The city of Darmstadt in Hessen, Germany, recently honored Ann-Kathrin Drössler, Régis Fayard, and Renee Kocur for their outstanding volunteer commitment. The three belong to the leadership team of the Pathfinder club of the Marienhöhe Seventh-day Adventist Church in Darmstadt.
Barbara Akdeniz, director of the Darmstadt Youth and Social Affairs Department, presented the honorary certificates on behalf of the mayor during a special ceremony on July 9, 2021. In her remarks, Akdeniz thanked the three Adventist leaders for their exemplary and diverse commitment to children and young people.
For the past 20 years, Darmstadt has been honoring young people who are particularly committed to volunteering in the city. For the first time, members of the Adventist Pathfinder club received honorary certificates for their volunteer support.
Motivation for Others
“The honorees give a face to civic engagement in our city, and it is important for me to thank them here today,” Akdeniz said. She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has highlighted the importance of social cohesion and an indispensable commitment to society. “Volunteers do not only take care of themselves. Rather, they have a role model function that sensitizes other young people to take responsibility in society,” she said.
Drössler, Fayard, and Kocur are coordinators of the Pathfinder club at the Marienhöhe Church and are responsible for more than 200 members. The leaders direct small groups and organize group lessons, tent camps, hiking tours, and summer retreats. In addition, they conduct training for other employees and are also involved in Pathfinder clubs across the state. The three awardees represent a very dynamic Pathfinder team, leaders said.
Akdeniz particularly praised two Pathfinder projects during the 2020 lockdowns. The first one was “Scout Rally,” an offer to all Darmstadt children and their families to spend time in nature. The second one was the “Stay at Home” badge, which got around 2,000 members involved across Germany and Switzerland. Akdeniz highlighted that during the pandemic, many children and young people might have felt lonely or afraid. “Thank you for being so dedicated to the children during this difficult time,” she told the Adventist youth leaders.
The Pathfinder club in the Marienhöhe Church includes 12 groups for children and adolescents from 6 to 20 years old. Group lessons take place on Sundays. Members participate in tent camps, campfires, and hiking tours. They also get involved in outdoor games and other outdoor activities that teach them how to enjoy nature and socialize with their peers. Members also participate in regular national and international camps.