These guidelines have been prepared to support Scout Associations in the development of the spiritual aspect of their members. It provides principles and guidance to support programme design rather more than a detailed discussion of the nature of spiritual development. It will take as the norm, the understanding of Spiritual Development articulated and reaffirmed by the World Scout Conference in its various Conference resolutions and documents.
These guidelines aim to boost the confidence of Scout leaders by enabling them to identify the ways in which good application of the Scout Method supports spiritual development, while indicating ways to ensure that a wide range of opportunities for spiritual development is made available to young people.
Young people need to acquire the skills of the spiritual dimension, just as much as they need to develop emotional intelligence, physical coordination, and social skills. They need a vocabulary and grammar with which they can make sense of, critique and integrate their experiences of the spiritual. They need to be able to “explore the invisible”. These guidelines aim to show how the application of the Scout Method, provides an opportunity to help young people develop these skills.
The Guidelines is divided into two parts, the first focuses on 'General Principles' and elaborates certain fundamental aspects of the spiritual dimension in Scouting. It helps in understanding some key terms such as faith, spirituality and religion in the context of Scouting. This part also establishes the connection between spiritual development, education and the fundamentals of Scouting.
The second part gives 'Specific Guidelines' on practical aspects and supports programme design directly. It covers sections on organising, a 'Scouts Own', 'Inter-religious dialogue in Scouting' and 'Spiritual and religious development at large Scout Events' such as the Jamboree and Moot.
Additionally, there are some short inspirational stories from around the world of Scouting, which are examples of best practices for spiritual and religious development in Scouting.