Connie Cepeda: Director
_ Pathfinder night was always my favorite night of the week when I was growing up! I couldn’t wait to march, work on honors and spend time with my friends. Over the years I enjoyed serving in the Elgin Eagles Pathfinder Club, the Elgin Bluebirds Adventurer Club, and the Austin Knights Pathfinder Club before becoming a founding member of the South Austin Inner Lights Pathfinder Club. Along the way I earned certification in Children’s Ministry through the Seventh-day Adventist Church and worked with many children of all ages in the Sabbath School program. I love working with young people and feel very blessed to be allowed to be the Director of this club. Helping to shape young lives is an awesome and humbling experience! There’s always something new to learn and I look forward to leading the way.
_ Cathy Ludgate: Deputy Director
I was born in Siloam Springs, Arkansas to unsuspecting parents. I say that because they were expecting one large boy, but were surprised with two little girls. My mom says she got us back to Texas as quick as she could, and we moved to Elgin, TX when we were 3 months old. I grew up on a small farm next door to my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins. I went to a two-room country church school, and our social activities revolved around church, school, and Pathfinder events. After graduating from Jefferson Adventist Academy, I went to Southwestern Adventist College, (now Southwestern Adventist University), where I met my soul mate, Jerry Ludgate. He was headed to Walla Walla College, so I packed up and went with him. We moved to Ardmore, OK not long after we were married. There, Jerry's former Pathfinder director invited us to join their staff, so we were once more in Pathfinders. We worked with the Ardmore Oiler Pathfinder club for 4 years, until our path led us back to Austin, TX. Our first year here, we enjoyed tagging along with the South Austin Explorers on their Pathfinder jaunts. The most memorable one being to Colorado. We had several years where there were no Pathfinder clubs in the Austin area churches. Then, 8 years ago, an area club was started and I found myself once again helping to lead out. I've spent the last 3 years as deputy director with the Austin Knights Pathfinder club. I love being involved with the Pathfinder organization. Other interests include birdwatching, camping, hiking, canoeing, gardening, cooking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Ray Paden, Deputy Director, Chaplain
_ Through the years I have been working with Adventist young people in one way or another. When I was student in college, I worked in a story hour ministry and big brother ministry during the school year and as a camp counselor during the summers. After finishing college, I have served in various ways in the Adventurer and Pathfinder ministries for about 15 years and taught at Andrews University for 13 years. Since moving to Austin, I have been serving as a chaplain in the Pathfinder club where among other things I have been pointing the young people to the Word of God. I have many hobbies, most of which involve the outdoors, physical fitness and nature; they include mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, weight lifting, astronomy, wildlife, etc.
Linda Peckham, TLT Co-Director
_ I was born in Sri Lanka to missionary parents. As a PK (preacher's kid) we lived in a variety of places from N. Carolina, to Wisconsin, Oregon, and back to Bangladesh. I graduated from Vincent Hill (High) School in India then attended Walla Walla College. I taught school for a couple of years, then received my Master's of Music at Andrews University and married Chad, a senior software designer for Nokia, now. We have three children which I home-schooled through high school while living in California, Arizona, and finally Texas. I love many outdoor activities which include running, cycling, swimming (including marathon and triathlon racing), mountain-climbing, backpacking, rock-climbing, canoeing, kayaking, scuba-diving, etc. As a Master Guide I have worked with Pathfinders for about 10 years. As often as possible I like to go on mission trips, helping to build churches and make new friends in other countries.
Jerry Ludgate, Instructor
_ I was born at a very early age to my parents who were serving as missionaries at the time in Nigeria. We left there when I was still a toddler, so I have no memories of it, but it makes for good conversation! We lived many places when I was a kid, but I grew up in Ardmore, OK. It was there that I developed a love of the outdoors, learning to enjoy all of the various water sports, swimming, sailing, skiing, snorkeling, scuba, fishing, canoeing, as well as my other hobbies like Mountain Biking, and flying R/C airplanes. Many of these interests were fostered by my Pathfinder director then, and incidentally are also shared by our current director as well. I learned firsthand how being a Pathfinder can help shape your outlook on life, teaching skills in nature, witnessing, and service to others. I am very thankful that as a youth myself, I had such a dedicated, God-fearing person to look up to as a leader and a friend. Being surrounded with such positive examples as I had in Pathfinders, church school teachers, and Sabbath school teachers, I made the decision that I would dedicate my life to giving the same opportunities to other young people as I had been blessed with. I have been working with Pathfinders as a staff person in some capacity for over a dozen years now, and thoroughly enjoy it. In addition, I also enjoy teaching the youth Sabbath school class, and working with many of our youth as the director of the A/V media ministries dept. at our church. It is my belief that the greatest work we can engage in is bringing someone to a saving relationship with Jesus. It just so happens that doing this while working with young people is also the most fun. I am blessed to have a wonderful wife who shares this vision, and has been beside me all the way! May Jesus be praised for allowing us to partner with Him in reaching our youth!
Han Baker, Jr. Counselor, Drill Instructor
Han has been with the SAIL Club since its first year, and has now graduated into a staff position. He works with the Senior Unit and teaches Drill.
Josh Siahaan, Jr. Counselor, Pathfinder Bible Experience
Josh has been with the SAIL Club since its inaugural year,, graduating into a staff position, and continues to work with the Senior Unit and with the Pathfinder Bible Experience teams.
Jay Yi, Counselor, Adventurers Director
_ Hi, my name is Jay Yi. I am a staff member of Austin South Pathfinders. I've been teaching youth and children's classes since I was a high schooler. Now after 25 years, I still teach a youth class. I enjoy teaching to young people, because they are my passion. It is great because it's not that I teach them, but that they teach me about life, family, and close communion with God. I don't have as much experience in Pathfinders as others do, and I am learning with these young Pathfinders, and that's why I enjoy helping out with this great youth group.
Ashley Ludgate, Counselor, Instructor (First Aid)
I am a new Pathfinder staff member, although I am not new to Pathfinders. When my family first moved to the Austin area when I was about 2, we often tagged along with the South Austin Explorer Pathfinder club on many of their outings. This was (what I consider) my first exposure to Pathfinders, although I am sure there were many experiences with Pathfinders in Oklahoma as my parents were staff members in our church’s club there. I did not join Pathfinders until the age of 11 because there was not a club in Austin until then. I enjoyed 5 years of Pathfindering in the Austin Avalanche (which later became the Austin Knight) club, until I went to Ozark Adventist Academy. There I was given the opportunity to be a teen staff member for a year. I was unable to participate in Pathfinders my senior year of high school or during college, but am very happy to finally be in Pathfinders again. I enjoy cooking, camping, birdwatching, canoeing, swimming, sailing, and other outdoor pursuits, as well as spending time with family and friends.
Matthew Paden, Instructor (First Aid, Camping Skills)
I have been involved with Pathfinders for the last 10 years, first as a club member, then as staff. I have been a member of three different clubs (Katy, Austin (Avalanches) Knights, and South Austin Inner Lights), and a staff member for the SAIL Pathfinders for 3 years. I enjoy rock climbing, swimming, camping, sailing, woodworking, and anything to do with fire.
_Rodger Baker: Instructor
_I enjoy nature and the outdoors, and so am particularly fond of working on and teaching nature honors. I served as a student missionary in South Korea for a year after graduating college, and still travel frequently due to my job. Pathfindering has taught me a lot over the years, and I am glad I now have the chance to share new experiences with our youth.