“…to serve God”: Religious Recognitions in Girl Scouting

Girl Scouts and Faith

By Meridith Orr, Program Executive

“Still, Daisy listened to the teachings of her church and watched the example of her parents. From the Helpful Hands Club to ailing Spanish-American War soldiers, from her efforts among the villagers in Wellsbourne to helping poor girls in Camberwell, Daisy was no stranger to philanthropy.” – Stacey Cordery, Juliette Gordon Low: the Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts

Our Founder, Juliette Gordon Low, was a woman of deep faith in her Episcopalian church. She not only was baptized in Christ Church in Savannah, Georgia, she was married and had her funeral there.   Her tombstone contains a passage from 1 Corinthians 13, “Now abideth faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.”

Today, the Movement she founded is an organization that supports girls from all backgrounds and beliefs. While we refrain from teaching specific religious or spiritual beliefs or practices, we believe that the motivating force in Girl Scouting is a spiritual one. Girl Scouts encourages both our girl and adult members to explore their values, including developing connections between their own faith traditions and the Girl Scout Law.

The My Promise, My Faith pin is a GSUSA-created award that helps a girl explore connections between the Girl Scout Law and her faith. The steps to earn the award show her how both Girl Scouting and her faith offer similar ideas about how to act. Girls may earn the pin once a year, every year she is in Girl Scouting by choosing a different line of the law. The award may be earned in a troop setting and the requirements are published in each grade level of The Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting.

Many faith communities offer Religious Recognitions for Girl Scouts at each grade level and corresponding recognitions for adults. It’s important to remember that the My Promise, My Faith pin does not replace Religious Recognitions. Girls are encouraged to earn both awards, and both are worn on the front of the uniform.

Religious recognition awards are created by specific faith communities, and offer lessons based on their beliefs and tenets. The requirements, as well as the awards themselves, are obtained from national faith organizations or committees. More information about religious recognition programs can be found here . In 2014, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines was ranked 7th across all Girl Scout councils for usage of the P.R.A.Y. recognitions program.

Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines offers a Religious Recognitions Workshop to give girls the opportunity to grow stronger in their faith and honor their promise “to serve God.” Look for information on this year’s workshop when our program event guides are published this fall.

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