Pioneer Clubs

The information on this page was last updated 8/1/2022. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Pioneer Clubs provides churches with time-tested, age-appropriate children's ministry resources that serve kids age 2 through middle school. Our various biblically sound club programs integrate spiritual and personal development to help today's kids learn to follow Christ in every aspect of life. And our collaborative approach to ministry allows girls and boys to build healthy relationships with friends, caring adults and, most importantly, Jesus. Churches choose Pioneer Clubs for its participative Bible study, Scripture memory, life skills development and emphasis on relational discipleship and outreach.

And since nearly 85% of those who come to Christ in faith do so between the ages of 4 and 14, Pioneer Clubs is passionate about helping you reach children in your church and community for Christ. We believe that every child matters to Christ and welcome the opportunity to link arms with your church to help you accomplish this critical Kingdom work.

Here are some of the distinctive of our programs:

Bible Exploration-every week each of our clubs programs include hands-on Bible study just for kids, as well as practical life application. Not only do kids learn God's Word-they also learn to live it out!

Bible Memory-hiding God's Word in young hearts can make a difference for a lifetime. Our programs focus on meaningful memorization that relate directly to the Bible Exploration. Our focus is not on how many verse a child can learn, but on helping them live out the truth of Scripture.

Activity Awards-the activities you will find in our programs help kids develop a variety of life skills, such as art, sports, first aid, hiking, music and drama to name a few. As children complete the requirements for an activity, they earn an award for that accomplishment. The awards for some of our programs are iron-on cloth badges, while other programs offer stickers and pins as incentives.

Program Flexibility-whether you are ministering to 5 children or 500, we have a club program to meet your needs. Depending on your specific circumstances, we can help you craft a club program that takes into account how many leaders you have, the number of children you serve or the type of children's ministry format that is most comfortable to you. Our ministry consultants would love to help you determine which of our programs is best for you.

Day and Time-churches have been successful holding club at many different times. Some use our programs as a midweek "family night" at church, while others hold after school club programs. Some run club on weekday evenings, some on Saturday mornings and others meet sometime on Sunday. Churches employ our program all year-round or only during the school year. It all depends on what works best for you.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Pioneer Clubs
PO Box 207
Wheaton, IL 60187-0788


Phone: 800-694-2582

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 362222693

CEO/President: Brian Ondracek

Chairman: Keith Bodger

Board size: 10

Founder: Ms. Betty (Whitaker) McDonald

Ruling year: 1951

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 1982


Our Christ-centered programs integrate spiritual and personal development to help boys and girls build healthy relationships with caring Christian adults, peers and, most importantly, Christ. Churches choose Pioneer Clubs for its participative Bible study, Scripture memory, life skills training and emphasis on relational discipleship and outreach.

Mission statement

Pioneer Clubs' mission is training up children and youth to follow Christ in every aspect of life by providing biblically based and educationally sound resources.

Statement of faith

This expression of doctrine serves as the guideline for preparing all Pioneer Clubs' publications and hiring Pioneer Clubs staff.

Statement of Faith

We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17; Matthew 28:19).

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man (Matthew 1:18-23).

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writings, and of supreme and final authority in faith and life (2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

We believe that we were created in the image of God; that we sinned, and thereby incurred, not only physical death, but also that spiritual death which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born in sin, and that this sinful nature is the origin of all sinful acts in thought, word, and deed (Genesis 1:26; Romans 5:12; Isaiah 59:2-4; Romans 6:23).

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in him are justified on the grounds of his shed blood (Romans 5:8-9).

We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit, and thereby become children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:9).

We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and his ascension to Heaven, and in his present work as High Priest and advocate (1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 4:14-16).

We believe in the personal return of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just to everlasting blessedness, and the unjust to everlasting punishment (Acts 24:15; Revelation 20:15; Romans 6:23).

We believe in the equal value of all persons by upholding the God-given worth of all human beings, from conception to death, as the unique image-bearers of God. (Gen. 1:27; Psalm 8:3-8, 139:13-16)

We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female, and that these two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27.)

We believe that God created marriage to be exclusively the union of one man and one woman, and that intimate sexual activity is to occur exclusively within that union. (Genesis 2:18-25, Matthew 19:1-9,Ephesians 5:22-33, Romans 1:18-32, Hebrews 13:4)

We believe that we honor God by caring for the world He created. We are to be good and faithful stewards by thoughtfully using and not abusing the earth's resources (Gen. 1:1-2:3, Deut. 10:14, Psalms 19:1-6, 24:1, Luke 19:40)

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Christian Growth

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating679 of 103352 of 75
Fund acquisition rating985 of 103568 of 75
Resource allocation rating538 of 103544 of 75
Asset utilization rating299 of 103326 of 75

