Pathfinders moving with the times

Pathfinder youth development group is on a mission to improve the lives of youngsters, using suitable resources at the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists’ fifth Pathfinder Camporee, scheduled for April, to combat the current challenges they endure.

Addressing this week’s Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, officials of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica noted that over the years, the programme has morphed in order to be more adaptable to youth.

“The question of the recent challenges that our young people face — guard rings, Obeah and so on — are things young people in Jamaica have faced for a number of years. We believe that our young people should be taught so that they can make the right choices,” said president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jamaica Pastor Everett Brown.

According to Brown, the youth development group ensures that youngsters are informed about the dangers in society, so that they can make the right decisions.

“We do not hide them away from the reality of what is obtained in society but we arm them, we educate them, so that they can make the right choices. We don’t try to shelter them so that they don’t know what’s happening. We find that within the homes, churches and within these clubs we have senior persons — male and female — who mentor these young people and help them deal with those challenges,” Brown added.

At the same time, youth ministries director for the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Pastor Dane Fletcher stressed the effectiveness of the resources.

“Every era has its challenges, but how we seek to deal with some of these challenges is to use as best as possible the resources we have at our disposal. Hardly anybody today has time, so we use technology. Some clubs have virtual classes and some places where they may not have master guides to operate, they have virtual clubs,” he said.

“For example, there was a special club launched in the East Jamaica Conference since COVID-19 to give pathfinders opportunities to be a part of this experience,” Fletcher added.

Chantell Guthrie, administrative assistant to Fletcher, said that at the camporee, youngsters will be exposed to a range of technology honours.

“Social media honours, Internet honours, computers, editorial, reporting honours, communication honours and honour for photography, cybersecurity. There are over 2,000 honours young people can be exposed to, as we move up with the era of technology,” she said.

The camporee, being hosted by Jamaica for the first time, will be held at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium from April 4 to 8, 2023. It will see approximately 15,000 people, including Pathfinder delegates and youth leaders from 24 countries, engaging in activities geared towards physical, social, mental, and spiritual development.

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