About Wahroonga Pathfinders

Welcome
Welcome to the Wahroonga Pathfinder Club and to another year of fun activities. We are really looking forward to getting to know you all a little better. This information is to help you gain a better understanding of what Pathfinders is all about.

There is alot of work to make the Pathfinder program and it would not function without the assistance of all the parents who volunteer to help. We all desire to see Pathfinders develop new skills and independence through their challenges.  These experiences will equip them for life - physically, socially, mentally and spiritually. 

Young people 10 to 15 years of age (or in school years 5 to 10) may become members of the club.  To join the club  you must be at least 10 year of age before March 31 of the year you join.  Children under 10 years old are not eligible to join Pathfinders, we recommend they join Wahroonga Adventurers.

Club meetings are generally held monthly and run from 4.30 and 8.30pm on Saturday afternoon.  During club meetings Pathfinders participate in club pursuits (learning games), class pursuits ( with their individual age group), have dinner and participate in crafts.
During the regular meetings the Pathfinders may take part in drill and marching, crafts and/or hobbies, games, devotional activities, honours, seminars and classwork. We may also use club meeting times to participate in community events such as our annual Tinned Food drive.  Please check the club calendar for more exact details about each meeting.

We want you to belong to our Pathfinder community and look forward to a great Pathfinder year in 2018.

Melanie Windus & Richard Todd
Wahroonga Pathfinder Directors


What is Pathfinders?

Pathfinders is an international, church-centred, spiritual-recreational program designed for young people 10 to 15 years of age (or in school years 5 to 10). It is filled with action, adventure, challenges and group activities and provide for the development of new attitudes and skills, person growth, community spirit and a sense of loyalty and respect for God, His creation and His church.

The whole philosophy of Pathfinders is built on the premise that learning is best by example and mentoring. As Pathfinders see leaders and parents model spiritual and social values, they too will aspire to develop high moral principles, loving and caring attitudes, and determination to excel in all their various pursuits.

The ideals and objectives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are taught through an active learning program and although Pathfinders is sponsored by local Adventist Churches, youth of any faith group, or none at all, are welcome to join.

The Wahroonga club strives to interpret the Spirit of Pathfinders in its own unique way and is not a "child minding service" and we request the help of all parents to assist the club throughout the year.  We also need the cooperation o parents to support and encourage their children to live up to the expectations of a true Pathfinder.  This includes turning up to all of the meetings and being on time, dressing in the correct uniform, and completing honours or craft as needed at home. This will enable the club to run smoothly and efficiently and allow us to focus on running the activities through which we hope the kids will learn, grow and create memories which will last for the rest of their life.  

Pathfinder Pledge and Law

Loving the Lord my God I will-
Daily seek His presence,
Show friendship to others,
Keep the Pathfinder Law,
And honour my country.

The Pathfinder Law is
For me to look for good on other
Aim to do my best
Love and respect my family
Be thankful for what I have
Preserve God's creation
Take care of my health
Be involved in my church
And go where He sends.

Organisation

Each Pathfinder club has a local organisational structure and overseen regionally by the Greater Sydney Conference, an entity of the Adventist Church in Sydney.

Wahroonga Pathfinders run the 'Way to Go' program which divides the club into three levels: junior, intermediate and senior.  There are six achievement classes, two per level, which are identified by the following names/colours:

Class Badges
Level 1
              • Friend – blue – age 10/year 5
              • Companion – red – age 11/year 6
Level 2
              • Explorer – green – age 12/year 7
              • Ranger – grey – age 13/year 8
Level 3
              • Voyager – brown – age 14/year 9
              • Guide – gold – age 15/year 10
At the conclusion of the classwork requirements and  completion of each class, the Pathfinder receives a pin, a pocket strip and chevron at a special investiture service Investiture service at Church in late November or early December.  

Master Guide is an excellent junior leadership and personal development program.  It equips you with leadership skills in the context of Pathfinders and the Seventh-day Adventist church.  Aimed at those involved in Pathfinders who are 16 years or older, Master Guide is a respected leadership skill qualification that is appreciated in the 
Seventh-day Adventist church.  It is an active learning experience that will change you and connect you with a wide range of possibilities in the Pathfinder ministry in your local club.  It is an 'endurance' experience that also provides networking opportunities and a lot of fun learning. 

Graduates of the Master Guide course will receive the insignia as shown below in recognition of the completion of their Master Guide course.

Investiture

To be invested and receive the relevant Class Pin at the end of the year, each Pathfinder must attend a minimum proportion of scheduled events and complete a minimum number of pursuit hours and exhibit the spirit of Pathfinders.  Pathfinders can earn an Advance Bar by participating in a greater proportion of the program as follows:

  Class Pin Class Pin plus Advanced Bar
 Attendance   75% of all scheduled events 90% of all scheduled events 
 Pursuits completed 75% (30 hours) 90% (36 hours)
 Honours completed 2 (compulsory honours) 5 (including 2 compulsory honours)
 Bible verses    Learn, know and understand 10 Bible verses  Learn, know and understand 15 Bible verses

A record of each Pathfinder’s completed yearly program is kept in their journal.  It needs to be filled-in and signed off for investiture to occur.  We encourage Pathfinders to complete Master Guide, the top award granted to Pathfinders.

General Information
Pathfinders must be registered with the Club.  We like to involve our Pathfinder families in various activities during the year. The first camp for the year, a family camp, is a great way to get to know each other and we  encourage all families to attend.  Class or Level camps will be organised by the Class Leaders.  One of the hiking camps is the Expedition, which is run by the Conference for all Pathfinder clubs in Greater Sydney.

