Young people, master guides, and leaders participating in thousands of Pathfinder, Adventurer, and Adventist Youth clubs across the vast Inter-American Division (IAD) will soon have the same look from head-to-toe, thanks to the first-ever uniform manual currently being developed specifically for the territory.
Youth ministries directors met for four days last week at the IAD headquarter office in Miami, Florida, to work on and review the manual plus other initiatives and resources to benefit the more than one million young members participating in more than 24,000 clubs and Adventist youth societies in the territory.
“We have made a tremendous step forward in developing a uniform manual to implement in our territory so that club members from Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and throughout the rest of our Division can look the same,” said Pastor Benjamin Carballo, youth ministries director for the church in Inter-America. He said many hours spanning several meetings were spent planning the new uniform manual for the IAD territory, which includes English, Spanish, and French speaking regions.
“Our goal is to be able to see one single IAD young army of pathfinders and master guides for our next division-wide camporee in 2017,” said Carballo.
In the past, the church in Inter-America followed general uniform guidelines from the Adventist world church with regards to uniform colors, emblems, pins and other items,” said Pastor Carballo, “yet it left it up to each church division territory to adjust it in accordance to their needs without interfering with the various government military uniforms.”
Final approval of the uniform handbook is expected to be voted by members of the IAD’s executive committee meetings to be held next May, before it is officially implemented, said Carballo.
For Pastor Charles Blythe, youth ministries director in Jamaica, the manual will be beneficial to the 35,000 Pathfinders and 22,000 Adventurers in his region.
“We have hundreds of youth leaders in Jamaica who are anxiously waiting for this uniform guidebook to be voted so they can implement it,” said Blythe. Blythe said it was good to review the guidebook because he discovered that a few things need to be adjusted in the Adventist Youth leader’s uniform back home.
For Earnal Scott, youth ministries director for the South Central American Union which includes Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, the uniform manual will provide uniformity among the many youth spread throughout his region.
“This meeting is key for us as leaders to come together and ensure that we don’t have our own criteria for uniforms in each country,” said Scott, who will take the task of ensuring that only authorized vendors in each of the countries in his union use the required color threads for emblems and insignias from now on.
Pastor Jonatan Tejel, Pathfinder director for the Adventist world church, offered direction during the four-day meeting to IAD youth directors as they also took the task of reviewing the pathfinder workbook and class requirement manual which had not seen revision in Inter-America since the 1980s.
A move that has Pastor Jeremias Morales, youth ministries director for the church in South Mexico happy to see it implemented soon. “It was very urgent for us to review and update the honor and class requirements for pathfinder classes,” said Morales. A perfect example, he said, was the first-aid honor which has old terms and concepts not used today. Morales took with him hundreds of pages to share with his local youth directors to give them insight as to what is to come in the coming months and year.
Class requirements will also include the denominational history section which had been omitted in the English Pathfinder manual some years ago.
Carballo said several more meetings are scheduled before other manuals and resources are updated and voted later this year.
“We continue to be committed to guiding children and young people in the church in Inter-America so they can experience what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and be ready for the Kingdom,” Carballo said.
Inter-America’s Youth Ministries Department has already put out a new quarterly magazine called Youth Vision in English, Spanish and French with resources and news for youth leaders across the territory. In addition, a booklet of sermons with a song CD and slide presentations are available for youth leaders.
To view and download youth ministries resources, visit the following links: