The Internal Compass is a tool that helps guides spiritual development in the youth program. This tool comes into use during the Review> stage, of Plan>Do>Review> and may also be helpful when planning.
The Scout program develops youth of all ages in the six SPICES areas. Those areas are Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Character, Emotional, and Social development.
Spiritual development is an area which many find challenging to create rich developmental programs. The Internal Compass offers a framework for youth and adults to understand spirituality and Spiritual Development in Scouting, and to create interesting programs that encourage personal growth in this area.
Before looking at the Compass itself, it’s important to understand spirituality. While there are many different definitions and understandings, Scouts Australia defines spirituality in the following way:
“Spirituality refers to the feelings or beliefs of a person regarding their purpose in life, connection to others and place in the world around them. These spiritual feelings or beliefs may change as a person develops and guide their actions throughout their life.”
Scouts Australia Policy and Rules
The diagram in the next column demonstrates how Spirituality, Spiritual Development, and the worldwide Scouting principle of Duty to God, are interconnected in the youth program.
The Internal Compass points to four different aspects of spiritual development that programs can focus on. Like a navigational compass, the Internal Compass can help us to set our direction in life.
The Internal Compass serves mainly as a memory aid. It helps remind us of key opportunities within the program that help Scouts develop spiritually. During activities, you’ll recognise moments where spiritual development can be supported; the Internal Compass assists you by indicating what those experiences could be.
This tool could also come in handy during program planning. The points of the internal compass may help you come up with activity ideas within the Challenge Areas. This is particularly important to keep in mind if your Reviews> have shown a lack of spiritual development opportunities in the program.
A Scout explores spirituality in religious and non-religious forms, and thinks deeply about the different ways they may live their life
A Scout pauses to reflect upon the Promise & Law as well as their own spiritual beliefs through a variety of means. These may include worship, meditation, prayer, conversation and contemplation
A Scout respects and acknowledges other people’s spiritual beliefs, and the value of diversity
A Scout is thankful for the many gifts of nature and the human community, and expresses this regularly