Detroit's Metro Times has an interesting article about the Spiral Scouts, a Wiccan youth group not unlike the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The Spiral Scouts was founded six years ago in Index, Washington by the Aquarian Tabernacle Church, apparently the first coven to receive legal status as a "church." The Scouts aren't just for Wiccans though, but rather "for girls and boys of minority faiths working, growing and learning together," according to their Web site. The organization is active in twenty states and several other countries. From the Metro Times article:
James O’Connell, 14, of Plymouth is a member of the Oaken Grove Circle, which operates in Washtenaw and western Wayne counties. He has been participating in Spiral Scouts for about five years, “practically since it started.” O’Connell, who also has two younger brothers in the program, says his favorite part of Spiral Scouts is his circle’s yearly summer camping trip to Sleepy Hollow State Park. “We camp out, walk around the woods, look at things, and just try to figure out what the world’s like.”Link
When asked about the most important lesson he has learned from Spiral Scouts, O’Connell responds, “Respect the earth. Don’t trash it, because if you do, it will bite you later...”
But where the Boy and Girl Scouts recite a pledge to “do my duty to God and my country,” a Spiral Scout promises, among other things, to “respect living things” and “respect the beauty in all creations.” Additionally, Spiral Scout merit badges are set up in five categories – earth, air, fire, water and spirit – that correspond to the five points of the Wiccan pentacle.
When asked if Spiral Scouts has ever been formally contacted by the Boy Scouts of America, Callahan reports that the organization received a letter, accompanied by a cease-and-desist order that stated that the word “scouts” was trademarked at a federal level. She says a response from the Spiral Scouts’ attorney followed, and no further interaction between the two groups has occurred.