The first step towards the organization of the Pathfinders Club within the Adventist Church in 1907 when the Department of Youth Missionary Volunteer ( Volunteer Missionary Society ) was established under the leadership of Pastor M.E. Kern.
In 1909 are the first organized societies Missionary Volunteer Youth (MVJ), and in 1914 developed the first lessons to be MVJ's, that would be the precursor of the progressive classes Pathfinder.
In 1911 the embryos are formed from the Pathfinder club in Takoma Park, Maryland. Three clubs were formed in Takoma Park in 1911, they were: "Scouts Missions", "Woodland Clan & Pals" and "Takoma Indians". Were characterized by only accepting registration for boys. In 1919 Arthur Spalding founded the club "Scouts Missionaries", in Madison County, Tennessee. Spalding studied the organization, made compatible with the spiritual goals of the Adventist Church (feature that was not initially adopted by clubs from Takoma Park), rules and created the outline of the movement. The "Scouts Missionaries" developed the fundamental ideals for the current club of pathfinders.
In 1929 for the first time the name "pathfinder" on a schedule of juvenile SDA is utilized. The Association of Southern California promotes a camp for Youth Missionary Volunteer, and entitles the camp "pathfinder". And the same Association (Southern California) in 1946, unilaterally and formalizes shall sponsor the program, with its first prototype recognized club, being tested inRiverside, California.
Alongside the experience in California, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in 1950, program formalizes the club, and adopts a uniform, a hymn (composed in 1947 by Henry Bergh) and a flag (made by Helen Hobbs in 1948) for the official new department. The name was adopted for the program "Youth Club - Missionary Volunteer".
Between 9–11 October 1953, the Southern Association of New England promoted the first Pathfinder Camporee in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. Since then this has been the main camp and form of interaction between Pathfinder clubs worldwide.
Since the formalization of the movement as the SDA program, it has undergone some upgrades, the most significant being:
- (1958) Development of progressive classes;
- (1959) Development of physical and moral classes (gold and silver medals);
- (1976) Addition of "masters" to the curriculum of the club;
- (1982) The global emblem Missionary Volunteer is replaced by the Pathfinder world emblem, and the name Missionary Volunteer falls into disuse;
- (1988) the first overhaul of the curriculum Pathfinder is made.
In 2001 it was recorded that there were over 2 million pathfinders in the world, and 90.000 clubs in over 150 countries.