CLEARLAKE – Three young members of the Clearlake Church of the Nazarene were honored recently with the Phineas F. Brezee award in Caravan Christian scouting, the highest honor available.
Presented with the award in a special presentation held at the El Grande hotel in Clearlake were, Kaylee Merola, age 11, daughter of Steve and Kris Merola of Clearlake; Emma Pyzer, age 12, daughter of Joel and Davina Pyzer of Hidden Valley Lake; and Autumn Pyzer, age 12, daughter of Marnin and Jennifer Pyzer also of Hidden Valley Lake.
To earn the Brezee award the girls must have completed eight core values studies, 16 Articles of Faith, 32 skill badges, four ministry projects and four missionary books.
Completing the tasks for the Bresee award also satisfied requirements for the Esther Carson Winans award and Haldor Lillenas award.
“We are thrilled with the girls and their achievements in the Caravan scouting program,” said Nazarene Pastor Richard Bean. “It’s certainly the first time we have had three top honorees at one time.”
Bean said “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight,” Proverbs 3:5-6, is the theme for Caravan because God should be at the center of everything.
“Our kids are learning to grow in 'wisdom and stature' through Caravan, and they're having a great time doing it,” he said. “They earn badges just like in scouting programs, while also learning memory verses and growing in their relationship with God and others.”
The Phineas F. Brezee award is named for the founding pastor of the Church of the Nazarene denomination to honor his dedication to holiness.
The Caravan scouting program meets Thursday evenings with dinner for the kids at 5:30 p.m. and activities at 6 p.m. Meetings are held at the Clearlake Church of the Nazarene, 15917 Olympic Drive, in Clearlake. Parents interested in enrollment for their children may receive more information by contacting the church at 707-994-4008.
A Caravan history
The Nazarene Caravan program began in the heart and mind of a Nazarene layman in California. In the 1930s, LeRoy Haynes felt the Church of the Nazarene should offer a club/scouting style program for children that reflected the Nazarene belief and doctrine of holiness.
Haynes began by planning and organizing the first Nazarene club program for use in his local church. Word of this successful new approach spread from church to church. In 1934, the Southern California district actively launched "Boy's Work" under the direction of LeRoy Haynes. The following year, 1935, the district program expanded to include "Girl's Work" with Mrs. Jeanne Haynes as the director.
As news of this program spread, people from across the United States and the British Isles began contacting LeRoy and Jeanne Haynes for help in setting up local Nazarene club programs. The 1936 General Assembly included a display about the new club. The heart of the Church of the Nazarene was stirred, and interest increased.
The first Caravan book, Trailmarker for boys ages 12 and up, was released in 1946. Then came, Pathmarker for girls ages 12 and up, Signals for boys ages 9 to 11, and Signs for girls ages 9 to 11.
In the fall of 1946, Millington Church of the Nazarene in Michigan became the first official Nazarene Caravan club program in the United States. As the new club program grew, it became necessary to appoint a national Caravan director. Rev. Milton Bunker accepted this important assignment.
At a district Caravan Round-up in October 1949, Carol Wordsworth of Youngstown, Ohio, became the first person to receive Caravan's highest award.