loyalty" that preaches respect for "God, His creation, and His church."

The whole philosophy Pathfinder is built on the premise that "juveniles and children learn best by example, instead of the precepts. With this is expected to develop high moral principles, attitudes of love, care and determination, these startling in all the activities. The educational philosophy of the club, also emphasized that youth learn more effectively in a positive, happy and secure atmosphere.

The leadership role is to "help young people understand and love God and to watch over the church."

According to the Manual of the Pathfinder club, the goals and duties of the leadership of the club are:
·         "Encourage Pathfinders to discover their God-given potential and use their gifts and skills to meet the expectations of the plan of salvation";
·         "Inspire them to give personal expression of their love for God, uniting with other youth in various extension activities";
·         "Becoming number one priority club program the personal salvation of every Pathfinder";
·         "Building on the groundbreaking appreciation for a healthy life (enjoy outdoor activities) and cultivate in them a love for God's creation";
·         "Teach the groundbreaking immersive and interactive skills in order to make the time and talents of the most significant youth";
·         He should "encourage the Pathfinder to keep physically fit, and teaches them to take care of your body and establish habits that will give your health benefits";
·         "Provide opportunities for development of leadership by encouraging club members working together and sharing the responsibilities of leadership.";
·         "And aim to promote the harmonious development of pathfinder, taking care of all necessary aspects, be they physical, social, intellectual and spiritual."

Each Pathfinder club is run by a director of the club, vice-principals, counselors, instructors, chaplain, secretary and treasurer. The administrative offices of the club require that trained people are occupying the function. The club is divided into separate units, classified by sex and age. Each unit has an average of six or eight pathfinders, accompanied by a counselor, who is their leader. 

Various activities are carried out in the club program, and subdivided according to the educational tripod club, focusing on the physical, mental and spiritual.

Various activities such as hiking, jungle trails, swimming, mountaineering, games that encourage exercise and other recreational activities highlighted the event. Physical activities are in essence (within the official philosophy), entertain and attract children and adolescents, and allow it to jointly develop their mental and spiritual aspect.

Part of mental development is to encourage youth to do Bible studies and attend lectures.

Although the physical part requires considerable time within the activities, spiritual development is the main focus of the club to bring the youth to have a "constant daily experience with God", making him reflect on "His creation and His care for him." 

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