We encourage all Pathfinders to be self sufficient and independent and this is especially important during camps. Pathfinders will be encouraged look after and carry all of their own equipment, cook their own meals, set up their tent and generally manage their own needs for the weekend.

Wahroonga Pathfinder Club owns a number of two-person and three-person hiking tents. These tents are lightweight and are split between two or three pathfinders when hiking – so one person would carry the poles / fly and the other would carry the pegs / tent. These tents are transported to each camp and distributed as needed. They are returned to the club, clean and dry at the end of each event. From time to time replacements are needed for tents and our fundraising contributes to this. You do not need to buy your Pathfinder a tent. Leaders will allocate Pathfinders to share tents with others on a rotating basis. 

If a parent would like to attend any camp throughout the year - they are welcome, but need to be aware of Pathfinder principles in relation to alcohol, smoking and the non-use of illicit drugs at Pathfinder activities and respect those principles whilst in attendance.

Uniforms

Pathfinders has both a formal dress uniform and an informal field uniform.  The field uniform consists of a polo shirt and should be worn at club meetings.  You can order club uniforms when you register for the year.

Dress uniforms are worn for special occasions such as Investiture, Pathfinder Day, and the ANZAC Parade. New uniforms can be purchased at the Adventist Book Centre store in Epping or Wahroonga. The club also has a limited supply of second-hand uniforms and these can be borrowed from the club free of charge. They are to be returned to the uniform coordinator when the Pathfinder finishes Pathfinders

Uniform Coordinator:  Nerolie King
For more details about uniforms, please click here

Keeping in Touch

It is important that we are able to communicate with all parents and Pathfinders through the year.  We understand that we all communicate in different ways so we have a number of methods by which we can stay in touch.

  • Firstly, all email addresses that are used on our registration forms will be added to a Google Group. This is our main distribution list so that we can forward information to you by MailChimp.
  • We have a closed Facebook group called Wahroonga Pathfinders which you can ask to join.
  • This web site is your source for reference information, and is where you need to keep up to date with Club information.
  • We are always available to talk to you in person, on the phone, or by email should you have any questions or concerns.

Camping Equipment to buy

Equipment  Requirement Explanation
Shoes/BootsEssentialHiking and backpacking trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or boots for safety and comfort
Sleeping BagEssentialWe recommend you consider purchasing a -5 degree rated sleeping bag. Anything lower will be too hot in summer and anything higher will not be warm enough in winter.
This will last for decades. Consider the weight and size for carrying in a pack for hiking overnight.
Sleeping Mat  EssentialEach Pathfinder should have a rolled up sleeping mat to insulate against the cold ground and provide a little cushioning
Sleeping Bag LinerNon essentialRecommended to protect your sleeping bag from dirt, grease and sand, and provide extra warmth
Backpack and Pack coverEssentialIt is important that a proper-fitting, well constructed backpack be obtained for expedition and hiking camps
Wet Weather GearEssentialThis maybe a cheap nylon poncho or a more comfortable breathable waterproof jacket
TentNot requiredThe club will supply tents for all camp-outs. 
Cooking EquipmentEssentialEach Pathfinder will need to supply their own cooking stove and utensils ( cooking pot, plate, bowl, cutlery)
Water BottleEssential1 Litre bottle required for all comp-outs, more if hiking
TorchEssentialHeadlamp is preferable

Packs can be obtained from Mannagum through the club. Speak to the Director. Website is www.mannagumoutdoors.com  Keep an eye out for sales at places like Kathmandu, Macpac, Snowgum and others as discounts can be considerable.

The club also has a limited range of second hand equipment and many families are also very happy to lend equipment for use within the club. Please don't hesitate to contact your child's Class Leader or the Club Directors if you are unable to obtain the equipment needed for a camping activity. It is really important for your child's safety and enjoyment that they are well equipped for these outdoor activities.

Club Equipment

The Wahroonga Pathfinder Club has some equipment, including bulk water containers, gas stoves & lights, some kitchen essentials, ropes, poles & other "pioneer" items, electric lighting for base camps, walkie talkie sets, GPS' and first-aid kits and tents. These will be made available for all Pathfinder events. Walkie talkies, GPS's and first-aid kits can only be issued to a level or group activity leader who will then manage the use of this equipment for the duration of the nominated event.

Equipment Coordinator: Michael Monteleone / Karl King / Glyndon Boehm / Peter Groom
Procedure:
A simple sign-out/sign-in logbook is used - some equipment will be photographed.
Pick-up: Any equipment will be available for pick-up by agreement with the equipment coordinator at the storeroom underneath Fox Valley Community Centre - and signed out by the Director, Class Leader or Event Coordinator.

Returns: Equipment can only be returned to the same place of issue - where it will be assessed for damage before being put away. The same person as signed at issue needs to return the equipment and sign it back into storage.

BEFORE RETURNING TENTS - THEY MUST BE TOTALLY DRY 
Experience has shown that simply "airing" over lines in a parent's garage for a few days is usually sufficient!
Damages: Equipment can and will damage through normal wear and tear. Our club has a budgeted replacement strategy for such times. Damage or loss deemed to be through a lack of care however, will be the responsibility of the individual Pathfinder concerned and they will be expected to meet the full cost of the replacement item.  The main causes of damage with tents are typically mildew, (when a tent is returned before it is completely dry), unruly behaviour near pitched tents, loss of tent (or parts from the tents), and hanging clothes from the tent or ropes causing undue strain.