The Pathfinder Club is interested in seeing that each junior youth develops his individual initiative and personality, that he learns to stand tall and straight physically and spiritually. This individuality must not be suppressed, but it is also important that all learn to work together, play together, and live amiably together in the community.

Good sportsmanship, fairness, self-control, cooperation, regard for the rights of others, and loyalty may be taught through stores and sermons, but carefully selected group activities in a Pathfinder Club can greatly hasten the process. Pathfinders learn largely by doing, and while they appreciate discipline and order, they prefer these in terms of marching feet rather than an order to "sit still and be good." See page 18, Suggestions to Drill Instructors.

Simple drill and marching are necessary for orderliness and for getting the Pathfinders into position for various activities. Pathfinder drill is a game to be enjoyed and should be used regularly at club meetings. It should not be prolonged to the point where the youth tire of it.

The instructions given here are taken from the 1986 drill manual of the United States Army, yet modified so they fit the Pathfinder Club. No attempt is being made to make soldiers of the Pathfinders. These are merely the more familiar military courtesies and drills that the youth will enjoy.

The length of the steps in marching for adults is 30 inches and 15 inches. In this manual these figures have been shortened to 24 inches and 12 inches. Measurements are approximated and are based on the configuration of the average Pathfinder.


Preparatory commands and supplementary commands are printed in capitols while commands of execution are printed in capitals and bold. Combined commands and directives are also printed in capitals and bold, although they are sometimes use as supplementary commands.

Drill Instructor

The step-by-step method is the most effective one for instructing in drill.

The steps are as follows:

1. Give the name of the movement and its practical use.

2. Give the commands to be used for the movement sand explore the preparatory command and the command of execution. Commands necessary to terminate a movement are also discussed at this time.

3. Explain the movement so the Pathfinders may understand its pertinent points.

4. Demonstrate the movement. If it has two or more counts, the demonstrators execute it by the numbers, one count or movement at a time.

5. Give practical work by the numbers or talk through the movement and follow this by having the movement executed at normal cadence. Instructors should supervise each movement closely and repeat it until precision becomes habitual.

Additional Techniques for Drill Instructors

A. By the numbers. To drill by the numbers the instructor commands BY THE NUMBERS. All subsequent commands are executed by the numbers until the command WITHOUT THE NUMBERS is given. The first count of the movement is executed on the command of execution. The second count is executed on the command, TWO or READY, TWO; etc.

B. Mass commands. When the instructor wants the Pathfinders to use mass commands, he commands AT YOUR COPMMAND. He gives a preparatory command describing the movement he wants performed; for example, FACE THE CLUB TO THE RIGHT. His command of execution is COMMAND. When he says COMMAND, all Pathfinders in the club in unison give the command RIGHT, wait one count, then give the command FACE and simultaneously execute the movement. The drill is conducted as follows:





3. Instructor: HALT THE CLUB, COMMAND.


If the Pathfinders are being drilled in a single unit instead of a club, the term "unit" would be used instead of "club."

When the instructor desires to end mass commands, he commands AT MY COMAND.

C. For stationary movements of two or more counts the instructor directs IN CADENCE. The Pathfinders simultaneously execute the first count of the movement on the command of execution and sound off with ONE; as they execute the second count they sound off with TWO. To halt execution of movements in cadence the instructor directs WITHOUT CADENCE. Normal drill methods are resumed.

General Rules for Drill

A. Drill periods should be frequent and of short duration. Smartness and precision should be expected in the execution of every detail.

B. The explanation of a movement that may be executed toward either flank is given in this manual for only one flank. This is indicated by the use of the words "left" or "right" in parentheses. To execute the movement toward the other flank substitute the word "left" for "right’ and "right" for "left."

C. Units are numbered from front to rear when in column and from right to left when in lines.

D. Except at the beginning of training. The Pathfinder leader does not count cadence. When the Pathfinders get out of step, correct them or halt the club and move them off in step.


The directions given Pathfinders during drill are called "commands." There are two parts to a command:

1. The preparatory command states the movement to be carried out and mentally prepares the Pathfinder for its execution. In the command FORWARD, MARCH, the preparatory command is FORWARD.

2. The command of execution tells when the movement is to be carried out, kin FORWARD, MARCH, the command of execution is MARCH.

In certain commands the preparatory command and the command of execution are combined, for example" FALL OUT, AT EASE, and REST.

Generally, when giving commands to his Pathfinders, the Pathfinder leader faces them. When his unit or club is a part of a larger drill group, or is in ceremonies, the Pathfinder leader does not face his unit or club, but turns his head toward his unit or club. He does not face about.

For a change in direction, the preparatory command and the command of execution are given so as to end as the foot corresponding to the direction of the turn strikes the ground.

The Pathfinder leader gives AS YOU WERE to revoke a preparatory command that he has given. If an improperly given command is not revoked, the Pathfinders execute the movement in the best manner possible.

The tone of the command should be animated, distinct, and of loudness proportioned to the number of Pathfinders for whom it is intended. Cadence in commands means a uniform and rhythmic flow of words. For everyone to be able to understand the preparatory command and know when to expect the command of execution, it is necessary that the interval between commands be generally of uniform length. For the unit or club in march, except when supplementary commands need to be given, the best interval of time is that which allows one step to be taken between the preparatory command and the command of execution. The same interval is best for commands give at the halt. Longer commands, such as RIGHT FLANK, MARCH, must be started so that the preparatory command will end on the proper foot and leave a full count between the preparatory command and the command of execution. Use a rising inflection with the preparatory command. Give the command of execution in a sharper tone and slightly higher pitch.


A directive causes action to be taken by those under the command of the one giving the directive. For example, PREPARE TO RAISE THE FLAG. The subordinate leader(s) may give necessary commands.

NAD Drill Manual COPYRIGHT 1989 by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Church Ministries Department.

This copy of the NAD Drill Manual (1989©) was prepared by the Evergreen Pathfinder Club, Pioneer Memorial Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA for the club website at http://www.pmchurch.org/pathfinders/ in 2004