Friday, December 30, 2005

A More Inclusive Form of Scouting

Pagan scouting group takes root

Begun in 2001 in Washington state, SpiralScouts has grown into a movement serving families of various minority faiths in 20 states, Canada and Europe. The newly created Emerald Earth Seekers in Eugene is the organization's third "circle" in Oregon, following the lead of similar groups in Salem and Portland.

Karen Glickman is co-leader for the Turtlemoon Hearth, whose members include her son, Jade. Raised near Los Angeles, Glickman was herself a Camp Fire Girl for five years, and remembers loving the camping trips and arts and crafts.

"My mom was a co-leader, so I'm kind of following in her footsteps, but in sort of a pagan way," she says.

But why enroll her son in SpiralScouts instead of, say, the Boy Scouts? Glickman says the Boy Scouts often have a Christian flavor and, as their name suggests, is for boys only. "I like the alternative religion and the fact that it's co-gender," she says of the SpiralScouts.

(The Boy Scouts of America is not strictly a Christian group - there are Scouting opportunities for Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and other faith adherents - but does profess a belief in God. The private organization permits women, but not "avowed homosexuals," to serve in leadership roles.)


At the recent Turtlemoon Hearth gathering, 7-year-old Aubrey Gomes-Pereira is asked to lead the other children in the Fireflies Promise: "I promise to serve the wise ones, to honor and respect Mother Earth, to be helpful and understanding toward all people, and always keep love in my heart."


"This is definitely a good fit for us," she says. "It's a good reinforcement of our family values."

I anticipate that this is going to drive the Fred Phelpses of the world out of their tiny skulls. Imagine the temerity of anyone except fundamentalist Christians presuming to have "family values!"


Blogger DazzlinDino said...

Very interesting, I think if people actually read what paganism is abouth, they might not be as spooked. The term Pagan has been linked to demon worship and such, but nothing could be futher from the truth.

Friday, December 30, 2005 6:55:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home