A Grade Pennant Illawarra[1]

Photo Credit: Illawarra Pathfinder Club

The Illawarra Pathfinder Club had a successful day at the recent Pathfinder Fair, receiving an A grade for their efforts. Fifteen members of the club, including Pathfinders, Pathfinder leaders and parents made their way to the Castle Hill Showground on Sunday 4th of May, arriving by 8.30am.  This made for a long trip for some of the Pathfinders coming from as far as Unanderra and Dapto.

To start the day, the Illawarra Pathfinders gathered with up to 28 other clubs for an inspection by the district leaders. The Pathfinders then performed their marching skills and the Illawarra Pathfinders did well, keeping within their allotted space and staying within their lines.

To show the Pathfinder skills, each club was required to participate in a number of activities. These activities tied into the theme for the day — the stories of King David.

The first activity involved a knot relay, with each Pathfinder completing a knot to make a sling. The final knot being a sheepshank knot, which was successfully completed, allowing the last pathfinder to complete the sling. The sling was then loaded with a water balloon and thrown at a selected pathfinder leader. Fortunately for the Illawarra Pathfinder leader, the water balloon missed.

The second activity included three parts. The first part involved building Abigails table. Pathfinders were provided with wood and rope to build a table by lashing the wood together. The girls from the Illawarra Pathfinder club completed this task. Once the table was stable the next Pathfinder team, the boys, built a campfire. One stipulation was that they were only allowed one match to light the fire and it was a very windy day. The Pathfinders were successful in lighting their fire by shielding the flame from the wind.

To complete this activity the Pathfinders then had to cook pancakes without using any utensils. The team was required to produce at least one good pancake and the girls succeeded in this activity by flipping the pancakes to cook both sides.

At lunch the pathfinders were able to sell food to raise funds for their club. The Illawarra Pathfinders enjoyed sampling what was offered.

After lunch the Illawarra Pathfinders took part in a marching competition. The girls on the team performed a carefully choreographed routine for three minutes that including music and the singing of bible texts in time with the routine. To add to the performance the girls dressed in black outfits and wore white masks and one white glove. The girls all did well.

Footstool Illawarra

Photo Credit: Illawarra Pathfinder Club

The second part of this activity required one of the pathfinders to stand on the stool and send a message using semiform (flags) to another pathfinder. The Illawarra Pathfinders passed this activity with almost no mistakes. This activity was a highlight for a number of the Pathfinders who said they enjoyed this particular activity.

The Pathfinders final activity was a chariot race. Pathfinders first had to build their own chariot, a lashed frame construction. The Pathfinders then dragged the chariot from one end of the field to the other while one of their team stood inside the chariot. The Illawarra Pathfinders finished the course with their chariot still intact.

At the end of the day the Clubs all gathered together again for presentations and an address by the Director, Chenneoth Strickland. The Illawarra pathfinders were very happy when they received a pennant indicating that they had achieved an A grade. All of the Pathfinders had fun but were very tired after a full day. Illawarra Pathfinder leader Don Vallario also congratulated the Illawarra Pathfinders for working well together as a team and for doing so well, especially since this was the first time the Illawarra Pathfinders received an A grade for their participation in the Pathfinder Fair. 

Contributed by Pam Grootemaat