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Scouting for Pagan Boys and Girls
Copyright © 2001 c.e., Pete Pathfinder Davis
The creation of a nationwide Pagan-oriented scouting program, known as "SpiralScouts" (TM) has been announced by the Aquarian Tabernacle Church of the Seattle area, to fill the void left by prejudicial treatment of other established children's programs. It is formally incorporated at Imbolc, 2001, and an appropriate venture for the new millennium.
SpiralScouts, a program for girls and boys working, playing and learning together, has existed within the church to benefit member's children for over a year. Recently word about it spread on the internet and, due to the great demand, it has been formalized into an expanded program under the name SpiralScouts International, Inc., a nonprofit subsidiary of the ATC. SpiralScouts supplies leadership handbooks, awards, merit badges and pins, embroidered shoulder patches, and activities handbooks to make the program work for you on a local basis.
The program has a unique approach to scouting. Each group is led by both a male and a female adult, to achieve and teach that balance that is so central to Paganism. While it is based on Pagan beliefs and practices, it is designed to be adaptable by other non-hostile minority faiths as well, by substitution of the faith-based activities with their own. In addition to the usual fun activities and woods lore, camping and the customary scouting activities, the program includes teaching about the many mythologies of the ancient world. Uniquely, it includes a component new to scouting life strategies and skills for teens, to help them learn early how to have good relationships with their peers and adults, and interpersonal skills that will serve them throughout their adult lives.
Within the program there are three levels of child participation: FireFlies, who range from preschoolers through age 8; SpiralScouts, ranging from age 8 through 14; and PathFinders, who range from 14 upward. Groups are organized into Circles, which may be made up of Hearths for the different age groups. There is a provision to enable chartering of single family, isolated Hearths for parents who may be remote from other Pagans and want their children to benefit . This is believed to be the only Pagan-oriented scouting program in existence.
Member children wear a simple uniform purchasable anywhere, consisting of khaki pants, skirt or shorts, and a dark forest green dress shirt. Over this is worn a chocolate brown hooded bib on which they may display their awards and honors, giving the outfit a definitely Pagan look. The pattern for the hood is available from HQ, as are ready-made hoods for those who don't sew.
There are at the moment [Jan. 29, 2001 c.e.], 28 charters pending approval throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K. and South Africa, and more requests are being received daily. For those who wish to look into leading or sponsoring a local group, more information may be found at our web site, <www.SpiralScouts.org>, by e-mailing <SpiralScouts@SpiralScouts.org>, or by writing to SpiralScouts International, c/o ATC, Post Office Box 409, Index, Washington 98256-0409 for a list of requirements, and a publications and paraphernalia list (patches, awards, pins, etc.)
|Copyright © 2001 c.e., Pete Pathfinder Davis|