Cedar Rapids Timberwolves (Photo: Angelique Cromwell)
St. Louis Central Shadows (Photo: Tim Floyd)
Joplin Jaguars (Photo: Tim Floyd)
Des Moines Spanish Golden Eagles (Photo: Tim Floyd)
Des Moines Navigators (Photo: Tim Floyd)
Ankeny Son-Seekers and Muscatine Mohegans (Photo: Tim Floyd)
Ankeny Son-Seekers (Photo: Tim Floyd)

“Today we’re having a 90-question quiz on the book of Daniel.”

While these words might strike fear into the average church-goer’s heart, for Pathfinders across the North American Division it’s just part of a Pathfinder Bible Experience weekend.

Already in 2018, many Iowa-Missouri Pathfinders have had three such quizzes on Daniel, as well as the book of Esther and the Introduction in the SDA Bible Commentary.

On Feb. 17, 24 teams from across the Mid-America Union—including seven teams from Iowa-Missouri—participated in the Union level PBE in Lincoln, Nebraska. Teams that made it that far must have ranked first- or second-place at the area level and first place at the conference level.

Questions ranged from simple, one-point answers, to the more difficult eight-point answers. Coaches, parents and friends, many breathing sighs of relief that they weren’t the ones sitting in the hot seats, prayed for their Pathfinders who progressed question by question. And then, just like that, the 2-hour-and-15-minute testing time was over.

Pathfinders and their friends and families headed to a reception area, where a short devotion followed. After the devotion and some spirited singing, each team’s placing was announced, and the teams received trophies that matched their placing.

Final awards are determined by calculating how each team’s score ranked relative to the top score at the event. Those placing first had scores which were 90 percent or higher of the top score. Those scoring between 80 and 90 percent of the top score receive a second-place award.  Those scoring below 80 percent of the top score receive a third-place award. Many times, at this level and above, the highest scores are extremely close to 100 percent of the possible points. A team that wishes to place first must really know their stuff!

One by one, each conference Pathfinder director was called forward to help hand out trophies for their clubs who participated. As the teams were introduced, it was announced that six out of our seven teams had received a first-place ranking and the other had received a second-place ranking. However, early the next morning we were notified that a mistake had been made and, in fact, all seven Iowa-Missouri teams had finished first-place! This means all seven teams are eligible to participate in the NAD finals, which are to be held at Camp Hawthorne in Florida this April.

The seven Iowa-Missouri clubs that have qualified to participate in the NAD Level PBE include the Ankeny Son-Seekers, Cedar Rapids Timberwolves, Des Moines Navigators, Des Moines Spanish Golden Eagles, Joplin Jaguars, Muscatine Mohegans, and the St. Louis Central Shadows.

Perhaps the hardest part has been completed. People, places and names have been memorized.  Entire chapters of these books have been committed to memory. Pathfinders’ lives have been molded by the study of God’s Word. Now clubs just need to raise the finances to be able to participate in the 2018 Pathfinder Bible Experience Finals, where clubs from around the NAD, and a few from outside the NAD, will gather to take one more test. There is no entry fee to participate, but clubs need to cover their own travel expenses to attend. If you would like to help any or all of these clubs with their expenses, please contact their local Pathfinder Club director and let them know!