One of the many “extra curricular” activities the boys take part in is Spiral Scouts. For those that don’t know what Spiral Scouts is, it is an inclusive alternative to BSA(Boy Scouts of America). A friend of mine gave me the information for them about a year ago. There isn’t a group on the island so I started a Hearth *solitary household group* for us so we could do everything at home, and still be able to take part in a formal Circle if we ever move to an area that has one.

We had a rocky start with it, as far as having meetings and working towards goals. Everything was/is taking place in our home and I planned to do the meetings on Sundays with some other Religious Education type stuff, but a lot of times we got caught up in regular household dealings.

We’ve finally started to get a rhythm, moving our SS stuff to the weekdays when we do our formal schooling. We also have a close family we do co-op stuff with that is doing GS *Girl Scouts* at home so we do some activities together that meet badge requirements for all the kids. So far it is panning out really well, but it isn’t the same as a typical SS group. Which I honestly would like to have so the boys could really get the full scouting experience. I’ve shared this with my friend and she completely understands, there is just something about being part of a Circle/Troop/etc. that makes the scouting experience complete.

Which brings me to an interesting turn of events and a bit of a dilemma. Last week while Child #1 was at karate practice I sat outside the dojo going through our SS notebook/handbook. After class was over I closed up our handbook, and stood on the side to wait for Child #1 to exit. As I was waiting one of the moms looked over and got a glance at what my binder said. She then asked if there was a Spiral Scouts group on island, *it took a moment for what she said to register since very few people seem to know about SS*, then I told her no, we just do it at home.

At which point she responded that we should start one on island, and that it would be fun to have a group here. I said yeah it would, and it would be fairly easy , especially when I consider the training I already have under my belt we could set up a Circle while another parent or two did the required leader training and so forth. I fought the urge to ask for her information so we could talk further on the matter. I wanted to mull it over, weigh the pros and cons of taking on a task like this.

Since I’ve been down a similar road before…

I took on creating a secular home school group when we first got on the island, it didn’t pan out, and honestly was way more of a headache then it was worth. I wanted my kids to get the “socialization” that The Spouse use to constantly ask *nag* me about and I had also bought into the idea that they *we* needed a group so they wouldn’t be “weird, unsocialized, homeschool freaks” and I could have “support“.

Hindsight being 20/20 neither they nor I needed a group. Since I have hindsight with that situation I want to apply it to this situation. Would it be worth it? Will we look back on it and go “Yes this was truly needed in our lives”, or would/will it be another moment of our lives wasted?

I am pulled by the potential this has. Considering the types of families it would attract we would be able to build friendships with families whose beliefs *both religiously and politically* mirror our own more closely. While we don’t want the boys to just be surrounded by folks who closely think like us, it does create a sense of community and oneness that most human beings crave. Being that Spiral Scouts is already an established organization there wouldn’t be a sense of starting from starch.

There would be a blueprint/handbook for how it should flow, what is expected, and so forth. That too would relieve some of the stress, especially since SS runs off of family commitment, parents are highly encouraged to take part, and given our location I couldn’t picture putting together something where the parents didn’t actively pull their weight. A drop off situation just wouldn’t fly in this situation, but can I honestly expect parents to be that involved? It’s a lot of think over, I know in the end I would really like for my kids to have something more formal when it comes to scouting, I would also love access to a UU church, because I feel there is a lot to be gained for that community, and being able to send them to Camp Quest one summer would be nice as well.

These things aren’t readily avaible to us though, such is life living overseas. And while I wouldn’t trade this living experience for some of the stateside convinces *like an established Circle, an occasional UU service, RE for the boys, and Camp Quest*, it does allow me to look at the grand picture. So I can see what I want to put the time and energy into building up, and what we can truly live without. Which is probably why I don’t see our living situation as a bad thing to despise, but as a chance to grow more, to challenge myself, to challenge the boys most importantly.

This will prove to be an interesting challenge. There are some big pros and cons to weigh. Who knows though, maybe we will do it, and maybe in a few years I will be crazy enough to take on the task of establishing a Camp Quest on this island…only time will tell.

Copyright(c)2010 Rayven Holmes


  1. Good luck figuring out what to do - I know how options can pull on you from all directions. =) And I have never heard of Camp Quest! Thanks for linking to that!

  1. What a dilemma! I have found myself on the precipice of decisions like that and its always nerve-wracking, but I usually feel like I made a good decision. I'm sure that you will, too.

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