The Walk of Life
PATHWAYSelf: Belonging and Responsibility
AGE GROUP14-16 years
Anticipate Time240: 4 or more hours min
GROUP SIZE2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Pathfinders go on a day long journey, during which they receive letters of encouragement and affirmation.
Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:
- Be challenged to consider his/her relationships
- Appreciate loved ones
Psalm 139: 13,For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made: your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Our sense of belonging is often determined by those closest to us. Pathfinders need to be encouraged by those close to them, as well as to be challenged to find their strength in God.
May our joys be greater, our love; deeper, and our life; fuller because we shared time together.
The key focus of this Pursuit is to allow Pathfinders time spent alone contemplating letters of appreciation and encouragement from those who love them. This needs to be arranged a few weeks in advance.
Write a note home to parents approximately three weeks in advance and ask them to both write and gather letters from all the friends and loved ones of the their Pathfinder. The letters should be personal, sealed and ONLY contain encouragement and affirmation. Have the letters returned to you directly. If possible keep it all as a surprise for the Pathfinders.
The key focus of this Pursuit is to allow Pathfinders a time spent alone contemplating letters of appreciation and encouragement from those who love them. This has to be arranged a few weeks in advance. (See Preparation)
Choosing the place for the ‘journey’ will take some consideration. Some criteria will be:
- Beauty and tranquillity in the place where Pathfinders can read the letters.
- At least two – three hours of ‘journey’ in order to reach the ‘letter reading spot’.
- Enough room so Pathfinders can spread out in a ‘solo’ time.
1. Meet with Pathfinders and travel to a place where they will begin their journey (of course, this Pursuit could be part of a camp). Introduce the concept of the journey by reading the following (or something similar):
“Our lives are but a journey. We travel on this earth for a short time in a quest to find a reason for our existence and to find people around us to love. As Christians we find our reason in God and His plan to save us forever. As humans, we find our greatest joy in the relationships with those we care about. This is the walk of life.
Today we are going to embark on a symbolic walk. We will travel today on a path that might be sometimes easy and sometimes difficult. Along the way you will need to at times, work together, and at other times you will need to be alone. That’s the way it is in life.
You will learn from this journey exactly how much you want to learn. You could spend the day with us today and leave saying, ‘we went on a walk’ – and gain nothing more than a little exercise and a chat with friends. Or you could spend this day and say, ‘we went on a journey and I learned something about myself today’. The choice is yours. It is the same way with life – you can go through it with your eyes closed and your life can remain meaningless; or you can go through it in constant discovery of what God has for us – and be changed each day.
Make the walk of your life mean something.”
2. Build a day’s program. There are at least three ways to approach the walk of life:
- Organise the Pathfinders to a tough day’s hike. Approach it as a challenge.
- Organise a series of activities around one area. Perhaps you could start with a breakfast, then some challenge activities or games, then a shorter walk to the ‘letter reading spot’ followed by some fellowship activities or perhaps a meal.
- A combination of the above.
3. At the end of the day, make a special focused time to Debrief. This is particularly vital in this Pursuit, as for some Pathfinders, this could be a traumatic experience.
Leaders, be sure to follow up on discussing when and how the Pathfinders saw the memory text in action throughout this Pursuit.
Select from the questions below:
- What was the best part of the day?
- What was it like to read your letters?
- What kinds of things did they say?
- How valuable was this day for you?
- What did you learn about yourself today?
- What changes can you make in your life because of what happened today?