The Good Sam's Backyard Teen Ministry is made up of two parts: Youth Church - An engaging, Bible-based, outreach focus designed to help youth make wholesome decisions about their own lives as well as identify realistic ways to make life better for those less fortunate. We participate in locally organized food drives, clothing drives, while volunteering at and/or supporting organizations such as Feed My Starving Children, Peoples Resource Center, Family Shelter Service of DuPage and World relief Organization.
Our mission is simple: To help youth understand that God's love is to be passed on to others unconditionally and that our lives should center around building resources to do more for others because we are Christians.
Coupled with Youth Church, most of our youth are also members of The Samaritans Pathfinder Club. Pathfinders are a worldwide organization of young people sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, though young people of any religious persuasion, or none at all, are welcome and encouraged to join the organization.
Pathfinders offer a wide range of activities including, but not limited to:
Camping & camping/survival skills
Grade appropriate leadership training
Activities promoting community pride & involvement through outreach activities such as helping in downtown soup kitchens, collecting food for the disadvantaged, cleaning & maintaining city and county parks, visiting and encouraging the elderly, and MANY more
Interactive training in a variety of recreational, artistic, nature, conservation, vocational, and outreach areas, with awards (honors) given for successful completion of the interactive training modules
Personal care and encouragement by a caring staff member! While many school classrooms have 10-30 students per teacher, Pathfinders offers AT LEAST a 1 staff member to every 5 Pathfinder ratio!
Joining a Local Pathfinders Club such as The Samaritans Pathfinder Club in Downers Grove, IL
Pathfinders is for those who are in the fifth (5th) grade or its equivalent through the eighth (8th) grade. 5th and 6th graders are often referred to as "Junior" pathfinders, and 7th and 8th graders are often referred to as "Teen" Pathfinders.
The Teen Leadership Training (TLT) program works closely with the Pathfinder program and is for high school students (grades 9-12) where each TLT learns, practices, and takes over various leadership roles in planning activities, vision and mission design, drill and color guard protocols, etc.
Staff positions are available in many locations that offer adults the opportunity to make a difference for young people, develop friendships with fellow staff, learn more about God's creation, and improve their training skills.