The mission of the Markham Woods Pathfinder Club is, through outdoor adventure activities, to develop in the church’s young people a lasting respect and love for God, for family, for others, for the church and for nature.
Pathfinder-age young people are at a pivotal stage in their lives: They are establishing their own identities, fine-tuning their values and assuming increasing responsibility. To assist in this developmental process, the Markham Woods Church provides active Sabbath School and Christian Education programs. The Pathfinder Club offers an additional experience that is both unique and appealing, that is not part of these other ministries, and that for many may not be available anywhere else.
Young people have a natural love of adventure. Thus, the Pathfinder Club utilizes camping and other exciting outdoor activities to teach lessons and develop individual and team skills that will be beneficial throughout life.
- Teach spiritual concepts through outdoor adventure activities.
- Teach young people both individual and team skills.
- Develop in each young person a sense of self-worth and self-reliance.
- Create a bond of friendship and respect between young people and adults.
- Ensure a sense of belonging to the individual unit, to the Pathfinder Club, to the Markham Woods congregation, and to the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
- Inspire a desire to serve others.
- Promote a love and respect for nature.
- Instill a sensitivity for the feelings of others.
- Teach personal responsibility and self-control.
- Encourage young people to transfer the skills and lessons learned in Pathfinders to their family, school, church and community.
The Markham Woods Pathfinder Club is open to young people in grades 4-12. Young people who meet ONE of the following criteria can join the club:
- The young person is a member of Markham Woods SDA Church.
- (OR) one legal guardian is a member of Markham Woods SDA Church.
- (OR) the young person and his/her legal guardians are not Seventh-day Adventists.
Our regular meetings start in late August and continue until April. We meet about twice a month on Wednesday nights from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. There are also Pathfinder Summer Activities from June-August. Uniforms Markham Woods Pathfinders do not wear the traditional Pathfinder uniform, nor do we give out any honor patches. Our Pathfinders are given a club T-shirt at the beginning of each year, and they are expected to wear it at EVERY Pathfinder meeting. We always have a Pathfinder meeting prior to a campout weekend. Campouts Markham Woods Pathfinders go on at least 6 campouts per year (weather permitting). We typically meet at the church on Friday at around 5:30 pm, and return on Sunday at 12:00 pm.
“Free for All” Philosophy: We do not charge anything for Pathfinders because Markham Woods Church has a “Free for All” philosophy
Many organizations “nickel and dime” their members nearly to death. Markham Woods Church seeks to be an exception. As part of its overall philosophy, the church does not charge for most activities.
There are several reasons for this:
- First, it’s a pain to always be collecting money at church social and recreational events.
- Second, we don’t want our activities to only be enjoyed by the “Haves” and exclude the “Have Nots” from participation. If we charged, some people wouldn’t be able to join in.
- Third, it’s more efficient just to give money to the Church Budget than to pay for the services provided by the church, because money given to the church is tax-deductible. To provide these activities, we maintain, license and insure two buses, a chuckwagon, an equipment trailer, two 10-canoe trailers, a twelve passenger van, and a pickup truck. We provide all transportation, food, tents, camping equipment, camping fees and activity costs for at least six campouts. Nothing is ever truly free. Someone pays. Our approach simply ensures that it’s paid in the most efficient and most inclusive way possible. Please continue to support our Church Budget. Thank You!