It has been a long, hot summer, but I know you have all toughed it out with no problem. I am sure you drank plenty of water, wore proper shoes and kept your hat on, right? Well, summer is almost over, and you know what that means, don't you? Its nearly time for school! And even more exciting, it is almost time for the 2011-2012 Pathfinder Year to begin. Registration will be August 28, but for the incoming Pathfinders (and the recently-invested Friends), we will be having a special overnight program at the Church August 27 to introduce the various aspects of Pathfindering. You can download all of the registration forms from our SAIL Pathfinder website ( www.austinsouthpathfinders.com). Click on the "Forms" button near the upper right, and download and print out the PDFs. Please be sure to fill in all the sections, and turn the completed forms in on August 28 or earlier. For new and returning staff, you can also download you forms there. We have also updated the Calendar page, to give you a rough outline of the meetings and activities for the year.
We are attending two camporees this year, one full weekend SAIL club camp-out, two overnight outdoor camping trips, and an overnight trip to Houston. This should give us plenty of opportunities to develop our camping and outdoor skills, and if the drought ever ends, we may even get to see if we can light a fire without matches. There is also a new Bible Bowl-type program debuting this year called Pathfinder Bible Experience. This is designed to be a single program for use by Pathfinders across North America. This year the focus is on the books of Mark and 1 Samuel. But unlike previous years, where memorization was the order of the day, this year it is all about knowing the books. Questions will be mostly short answer. Start reading now, and you will have no problems. We can even field more than one team, and if we make it to the Division level, we get a trip to Washington DC.
As you may know, there are several changes coming this year. First, we are now meeting every other Wednesday, rather than the first and third Wednesdays. This should make things easier to remember, and it gives us a little more time together. Second, this year we will be working with the new Investiture Achievement program, which replaces the Progressive Classwork. There are several changes in the requirements to achieve your next rank, but the names remain the same (Friend, Companion, etc). Finally, we will be coming to you for ideas this year for mission and service projects, and other activities. This year, we are closely focusing on the final words of the pathfinder Pledge: I will be a servant of God and a friend to man. This is, in a sense, a restatement of the two great commandments: Love God, Love your neighbor.
Pathfindering is more than just camping and tying knots and going on trips, it is a service organization. We will kick off this year once again with the Lake Travis Underwater Clean-Up, and we are hoping for many more clubs to join in this year. We are also looking at volunteer opportunities with the Special Olympics in the spring. Look around - what mission do you see? Lets dedicate ourselves to finding and acting on the missions all around us. "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
Looking forward to another great year!
SAIL Pathfinder Club
South Austin Inner Lights