The SpiralScouts were originally formed in 1999, with official charters in 2001. The group was initially started by The Aquarian Tabernacle Church, which was established as a coven in Index, Washington in 1979. The main headquarters for SpiralScouts are in Michigan as of 2005. The group is based on pagan beliefs, though it is purposefully non-denominational in nature. The SpiralScouts were created to offer an alternative to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The group describes itself as being more open and accepting of individuals with respect to sexual orientation, religion and gender. As quoted from the Spiral Scouts website: “ We believe that personal orientations are just that—personal—and that only experience, skill, and the safety of our children should determine the suitability of any individual as a SpiralScouts leader.” There are groups across the United States as well as several other countries.
Every group has a male and female leader, and individual groups may include both boys and girls. Some of the focuses of the individual scout troops include camping and outdoor activities as well as learning mythology, life strategies, and interpersonal skills that teens can incorporate into their lives in the future. The intent is to encourage respect for others and for the diversity of people, faith, and cultures. Family involvement is strongly encouraged.
Groups in SpiralScouts often are composed of a family or multiple families in local areas. One or two families, or even one child, may choose to be a part of SpiralScouts and will be considered a “Hearth.” Larger groups may be considered “Circles.” There are different levels to SpiralScouts: FireFlies range from three to eight; SpiralScouts usually range from nine to thirteen, and PathFinders are between thirteen and eighteen. Scouts at each level work to earn badges and complete certain tasks before they are eligible to advance. Badges are organized by Element. The Richmond branch of SprialScouts is quite small, consisting of about two dozen families. Actual participation varies seasonally. Scout members range from two to eighteen.
Interview with Richmond Spiral Scout Co-Leader
Profile prepared by Cat McCarthy