The SC Principle

Self: Goals and Values
12-14 years, 14-16 years
Anticipate Time
1 hour min
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Determination, Self Control, Self Dicipline, Temperance


Pathfinders remain silent for a day in a camping or Club outing setting.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Demonstrate restraint and self-discipline in remaining silent for an agreed period of time
  2. Develop other creative ways of communicating when needed
  3. Identify learning experiences from this exercise

Scripture Focus

Memory Verse

Titus 2: 11 - 13
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'NO' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope.

“When I am self-controlled and moderate I am in control of my feelings. I don’t have to yell and shout or be angry when someone crosses me. I can control the situation calmly. I eat what’s good for me. I don’t stuff myself with junk food every day. I don’t put harmful substances in my body… I work on keeping my life organized and scheduled so I can get things done. I try not to procrastinate, but to plan ahead. I can wait for something I want when I know it’s better to wait. I follow the training rules for my sports team, even though it’s tough sometimes. I don’t have to buy everything I see at the shops on the spot. I think about whether I need it and whether I can afford it before I part with my money. I am determined to remain a virgin until I get married. It’s tough, but I know I can do it. I respect my dates and don’t get us in compromising situations. I want to give myself to my future spouse morally pure. I think even good things can be done to extreme. If all the TV programs were good ones, would I watch all of them? Of course not. I have to choose what is the very best. I can’t do everything that pops into my head. That’s what self-control is all about. It means turning off the TV or the computer game when I need to study. It means doing my jobs before reading a book… I means watching what I say and do.”1

With self-control, “you can be moderate. You don’t overdo things or let yourself become too lazy. You get things done. Feelings and thoughts come and go. You may not be able to control your thoughts and feelings, but you can control what you do with them. You don’t lose control of yourself when you are hurt or angry but decide how you are going to talk and what you are going to do.” 2


  1. To prepare a small communication booklet for each person, divide an A4 page into 8. (Fold into quarters lengthwise and widthways.)
  2. Cut along all the folded lines.
  3. Create a small booklet with the pages. Staple.
  4. Photocopy the front cover as outlined in the Appendix and glue it onto the front cover of the booklet.
  5. Number the small adhesive dots with numbers – one number for each of your Pathfinders
  • Enough live beetles, crabs or practical creature of your choice for one for each Pathfinder
  • String
  • Container to hold the creatures
  • A copy of the front page of the Communication Record Booklet as found in the Appendix
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Small adhesive dots – one for each participant


  1. This Pursuit is simple to explain, yet difficult to do! Uncover your collection of beetles, crabs or whatever creature you have selected. Tell your group how they are going to sponsor a creature for a race. Using the adhesive sticker dots, number each creature and place them on the ground. Place your container on them until you say go. Construct a circle around them with string and share how the first one to the string is the winner.

2. After the conclusion of the race. Talk about the frustration of not being able to do anything about the speed or direction of ‘your’ creature. Ask how their movement may be like a person who has no self-control. (They are aimless. They have no direction. No awareness of goals. No order. No apparent control over their rate of movement or destiny.)

2. Talk about self-control. Ask:

  • Who is the most self-controlled person you know?
  • What kind of person are they?
  • What possible benefits does being self-controlled have in their life? (Share some of the thoughts about self-control found in the Spiritual Focus)
  • What makes self-control a worthy value to master in life?

3. Share some of the sentiments in the Spiritual Focus, then tell your Pathfinders that they are to embark on the great SC Challenge (Self-Control Challenge). There are three options with this challenge.
One is for them to remain completely SILENT throughout all the Pathfinder activities for a day (in a camping context or for the duration of a whole-day Pathfinder outing). If they so much as utter a word or an audible expression they have forfeited the opportunity for that day and will have to schedule another time when your group plans to be together for that amount of time. Tell them that there may be some dire need for communication, so a small Communication Booklet will be issued to each participant. They are to write any urgent message in the booklet.
A Second option is for them to nomimate the amount of time they will keep silent. An additional challenge would be for them to PAY for the opportunity to be silent and donate the money for a food hamper for a needy family!
A third option would be for the Pathfinder to fast for a 24 hour period: no food, only water. Given that this will extend beyond the hours of your club time together, someone will have to vouch for their fulfilment of the commitment.

4. Challenge them to use this time to observe, seek to understand and listen.
Prepare them for the fact that they will be invited to share what they have learned at the end of this challenge.
NB. Because of the difficulty of this Pursuit, it may take some time for your whole group to successfully complete it. You may wish to debrief on a personal level with each Pathfinder as they succeed with the Challenge. 

5. Complete the Recording activity.



  • On a scale of 1 – 10 how frustrated did you get?
  • What aspect of communicating did you miss the most?
  • How


  • Comment on some of the following statements about self control – to what extent do you think they’re true? Put them into your own words:“The man who loses his head is usually the last one to miss it.”
    “Anger is only one letter short of danger.”
    “Hot words make cool friendships.”
    “He overcomes a strong enemy who overcomes his own anger.”
    “So long as a man is angry he cannot be in the right.” Chinese Proverb
    “He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires and fears, is more than a king.”
  • To what extent is it important that we ‘overcome’ our weaknesses in the Christian life, or is it OK to just stay the way – fall into the same traps and know God will forgive us?


  • What have you learned about yourself through doing this Pursuit?
  • What have you learned about other people?
  • What other values have been tested through this Pursuit?
  • As Christians, God wants the Holy Spirit to direct our lives (John 16:5-15) What does it mean to bring everything – our words, thoughts and actions under the Holy Spirit?


  • What are some other areas in your life that need self-control?
  • To what extent is lack of self control stopping you from being the type of person God dreams for you? (Personal Reflection)
  • How will you work on self-control this week? In what area?
  • What might trigger responses? How will you stop responding in the predictable ways of the past when it happens?
  • Make a statement of commitment in your Journal about trying, with God’s help, with self-control in a stated area of your life. Tell someone about your commitment and ask them to hold you accountable for your commitment.


1 “10 Christian Values Every Kid Should Know” by Donna Habenicht (2000) Review and Herald Publishing Association, Hagerstown, Maryland
“The Family Virtues Guide” by Linda Kavelin Popov (1997) A Plume Book Published by the Penguin Group, New York p233

Communication Record 
Here is a cover design for your Communication Booklet. See ‘Handouts’ below for an A4 page with 8 images, ready to copy. Photocopy and attach this to blank pages, making a booklet