Overview of Honours System

Honours were first introduced in North America in 1928 with the objective of ‘developing the physical, mental and spiritual capacities of youth and adults’.

Since then, honours are being enjoyed throughout the world.  The original honours have been reviewed many times and new honours are regularly added.  The original concept has not changed.

The South Pacific Division (SPD) is reviewing all honours and a team of dedicated volunteers are heavily involved.  If you would like to help, please contact us.

As we are part of the world body of Pathfinders, we have based our South Pacific Division (SPD) honours as closely as possible on the General Conference (GC) system.  As a general principle, we have looked closely at the GC’s requirements for each honour.  We have taken into account the diverse needs of the South Pacific Division.  In most cases, little change has been required.

Worldwide, there are several hundred honours available and we are progressing through them.  Of these, many are already available in the South Pacific Division in various guises.

So …..   We are about to start on an exciting journey.  This Website is owned by all of us who are part of the SPD Pathfinder organisation.  

To all our other friends – you may not be a Pathfinder, or even a member of our church – welcome aboard!

We have nine categories of honours and each category is represented by a different colour. The categories are as follows: ADRA; Arts, Crafts & Hobbies; Health & Science; Household Arts; Nature; Outdoor Industries; Outreach Ministries; Recreation and Vocational.

We have thirteen master honours designed for those who want to meet the challenge of becoming specialists in particular areas.  Imagine becoming an Artisan Master or a Wilderness Master.

All our honours commence with the basic level of knowledge and competency.  Some folks call it the “entry level”.  Others call it the “beginner’s level”.

Basic honours may have just the honour title or they may have a number ‘1’ after the title.  Further advanced honours have a ‘2’ or ‘3’ after the title.  For example; Swimming 1 is the basic honour.  Then there’s Swimming 2, Swimming 3, Swimming 4 and Swimming 5.  Swimming 5 is the most advanced of all the swimming honours.

We have designed our honour documents so that our honours are living documents.  This means we can readily improve them.  We can add new material.  We can keep them up-to-date as new information is received.

We have developed templates so that our honour documents have a common look.

Generally, there are four parts to each honour:

1. Requirements and Framework

This part provides an overview of the honour.  On the front page, the category of the honour is displayed plus pictures of the honour patch and the relevant master honour (or master honours).  There’s a snapshot of the honour.  The snapshot gives a summary of the honour.  The framework on page two gives a broad picture of the honour.  With the exception of any legal requirements, the framework is intended as a guide only. Finally, there’s the Honour Requirements.  In most cases they are downloaded from the GC website.  Any additional SPD requirements are shown in italics while GC requirements not required by the SPD are shown as strikethrough.

2. Trainer’s Notes

Trainer’s Notes are intended to assist with the teaching / training of the honour.  In many cases, links are provided to other web sources.

We recognise that our Division is very diverse.  We have tropical islands, deserts and glaciers and many different species in nature.  The Trainer’s Notes part can cater for these exciting features.  We can have different documents – based on our standard template or even PowerPoint presentations.  For example, have a look at the Shells Honour. There’s the standard Trainer’s Notes, a PowerPoint presentation, and Notes on New Zealand Shells.

We would value offers for contributions.  So if you have information on, and a passion for any of our honours please contact us.

3. Workbook

The workbook follows the outline of the honour requirements.  It is developed using the tables of Microsoft Word.  This gives two options. Firstly, participants may provide their answers on a hard copy (ie download and print / photocopy).  Secondly, responses may be added electronically to an electronic copy. (ie download and save on an individual’s computer)

4. Assessment sheet

This is intended for leader’s use only.  It generally consists of a single page, including a checklist for the practical parts of the honour and a short quiz to check knowledge of the honour.

For a person to earn any honour, we expect that person will have done their very best. Remember that the Honour Requirements outline the minimum amount of effort. Never forget that sloppy work does not give the same satisfaction as something well done.

We rely on the judgement and integrity of our local Pathfinder leaders to decide if and when an honour should be awarded.  Leaders, please refer to the Requirements, Workbook and Assessment Sheet.  Take into account the abilities and attitudes of people doing honours.  God bless you in your work.

Please use your local Conference or Mission’s administrative processes for ordering honours.

We are astounded by the amount of knowledge and resources throughout our Division. Then there’s the world field!

The SPD Honour Committee would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact us.

We appreciate folks having the initiative and knowledge to propose new honours.  To streamline the process, the SPD Honour Committee has developed a procedure.  Before you proceed, please discuss your ideas with the Youth Ministries people of your Local Conference or Mission.

There are two aspects to copyright.

The first aspect deals with the works of others.  We require all legal requirements of copyright be met. Besides this, our Christian faith calls on us to do-the-right-thing. Please let us know if there has been an inadvertent slip-up with copyright.

The second aspect relates to works submitted to go on our Honour Website. We do not allow our material to be downloaded and used for profit or material gain. Otherwise, all material on our Honour Website will be made freely available to others with no copyright restrictions. Prospective contributors need to acknowledge this.

This document gives more details on copyright issues in relation to the SDA Church in the South Pacific Division

Because these honours are for the entire South Pacific Division, it is not possible to list all legal requirements and keep them up to date. There are laws, regulations, standards, and conditions – from national governments down to local councils.  Most of our honours have simple legal requirements.  Please check legal requirements pertaining to your area before starting an honour

Take special care that everyone remains safe; all those involved with our honours and those who may be affected.  Protect all property and take care of the environment.  Make sure that instructor/s of an honour have the required expertise and all the legal qualifications.

Your personal privacy is important to us and we always aim ‘to do the right thing’.  Our policy is consistent with the policy outlined on the Web Ministry site for the South Pacific Division of Seventh Day Adventists.  Please see: corporate.adventistchurch.com/privacy