The aim of Scouting Ireland is to encourage the Social, Physical, Intellectual, Character, Emotional, Social and Spiritual development of young people so that they may achieve their full potential and, as responsible citizens, to improve society. We refer to this as the SPICES, from the first letter of each of the areas of development, in the youth programme (ONE Programme).

One of the roles of every adult in Scouting is to aid the spiritual development of young people and to offer them the chance to begin the search of themselves through the building of a personal values system, beliefs and deep convictions. The aim is to bring them closer and closer to their own truth. However, spiritual development is a personal process. Scouters can only guide and support young people in their own development. Our role is not to pass on a philosophy, religion or belief, but to allow each person to live, express and share the truth that they have chosen.

A Scouts’ Own is an important aspect of our Scouting life. It allows and supports spiritual expression by adults and young people of diverse or no particular religious backgrounds.

Useful things you can do to promote an awareness of the Spiritual dimension of Scouting might include:

  • Creating a culture in the Scout Group where peoples’ views are respected and valued.
  • Using thought provoking readings, poems, quotes, and passages in an appropriate way at Scout Group meetings and events.
  • Encouraging reflection on special occasions and at special times.
  • Enabling young people and adults to meet the requirements of their religion while on Scout activities.

You don’t need to take on the role of a parent, psychologist, religious or secular counsellor. Your objective is to promote an appropriate environment and to enable and encourage reflection and sharing so that adults and young people feel supported and valued.

Where to get help

At time of writing, Scouting Ireland does not appear to have any policies or structures specifically designed to support this important aspect, however you may find the following resources useful:

  • Scouts Own page on The Scout Association’s website (UK)
  • A short video clip (USA)
  • A handbook produced as a Wood Badge project (Australia)