The Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA encourage our Scouts to have a spiritual approach to life. We leave the definition of spiritual to each individual and everyone can discover a positive personal definition.
Our inspirational programming promotes spirituality that enriches – and does not conflict with – the existing beliefs and worldviews of youth and their parents.
Any activity is spiritual which opens an individual's eyes to the position he, as a human being, occupies in the universe. The following are among the attributes a spiritually aware Scout has: sensitivity, reflective awareness, a loving nature, sense of self, self identity, self worth, and self esteem. Our Scout Programs encourage our Scouts to live happy, fulfilled, and worthwhile lives emphasizing development of the whole person.
A spiritual approach to life is living life to the fullest with wonder and awe every moment.
Adventure is an attitude. It is comprised of interpreting our experiences, in a way in which we can turn the mundane into the mythic. If we look at the world, diversity rules! That is because adventure is individual. Our Scouts participate together and know there is strength in numbers, but each of our Scouts is an individual, empowered to create their own FUN and adventure.
Exploring a Spiritual Approach to Life
Each of us may have seen a beautiful sunset, heard the ocean waves crashing, saw a deer with tall antlers in the wild, or had some other experience in which we said, "Wow, that was amazing." There are moments in life which take our breath away. We want our Scouts to recognize and enjoy these moments also, but we go one step further. We want our Scouts to recognize that every moment is an amazing moment. Every moment is filled with wonder and awe. We want our Scouts to recognize the wonder and awe of life by developing and practicing a spiritual approach to life all day to enable them to live life to the fullest.
All aspects of our Scout Programs encourage our Scouts to develop their spiritual approach to life. We encourage experiences which are uplifting, contributing to self awareness, personal development, positive relationships, and reflection throughout our Scout Programs. For example, it is positive for our Scouts to take a moment while walking to appreciate the crystalline beauty of the snowflake, each one as unique as our Scouts, and to appreciate they, like the snowflake, are a part of a whole.
A Spiritual Approach to Life in our Scout Programs
We understand a spiritual approach to life will be achieved differently by different people. Each person's spiritual approach to life is personal and unique to them. Their experiences contribute to their personal outlook on life. Although people differ in their convictions about the source of the amazing beauty of life, all our Scouts can appreciate the amazing beauty of life together while respecting the religious or worldview convictions of othersFor many of our Scouts, a spiritual approach to life means worshipping God and being appreciative of the gifts God has bestowed. For other Scouts, a spiritual approach to life means living every moment of their lives as fully as possible by being present in the moment. For some Scouts, being in the outdoors surrounded by the wonder of nature is spiritual. Other Scouts consider a spiritual approach to life to be deep thought. . For all our Scouts, a spiritual approach to life is a way to reflect on what they are doing and what they want to do, who they are and who they want to be. A spiritual approach to life enables our Scouts to be the best people they can be.
Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion
Our Scout Programs are nondiscriminatory, and we enable all our Scouts to increase their knowledge of their faith or worldview. We enable our Scouts to practice their faith and fulfill their religious responsibilities. We encourage individuals to be loyal to and to become involved in their personal faith or worldview. In addition, we offer Religious Recognition Programs and Ethics Recognition Programs. The criteria for these programs are decided by each individual faith or by an ethics-based organization.
All are encouraged to develop their spiritual approach to life. We enable our Scouts to continue to develop their beliefs in ways personal and relevant to them. All are encouraged to live life to the fullest via contemplation of life aspirations, family, friendships, and appreciation of the wonder and awe in life. A spiritual approach to life encourages effective ways of developing motivation, positive self-esteem; and the development of one's principles, beliefs and values in life. A spiritual approach to life improves the quality of everyone's life if they take the time to pause and enjoy the journey of life. It is helpful to pause and reflect in an effort to attain clarity.
The Value of a Spiritual Approach to Life
We believe our Scouts benefit from having a spiritual approach to life throughout their day. We appreciate the desire all people have for a deeper connection between their daily life and aspects of their spiritual life. There is value in having a spiritual approach to life, and we appreciate that each person has their own worldview and contributes to the world in their own way. Our Scouts respect the right of others to practice their religious beliefs or worldview as they see fit.
When people see a majestic view from a mountaintop or see a yellow furry baby chick hatch out of its shell, most feel a connection to all life.. Almost universally, our worries fade into the background, and a sense of peace is felt. A spiritual approach to life provides our Scouts with enhancement to their everyday life.
We encourage our Scouts to live their lives with the fullest sense of wonder and adventure they can. Our Scouts live their life to the fullest, squeezing every minute into the pages of their life.
A spiritual approach to life helps our Scouts discover meaning to their lives and provides them with tools to better appreciate the best times in life and overcome the worst times.
Opportunities to Develop a Spiritual Approach to Life
We enable our Scouts to live lives of adventure, going places few have been and seeing things few have seen. On a hike to Mt. Baden Powell in Southern California, our Scouts have the opportunity to view some of the oldest trees in the United States. On a trip to Yellowstone, our Scouts have the opportunity to see some of the last buffalo in the country grazing peacefully with their young. On a hike though the Smokey Mountains, our Scouts get the opportunity to experience Southern Appalachian culture and visit America's most popular national park. On a trip to Nantucket, our Scouts get the opportunity to visit the Atlantic Ocean and fishing villages which have been around literally for hundreds of years.
Other Examples of How to Foster a Spiritual Approach to Life
Our Scouts can choose the ways that are right for them. Examples of some ways they may choose from are found below. Scouts may choose options from the list that they are comfortable with. If they want, they are free to do them all, or free to come up with their own. Every Scout can live life to the fullest.
* Be present. Whatever you may be doing: homework, eating dinner, getting dressed for school, stop for one moment. Close your eyes and do not think for a moment. Remember who you are, apart from anything else going on. Pulling your attention away from what is going on around you a few times a day can help you develop focus and consciousness.
* Read inspirational texts. Scouts might read passages from texts, such as the Bible. A quick look online can offer lots of options.
* Offer the day to God. This can be done when you wake up or offer the next day as you are falling asleep at night. You can speak a few words of appreciation for life and the dawning of a new day.
* Play music you find inspirational. It does not matter what kind of music it is. You could listen to gospel music or chants, but you also could listen to a pop song that makes you feel happy and alive.
* Hang and crea te inspirational art. Our environments have a profound effect on us. Putting up artwork (with parent's permission) that is joyful, soothing, or happy can be FUN. Do not hesitate to make your own art as well, such as finger painting, watercolors, drawing, and more.
* Think about your actions. Respond to a challenging experience by becoming completely absorbed in it. At dance class or soccer practice, imagine you are using all your muscles to do something incredible.
* Go on a spiritual adventure. Discover a spiritual space. Places such as ancient forests, Alpine meadows, or another special place where you can reflect can serve as a spiritual space.
* Be kind. It sounds simple, but can be tough to do sometimes. A simple smile and a hello to others can make their day, and who knows, you may make a new friend.
* Give your Best in everything you do. Homework and chores are opportunities to develop patience and strength. Everything you do counts. Remember that you are being of service to yourself and others by always giving your best.
* Breathe. Taking deep, slow breaths several times throughout the day can help you attain focus and get rid of stress.
* Make conscious choices. Think through a decision so it is truly a choice, rather than a reaction from habit.
* Remember to develop your spiritual approach to life!