January 2016




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Youth Leaders Convene for Training and Fellowship

By Samantha Young

Driving rain could not dampen the spirits of nearly 200 teen and adult youth leaders as they converged on Mt. Aetna Camp and Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md., for the Chesapeake Conference-sponsored Youth Leaders Training Convention. More than once the cafeteria staff was asked to prepare additional food as the number of attendees swelled. In addition to leaders from Chesapeake, there were about 30 representatives from Allegheny West Conference churches and a dozen from Pennsylvania Conference churches.

Training workshops were offered in seven tracks and included Pathfinder Basic and Master Guide certifications and honors classes, as well as Adventurer Basic certification sessions. The Jesus Loves Jeans series was one of two special youth evangelism tracks added this year. Dolores Agrinzonis from Texas conducted training for teenage youth leaders desiring to learn how to start and grow small discipleship groups in their churches. The second new track offered nuts-and-bolts instruction to adult leaders for planning and implementing engaging worship services geared toward youth, as well as a mission emphasis. Participants learned how to develop worship teams and incorporate technology into worship services and how to organize mission trips and 30-Hour Famine programs.

“I love coming to these leadership weekends because, as a teenager, I can use what I have learned far into adulthood,” said Erin Bush, a Williamsport, Md., teen leader. “It’s more than just Pathfinders—it’s life skills.”

“This retreat, as always, has been a learning experience. It¹s also been fun to have fellowship with the Pathfinder directors. I have been blessed,” said Chesapeake Conference West Area Coordinator Brenda Griffin.

Two Pathfinder area coordinators, Richard Griffin and Charlie Koerting from the Hagerstown, Md. and West Wilmington, Del. churches respectively, were presented with the Pathfinder Instructor’s Award. This was earned for completing a course of study developed to hone the skills needed to teach and mentor youth ministry leaders.