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$111,740$119,695$138,247$195,893$203,363
Short-term investments$103,148$175,669$225,870$306,939$177,186
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$214,888$311,500$383,995$518,225$402,467
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$0$9,879$22,205$34,994$47,940
Other long-term assets$74,119$70,299$71,854$85,517$169,781
Total long-term assets$74,119$80,178$94,059$120,511$217,721
Total assets$289,007$391,678$478,054$638,736$620,188
Payables and accrued expenses$31,501$19,448$12,017$29,809$17,814
Other current liabilities$6,930$8,137$11,082$10,590$4,501
Total current liabilities$38,431$27,585$23,099$40,399$22,315
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$49,515$51,600$53,733$55,911$59,167
Total long-term liabilities$106,479$114,154$69,654$79,237$89,961
Total liabilities$144,910$141,739$92,753$119,636$112,276
Net assets20212020201920182017
Without donor restrictions$135,158$241,900$377,262$409,025$400,256
With donor restrictions$8,939$8,039$8,039$110,075$107,656
Net assets$144,097$249,939$385,301$519,100$507,912
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$194,747$140,078$140,953$124,933$215,226
Program service revenue$22,368$38,377$56,004$54,644$61,629
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$23,827$16,093$6,845$194,417$7,644
Other revenue$55,556$151,837$172,140$226,865$238,017
Total other revenue$101,751$206,307$234,989$475,926$307,290
Total revenue$296,498$346,385$375,942$600,859$522,516
Program services$309,290$358,163$340,308$330,683$444,266
Management and general$47,095$61,748$84,641$160,319$181,406
Total expenses$394,981$470,126$503,651$561,913$762,001
Change in net assets20212020201920182017
Surplus (deficit)($98,483)($123,741)($127,709)$38,946($239,485)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($98,483)($123,741)($127,709)$38,946($239,485)


Brian OndracekPresident/CEO$99,889

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2021

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 8/1/2022. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


1939 - Girls Guild is established in Wheaton, Illinois and Betty Whitaker becomes the first director.

1940 - Girls Guild holds its first summer camp at Fish Lake, in Volo, Illinois.

1940 - Viola Waterhouse becomes the new director of Girls Guild.

1941 - Carol Erickson is named the director of Girls Guild and changes the name of the group to Pioneer Girls.

1943 - Carol Erickson approaches Herbert J. Taylor who through his Christian Workers' Foundation funds the Pioneer Girls, gives advice, free administrative support and provides the group with office space in Chicago's Civic Opera Building.

1943 - Herbert J. Taylor helps Pioneer Girls form its first Board of Directors and assists them in incorporating Pioneer Girls by the end of 1943.

1939-1950 - Pioneer Girls purchases camps and names them Camp Cherith.

* During this time the main source of church club sponsors were Baptist, although there was a range of different denomination also sponsoring.

1945 - Clubs start in Canada.

1953 - Pioneer Girls' headquarters moves to W Addison Ave. in Chicago, Illinois.

1959 - A mystery book called the Pioneer Girls Adventure Series is launched - eventually releasing three books.

1965 - Pioneer Girls celebrates their 25th anniversary.

1971 - Each camp incorporates as Camp Cherith.

1974 - Pioneer Clubs headquarters moves to St. Charles Rd. in Wheaton, Illinois.

1974 - At this time, there were 5 club levels: Voyager (2nd grade), Lavalier (3rd, 4th grade), Trailblazer (5th-7th grade), Shikari (7th-9th grade) and Explorer (9th-12th grade)

1976 - There are 19 Camp Cheriths in the United States and 6 camps in Canada.

1979 - Boys are allowed membership.

1981 - Boys have their own Pioneer Boys club.

1981 - The Pioneer Girls is renamed as Pioneer Ministries, but known as Pioneer Clubs.

* Historically, Pioneer Clubs have had sister organizations, at various times, in 16 countries worldwide including: France, Italy, Korea, Pakistan, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Thailand, Lithuania and Russia.

1986 - Pioneer Clubs adds the Scooter kindergarten program.

1989 - Pioneer Clubs celebrates their 50th anniversary.

1990 - Pioneer Clubs adds the Skipper preschool program for 2-3 year olds.

1993 - A Spanish-language division, Clubes Pioneros, is added.

2003 - Pioneer Clubs introduces the Discovery program - a great option for smaller churches.

2014 - Pioneer Clubs celebrates their 75th anniversary.

2014 - Pioneer Clubs introduces the DELTA curriculum, a multi-age option for small and large clubs.

2016-2017 - 50 Clubs are established in Cuba.

2017 - Pioneer Clubs introduces the BOLT curriculum.

2018 - Pioneer Clubs are active across the United States, Canada, Aruba, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and Cuba.

2019 - Pioneer Clubs' 80th Anniversary!

Program accomplishments