Time Tested

Self: Goals and Values
14-16 years
Anticipate Time
1 hour min
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Honesty, Integrity, Self Awareness, Self Dicipline, Persistence


Pathfinders create a time capsule, to be buried for a period of one year. Lists or symbols identifying the type of person they would like to be in one year’s time are placed within the box: their achievements, the direction of their inner growth, their priorities, interests, goals to have been reached in different areas of their lives…

They will also outline strategies that will assist in the realisation of these goals.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Discuss life values
  2. Identify personal goals
  3. Select symbolic items for the capsule

Scripture Focus

Memory Verse

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award to them on that day - and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Each of us has a God-shaped hole in us that can only be filled by Him. We need to acknowledge that we can only truly reach our unique potential, by being deeply and personally in tune with Him and appreciating His desires for our lives. He can help us become the person He longs for us to be – in all areas of life!


  1. Using masking tape or ropes, mark out two concentric circles, one inside the other. The inner circle should be about 1.5 metres in diameter and the outer circle 2 metres outside that.
  2. Photocopy the Appendix material. Make one full size (A4 size) for each participant (include the Counsellors) , and make a second copy for everyone A5 size so it can be placed in Pathfinders Journals more easily. Photocopy the material on the back and front of one page.
  • 4 paper plates
  • Ropes or masking tape
  • Large metal Milo tin to serve as the time capsule
  • Silicon (to seal the lid)
  • Paper/pens
  • Personal items which may symbolise the achievements of each participant.
  • Appendix material
  • A plant (to mark the spot of burial)
  • Envelopes (ones that will fit in the Pathfinders Journals)


1. Create four teams from your group. Have each team select a team name and write it on the paper plate given to each team member. Team members then stand outside the outer circle with their backs to the circle and attempt to centre their paper plate in the inner circle by throwing it over their heads. Award points for accuracy.

Questions for consideration:

  • Was it easy to centre the plates?
  • What did you do to try and reach the intended goal, was it blind action or focused thought and technique?
  • What is at the centre of your life? Is it blind action or focused thought?
  • What guides you in your decisions?
  • Have you ever set goals for yourself? What are some possible benefits of doing this?
  • How is a goal like ‘focused thought’ rather than ‘blind action’?

2. Form small groups. Try and place the group in a serene, reflective environment where there is peace and quiet. If this is not possible, create a peaceful atmosphere with slow, quiet music. Brainstorm things that can be at the centre of your life. Write them on the paper plates. Suggestions: family, work, school, relationships, church, God…

3. Invite personal, private reflection by asking each participant to move to a place by themselves, where they can honestly think about:

  • Who they really are,
  • Their priorities, and
  • Areas that need growth.

Provide a list of areas for their reflection. (This is a very private exercise. Let them know that they don’t have to share this information with anyone.)

4. Share with the group how they themselves hold the key to change. We all, with God’s help, are capable of change and growth. Share with them, however, that this change can only be really lasting when God makes it happen. Only he can mold us, and change us into the person He longs for us to be!

5. Explain how change is a long term thing that must be worked at constantly. Long term goals will be more easily achieved if a number of short term goals precede them. Offer them support and encouragement as they make these changes in their lives. Encourage them to look at themselves 
• spiritually – in terms of their relationship with Christ and their witness of Him to others, 
• mentally – in terms of mental challenges and academic growth, 
• socially – in terms of the quality of their relationships, and 
• physically – in their approach to holistic health and optimum lifestyle habits and personal physical challenges.

Remind them of S.A.M. – How all goals should be Specific, Achievable and Measurable!

6. Explain how a time capsule is to hold information about how they would like to see themselves in a year’s time. A word picture of themselves, together with a list of goals, achievements, in specific areas of their lives, will provide the essential contents of the time capsule. They may also like to place items/objects in the capsule which symbolise a goal to be reached. Bury the capsule in a private place and plant your favourite plant to mark the spot. (Optional – but do mark it somehow!) Use the plant to reflect on the fact that this plant doesn’t need to be abused to die – is just has to be neglected. It is the same with our dreams – they need to be actively nurtured if they are to flourish – neglect brings the death of the dream! 

7. Allow everyone to share in the digging process. Take turns and plant it deep! Don’t forget to mark the spot and begin specific plans to work on what is on their lists. Provide structures for this to happen. Discuss strategies with the Pathfinders, how these specific goals can be worked on (Select a few sample goals if no one is willing to share a real goal, and work through how progress can be made in this area.)


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 kinds of activities take up the most of your time?
  • “What do you think about most?
  • What type of things do you spend the most time developing?


  • How important is it to have God at the centre?
  • How can we go about doing this?
  • What happens to the way you look at things and your behaviour if God is not at the centre of your life?
  • What changes when God is at the centre?
  • If you’re off-centre, how do you get back on centre?


  • What are some things that can easily distract us in life?
  • What priorities does the world bombard us with?
  • How can we make God’s ‘voice’ stronger than the world’s?

Commitment – For personal reflection

  • Which of my goals will be the most difficult for me to follow through with?
  • What possible obstacles will I meet which might stop me from changing?
  • How can I make sure that I can get over these obstacles?
  • In a span of 12 whole months – what will keep me centred on my goals?



Goals for Me
If someone were to describe my character, they would say I am… 


In the next 12 months, I will focus on the following areas:
Spiritual Goals

Mental Goals

Physical Goals

Social Goals

I will have worked on these weaknesses in my life:

This is how I plan to stay focused:

Here are my short term goals:

One year from now (Date), this is the way people will be able to characterise me:





Dear God,