With a burst of laughter, John Wells summarised the second Pathfinder Leadership Award weekend of 2014 in one sentence: “We had fun!” As Associate Youth Director and Director of Pathfinders for the Greater Sydney Conference, Pr. John Wells runs three Pathfinder Leadership Award weekends each year.  The purpose of the weekend is to develop leadership skills for Pathfinder leaders, from club directors, counsellors, instructors and deputy directors.  After the three weekends, along with reading, reviews and assessments, participants are awarded a badge that can be worn on their uniforms, which signifies the completion of the Pathfinder Leadership Award.

Over the 20-22 June 2014 weekend, nine representatives, from various churches across Greater Sydney, along with their instructors, set-up camp at Thirlmere property.  The weekend’s training focused on life at the campsite and included topics like setting up the campsite, cooking food at the campsite and observing and celebrating the Sabbath while at the campsite.

Pr. John shared each Pathfinder Leadership Awards weekend brings out different Pathfinder leaders from different clubs.  As he describes, “Pathfinders is an evangelistic opportunity.  People who are interested in that particular ministry, which it is, come and get trained, and it’s exciting.  The cross-section of people we have is phenomenal.  We just about had every continent represented at this last one.”

This diversity was most evident when the concept of marching was introduced.  In a very light hearted way, Pr. John Wells shared that amongst the participants, each had a different style of marching, and everyone insisted their style was the right one, until the staff interjected and said, “Actually, there is an Australian version.  Congratulations, that’s the one we’re learning!”  What makes the weekend unique is allowing the theory and the practical to come together.

The final Pathfinder Leadership Award weekend of 2014 will take place 10-12 October.  Pathfinder leaders who are interested in participating should contact Pr. John Wells at johnwells [at] adventist.org.au.