Pathfinders Increase in Knowledge

April 27, 2018 | Katie Henderson

The sound of more than 170 Pathfinders filled Sunset Lake Camp in Wilkeson, Wash., in early February with laughter and fun as teenagers were greeted by a stage full of emoji faces at the Pathfinder Teen Retreat. Over the weekend, teens participated in daily activities that challenged them to understand and process emotions better.

Emojis are an everyday item in the life of a youth, often being used to express an emotion in a conversation. During one activity, kids were asked to interpret sentences made from emojis to determine what they meant. Some teams found the activity more challenging than others.

“I really liked the activity we did to show what everyone has been through in their life,” says Natasha Mwansa, Pathfinder from the New Life Phoenix club in Fife, Wash. “It showed how each of our lives relates.”

The Pathfinder Teen Retreat activities helped to interpret different emotions that people encounter, how they interact with these emotions and how they react to these emotions when they become a part of their lives.

David Salazar, Washington Conference youth ministries director, says leaders have been feeling more energy from the kids in Pathfinders and attendance for Pathfinder events have increased in the last seven months. About 376 kids attended the Idaho camporee last September.

Following the Pathfinder Teen Retreat, eight qualified Pathfinder clubs traveled an average three-hour drive to Sequim (Wash.) Church to compete at the conference-level Pathfinder Bible Experience. Parents and local church members filled the pews and balcony in support of Pathfinder clubs as they tested their Bible knowledge of Daniel and Esther.

Five of the eight clubs will advance to the union-level Pathfinder Bible Experience in Boise, Idaho, including:

  • Ocelots — Bonney Lake Church;
  • Cascade Eagles — North Cascade Church;
  • Chehalis Believers — Chehalis Church;
  • Chehalis Interpreters — Chehalis Church;
  • Evergreen Pathfinders — Startup Church.

Pathfinder clubs in Washington Conference have added 10 clubs since September 2017, increasing their club numbers to 34, and are steadily becoming a more active ministry.

“In the future, I would like to see more community outreach projects at the Pathfinder events,” says Salazar. “I want them to have the chance to connect to God and to their local community.”