SPICES, What are they?

They are a 6 letter acronym to help us all to remember the Aims of Scouting Ireland.

“The Aim of Scouting Ireland is to encourage the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Social, Character and Spiritual development of young people so that they may achieve their full potential and as responsible citizens, to improve society.”

Scouting is an adventure for young people. It provides fun, friendship and challenge, helping them to develop their skills and talents. The official aim of Scouting Ireland is to encourage the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual development of young people so that they may achieve their full potential and as responsible citizens, improve society.

In order to achieve the aim, the programme is based on a set of learning objectives which are organised in six areas of personal growth, which we call the SPICES (Social, Physical, Intellectual, Character, Emotional and Spiritual). Each of the areas contributes to the development of the person as a whole and all are equally important.

Social: Having a sense of belonging in a group, through friendship and interaction. Developing an understanding of social issues in my communities, and recognising my responsibility to appreciate cultural diversities. Having fun.

Physical: Understanding my body and my physical capabilities, while developing skills through appropriate physical challenges.

Intellectual: Having the ability to create ideas, leading to a plan of action and carrying it through to its conclusion using common sense. Being able to plan and analyse and take on board the consequences of my actions. Having the ability to understand how a team works, and my role within it. Having the ability to evaluate a situation and follow instructions as appropriate.

Character: Accepting myself and recognising my own potential for growth and what it is I can become. Developing myself in a manner consistent with a set of values and with mutual respect and understanding for others.

Emotional: Having the confidence and security to be aware of and express my emotions, and to understand and accept them. Learning how to deal with situations and people I meet every day while having respect for other people’s emotions and being aware of the impact of my actions.

Spiritual: Having an understanding and acceptance of myself and my value as a unique human being, and an equal acceptance of the value of others. Having respect for myself and others and the world in which we live. Having a sense of responsibility for my environment and my place in it. Developing a personal awareness of a higher being and an expression and exploration of a faith.

By engaging in a challenging programme of outdoor activities, young people in Scouting go on a personal journey that sees them progress in each of these areas of personal growth. It is of paramount importance that this is a personal journey for each individual young person so that they can complete it in a manner that suits their own abilities, interests and circumstances. Above, it is intended to be challenging, adventurous and fun.

Working towards the SPICES involves the use of programme cycles.

This involves a simple process of Plan, Do, Review. Programmes are planned, activities executed, and the whole process is reviewed. Planning begins with the Scouts, with the help of adult volunteers, deciding on the activities and adventures they want to undertake to help them work on the SPICES. The review process is important as it allows young people to learn by doing, reflect on their new knowledge, and carry it through to the next programme step.

This allows them to see their own progress, and move towards future discoveries and experiences.