TED Adventurer and Pathfinder Bible Experience Finals

TED Adventurer and Pathfinder Bible Experience Finals

David Neal, TED Communications and Media Director

We are in Schiedam, near Rotterdam, Netherlands. It is a balmy spring sabbath, and an international group of 925 Pathfinders and 850 Adventurers from many European nations have looked forward to this day for a long time. They've looked forward to it - because they have prepared for it!

Today, in a large gymnasium, the Adventurers will be tested on Joshua 1-6 and Judges 1-5, and the Pathfinders will be tested on their knowledge of the entire books of Joshua and judges with some exceptions. (1) Pathfinders also studied the Andrews Commentary on these books.

Adventurers in the morning session will answer 44 questions on a more focused area of the two books, and Pathfinders in the afternoon session will answer 90 questions. Having successfully completed their national heats, they now have the privilege and excitement of travelling to the Netherlands for the Trans-European Division (TED) Bible Experience Finals. With them are mums and dads, guardians, club leaders, coaches, area coordinators, conference and union directors, and support staff dedicated to making this event uplift the Bible in an age-relevant way.

Hosted by the Netherlands Union Conference (NUC) under the leadership of Aicha Manuela-Martijn (Scouts & Pathfinders Coordinator) and directed on behalf of TED Trans-European by Kevin Johns (British Union Conference Youth and Pathfinder director), the event opened just after 9 a.m., with a flag parade led by the Netherlands Union all-female drum corps. After a brief time of praise and worship led by Allard Nammensa and his inspirational praise and worship band, it was time for the testing to begin.

The Testing Time!

The testing time is a complex process for an international event. With 64 Pathfinder and 47 Adventurer teams, rows of judges sit behind computers, and monitors display questions which require language translation for each national non-English speaking group (Romanian, Ukrainian, Polish, Croatian, Belgian, and Dutch). A few national groups unable to travel to the Netherlands partcipate online.

Pathfinder and Adventurer club teams are composed of 6 to a team, led by the captain and a scribe. In addition, each team is given an independent and impartial runner to take the answer across the gym to give to the judges. The teaching principle at work is teamwork - sat in a huddle, working together to recall the answer, check it's correct - and double check it's correct - and all discussed in hushed tones to ensure that the neighbouring team doesn't hear the answer!

Awards Matter!

As is tradition for the Bible Experience, the key value rises high above the competitive spirit, but understandably for children and teens, competition is a motivator. It is to be enjoyed in the spirit of fun and friendship. Every team is awarded 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. But in the case of the Pathfinders, one British Union Conference team from the London Filipino International church, Osprey-Diadem, achieved 1st place with a 100% perfect score!

Reflecting on the the day's experience, Daniel Duda (TED president) commented, "It is good for people to get together in the fifth and largest bible experience so far and it is a joy to see the value of this event increasing. It is also good to see teams from our division - but also from Kenya, Romania, Ukraine and Belgium." Reflecting further about its lasting value,  "The Bible Experience helps  children and teens grow and mature their faith, because they study the Bible, see the bigger picture, see struggles that they share with one another, and it helps them to see that there is more to life than what they experience.

Candy Layson (TED Associate Treasurer), attending as a member of the organising team, was "really impressed with the organisation of the Dutch team led by Aicha Manuela-Martijn. In addition," Layson continued, "I also want to commend the contribution of Kevin Johns who initiated this event in 2013, and who directed today's complex proceedings with excellence. With the quiz surrounded by praise and worship led by the great music team, I loved the atmosphere created." While serving for the TED, Candy is also mum to two members of the winning team and is certain that the Bible Experience helps Pathfinders and Adventurers love studying the Bible.

It Takes a Team

Directing the events of the day on behalf of the TED, Kevin Johns was thrilled about what had taken place. "It was wonderful to see so many children participating in the ABE and PBE. These are the highest numbers taking part at TED level since the TED became involved and is a testament to the impact this programme is having on Adventurers and Pathfinders. This is not a competition, and it is more than just a test, because it is fortifying the minds of our children with God's word." Continuing his reflection, Johns noted, "Our directors from Kenya who brought their Pathfinders to join us commented, 'Once they introduce PBE in Kenya it will spread like a wild fire!'"

Johns had high praise for the hosts. "Thank you Netherlands Union Conference - and the team of Pathfinder leaders who worked tremendously hard to put the event together and give us a taste of the Dutch culture. And thank you to all the support staff and local club leaders."

"But the most rewarding element of the programme for me," concluded Johns, "is seeing the 18 Pathfinders respond to the appeal by Gabriel Kwaye (NUC Youth director) for baptism, joining a further 73 Pathfinders who responded to the appeal at Union level testing. It is now the work of the local club leaders to work with those Pathfinders and lead them to a relationship with Jesus. This is the whole purpose of the Pathfinder Bible Experience."

As one Bible Experience ends, the work towards another begins. The books to be tested on next year? Paul's letter to the Romans, and letters 1 and 2 to the Corinthian church.

This story was originally published by tedNEWS.

[Photos: David Neal]

  1. The Adventurers studied Joshua 1-6 and Judges 1-5 and the Pathfinders studied the entire books of Joshua and judges except for the following:  Joshua 12:7 to Joshua 13:33; Joshua 15:1-12; Joshua 15:20 to Joshua 19:49 and Judges Chapters 19, 20, 21.