Balancing academic pursuits, character development, adventure

all while preserving childhood

If we can inspire a curious spirit, teach a child how to learn and develop the skills to accurately assess their own personal growth and potential, they will be capable of taking on any challenge!

We believe that the golden standard of education should seek to move beyond measuring growth solely based on tests, scores, and numbers. We believe there is a more ideal set of standards better able to prepare children for the Christian adventure as well as for loving learning and living life. Motivated by this belief, we look at education in a different light.


We are a community of courageous learners characterized by sacrificial love, industriousness, and joy.

Academic Pursuits

Our school is an immersive environment that includes inspiring and practical lessons on both core and enrichment subjects. Projects are a critical component of our classroom time as well as an opportunity to grow relationships among peers and with guides. We believe the relationships that we foster with our students allow guides to be in tune with the learning styles and unique personalities of their students which enables them to be truly prepared to support the children.

Character Development

Our prayer is that in the midst of academic possibilities, our students would never be too busy to bend down and help another up. That they would be courageous followers of Christ as they practice gratitude, sacrificial love, industriousness, resourcefulness, and perseverance. Above all, we pray they would know their worth does not lie in academic achievements but in their value as a beloved child of God. As guides, we believe it is a gift to love them into this truth.

Outdoor Adventures

We traipse through muddy creek beds, build crackling fires to warm frosty fingers, and pause to examine tiny snails on the forest floor. Adventure days aim to build resilience and confidence, to spark curiosity and wonder, to develop life skills and offer time for reflection. We believe time spent with trees over our head and grass under our feet is not only the basis of childhood joy but it is integral to physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual development.

Each of our programs were created to inspire joyful learning born from relationships, experiences, and training. It is our hope that the love of God and the unique abilities He has gifted to each child for their role in His story will be revealed.

— Foundational Beliefs
Foundational Beliefs

Foundational Faith

We believe everything was created by the trinitarian God of the Bible.

We believe all people were created in order to glorify God by living in loving and joyful obedience to Him.

We believe all humanity and creation are broken by sin and, as such, can only be forgiven and redeemed by God’s grace through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We believe in eternal life for all who love and obey God.

Foundational Attitudes

Our schools have a limited and defined role in supporting the family’s responsibility for the education of a child.

The development of Christian character traits such as: gratitude, courage, sacrificial love, industriousness, resourcefulness, and perseverance are an equal priority to the acquisition of knowledge and abilities.

We believe character, knowledge, and abilities are best developed through inspiring, practical lessons, and many opportunities to practice.

We value a daily routine that encourages healthy habit formation and teaches the balance of freedom and responsibility.

We believe creativity should be encouraged and guided toward meaningful purposes.

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.

— 1 Peter 4:10


Kent Becker

Founder & Lead Guide (Ages 6-12)

An energetic dreamer with unwavering determination and a penchant for fun, whether it's building a school, hunting a turkey, shooting a basketball, or loving his family.

Molly Smith

Lead Guide (Ages 4-7)

Embodies love, patience, peacefulness, gentleness. Children bring extra sparkle to her eyes and she sees vast potential in them. Kindness + creativity radiate in her classroom!

Mary Meyer

Lead Guide (Ages 11-14)

A thoughtful planner with a gift for guiding children with grace and courage. Intentional, organized, and genuine in all she does at home, in the classroom, and beyond!

Amy Gerlach

Program Coordinator

Intentional, observant, and energized by her relationship with Christ, her genuine care brings out the best in children. Her heart finds inspiration and joy in connection!

Emily Griffith

Adventure Coordinator

Always sees beauty in the ordinary. Photographing children exploring nature is her love language. Her infectious joy reminds us to pause and enjoy God’s creation!

Lizzy Ellingson

Assistant Guide (Ages 4-7)

A peaceful spirit with both the gentleness and the grit to handle any situation. Her humble can do attitude shines in her willingness to serve others so freely and abundantly.


What does it look like to be part of the Pathfinder community?

While our school is primarily staffed with guides and assistants, we do occasionally have opportunities to involve the parents in the fun parts of educating children. We will periodically have opportunities to assist in skills schools, adventures, and a few other areas. We will let you know when those opportunities come up, and we’re always excited to know about any special skills you might possess and be willing to share.

What makes Pathfinders different?

Community and relationships are what set us apart. Our primary emphasis is on the relationships between the guides and the students. As the relationship grows, guides learn when to push, when to pull back, and how to support unique interests as they develop. Because of this relationship we can incorporate personal interests in lessons, follow up projects, and create an environment where the pace is supportive of learning at every level. Along the way, a community of courageous learners emerges and they learn to lift each other up as they grow together. The result is students who love learning.

What does it mean when we say we are a partner in education?

We consider everything that our children do and experience in a given day to be an opportunity for conversation and learning. We hope you share this immersive vision for your child’s education, too! We encourage you to cook with your child and reinforce learning the difference between teaspoons and tablespoons, have them help with home remodeling projects and learn how to use a measuring tape, practice math skills by calculating the cost of things at the grocery store, and create flyers for your family garage sale. If children can learn to embrace opportunities for growth in everything they do, then our partnership in guiding them in “learning how to learn“ will be that much easier to achieve.

What do lunches and snacks look like?

In order to support the dietary needs of our families, each child brings their own lunch. They have the opportunity to bring food to be warmed up on days they will be in the classroom. On-the-go lunches and a water bottle are needed on adventure days. Morning and afternoon snacks are provided. We do our best to accommodate food allergies but you are welcome to send your own snacks.

What are pick-up and drop-off times?

To alleviate the morning rush, we've created a drop-off window between 8:00-8:30. We begin promptly at 8:30 and appreciate your cooperation to arrive on time!

Pick-up time is between 3:30-4:00. While you are always welcome to simply pick your child up and go, very often parents will stand around and visit for a little bit. We hope you will feel welcome to join in! Please always feel free to chat with your child’s teacher, as well, and ask how the day went. We love talking with you about your kids.

What gear is needed?

Through many years of experience, we have compiled a list of gear and brands that have stood the test of tree climbing and muddy puddle jumping. We will send a list with a shopping guide before school starts.


Molly, parent

I was drawn to Pathfinders by the Montessori-inspired education model, and by the time spent adventuring in nature. Kent’s emphasis on teaching children to “work hard and love people” clinched the decision for me. The classroom and community experiences for my son have been everything we could have hoped for and more. What I did not expect was how God would use the experience to renew my motherhood. 

We’ve had some unusually challenging parenting paths to walk, and it stole a lot of the enthusiasm, self-confidence, and high ideals that I went into parenthood with. God has uniquely used being a part of the Pathfinder community to refresh my spirit and set my heart aflame again with those ideals. Witnessing the classroom model in action has encouraged and inspired me to work to return to being my highest self as a woman and mother, and as the primary educator of my children; it has motivated me to endeavor to create the rich environment I desire to cultivate at home for them, and for us as a family. I’m so grateful to be a part of such an intentional community of thinkers, doers, and believers.


Kim, parent

It was SO hard for me to let go of Henry this year. I remember going home from the open house and saying to Dan, “Are we sure we’re ready to trust total strangers with our 6 yr. old?! Climbing trees, hiking, starting fires, and chopping wood?!” We prayed so hard and felt God telling us this would be the best thing, and I think we heard right! Henry has grown so much this year in so many ways and I think I have too.
Thank you so much for for working hard to keep our littles courageously safe!