April 4, 2023 | Mandeville, Jamaica | Nigel Coke and Inter-American Division News

After 34 years of being a part of the Seventh-day Adventist Pathfinders Club, Robert Miller is eagerly awaiting the start of the 5th Inter-American Pathfinders Camporee scheduled for April 4-8, 2023, at the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium in Trelawny, Jamaica.

It is not because Miller is new to large camporees, having attended numerous camporees and congresses such as one held in South Africa in 2013, but because of impact that the Pathfinders movement has had on his life.

“The Pathfinders Club over the years has impacted me a whole lot,” said Miller. “It gave me skills in leadership and how to be my brother’s keeper in terms of the social, spiritual, and mental.”  It is a wholistic development, he added. “Pathfinders for me is life. It teaches me the life skills that I encapsulate in my everyday life. It also enabled me to interact with people at different strata/levels of life and exposed me to several cultures and countries.”

Robert Miller stands with his Pathfinder leader uniform. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in Jamaica  for the  St. Catherine South Eastern on Sep. 3, 2020, representing the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP). [Photo: Courtesy of Robert Miller]

“Big Rob” as he is affectionately called, was baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in October 1988 at the age of 11 and quickly plunged into being actively involved in the work of the church. The following year he became a member of the Pathfinders Club at Spanish Town Seventh-day Adventist Church, which he described as his biggest life-changing moment.

“Since joining the Pathfinders Club, I have always been in leadership positions where I was able to coach and mentor other youth,” said Miller.   He eventually gained a strong interest in youth development, which stemmed from seeing youths in Jamaican society, not being rounded and geared to face the challenges of the society has to offer.

Early years in leadership

While attending Bridgeport High School, Miller was captain the debating team and the first boys team to the ISSA Boys and Girls Athletics Championship. He also served as a member of the school’s drama, speech, chess clubs and prefect body.

It was his role in the church and the Pathfinders Club that eventually led him to Northern Caribbean University (NCU), whose ethos and emphasis is on the wholistic development of young people. It was while at NCU that the Miller realized that his role as a youth leader was a call from God and which propelled him into representational politics.

Robert Miller speaks to Jamaican Parliament members, in Kingston, Jamaica, recently. [Photo: Courtesy of Robert Miller]

Miller became a first-time Member of Parliament at his first attempt at representational politics when he was elected for the  St. Catherine South Eastern on Sep. 3, 2020, representing the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP). He also serves on the Regulations and Public Accounts Committees of Parliament.

“It is the Pathfinders Club and my tenure at NCU that fine-tuned my competencies in the area of leadership where I am today giving leadership over a jurisdiction implementing policies that will affect people’s lives,” he added.  “The experiences with different cultures and sub-cultures that are associated with the Pathfinders Club even at the various camporees that I have attended in other countries, and that in itself has equipped me as a leader to reach out to the people in the constituency that I represent.”

Miller has served in various leadership capacities while at NCU in the areas of sport, academia and becoming president for the United Student Movement 2003-2004. On a national level, he served as vice president of the Jamaica Union of Tertiary Students (JUTS). In 2009, he was appointed as a Justice of the Peace for the Parish of Kingston and St. Andrew.

Robert Miller sits with his wife He is married to Kristen Broomfield Miller and son Liam-Draycen Miller. [Photo: Courtesy of Robert Miller]

Advice to young people

“My advice to young people, especially those who are unattached and those who are perpetrators of crime and violence and scamming, is to learn a skill. As a past chairman of the National Youth Service and member of the HEART NSTA Trust Board over the years, I can say that there is a skill for everyone,” said Miller.  “Everyone has a duty to play to develop their square in this rock that we call Jamaica. If young men they can equip themselves they would be entrepreneurs, they would be the master of their craft and they would sustain themselves and enrich their families and at the same time add to the GDP of this country.”

In June 2019, Miller received the Prime Minister Medal of Appreciation for Service in Education an honor.

Big Rob’s most memorable moment at a Camporee was the 4th IAD one held in the Dominican Republic in April 2017. “Everyone went to bed in their tents one night and when my wife and I woke up in the morning, we realized that there was a thunderstorm and everyone else was flood out and we were spared,” Miller said.

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