TIMELINE 1939 – 2021
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!