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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Spiritual Development

The spiritual development of all members is an important element of Scouts.

Scouts is open to everyone; we don’t identify exclusively with one faith.

We explore different faith, beliefs and attitudes as a core element of our programme, and it's one of our fundamental values.

Scouts don't seek to take responsibility for religious development or education, but learning about faiths, beliefs and attitudes can help make the world a more tolerant and less frightening place.

Both adults and young people commit to engaging in spiritual development when they make their Promise and become members of the movement.

The spiritual development of all members is an important element of Scouts. Everyone in Scouts should be encouraged to follow the five principles.

1. To develop and inner discipline and training.

2. To be involved in corporate (group) activities with others.

3. To understand the world around them.

4. To help create a more tolerant and caring society.

5. To discover the need for spiritual reflection.

Volunteers have a duty to support the spiritual development of youth members, and spiritual development should be an integral part of each activity, meeting and event. We can grow spiritually through a range of practical activities and experiences, and by the way in which we undertake them.

Sharing in spiritual reflection encompasses the diversity of faiths of members and those with no affirmed faith.

It's important to enable young people to spend some time taking stock of themselves and the world around them. There's great power in peace, quiet and contemplation.

Spiritual reflection is a very wide and deep activity. If it's to have meaning for those taking part, young people need to be actively involved and sharing the experience rather than listening or watching as observers.

The programme should provide the necessary time, atmosphere, opportunities and encouragement to allow reflection to take place. Periods of spiritual reflection can occur at any time and may include during or after a particularly challenging activity and on special occasions.

To support spiritual development, young members need:

  • a suitable atmosphere
  • the opportunity to both express themselves and be able to listen
  • time set aside for spiritual reflection
  • encouragement to respond through their actions

Different faiths place emphasis on different things and have different approaches to spiritual reflection, expressed via prayer and worship. These differences are rooted in the experience and traditions of defined religious groups.

It's the section's leaders and volunteers responsibility to know the religious traditions of all the young people in the group and to understand and respect those traditions.

Spiritual reflections should be inclusive and should also be comfortable and appropriate for all present, including those with no faith.