By Meridith Orr, Program Executive
Our Girl Scout Promise states that each girl will, on her honor, try “to serve God.” 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, and our organization supports girls from all backgrounds and beliefs.
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.
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 at www.praypub.org/partner_gsusa.htm
During Girl Scout Week each March, we start with Girl Scout Sunday and end with Girl Scout Sabbath on a Saturday, so that it always includes Girl Scouts’ Birthday, March 12. Girl Scout Sunday and Girl Scout Sabbath give girls an opportunity to attend their place of worship and be recognized as a Girl Scout. This year, we invited troops to share their stories about how they celebrated Girl Scout Sunday, and you responded with great stories and pictures!
- Rainbow Service Unit worked with Cherry Point Baptist Church in Havelock, NC, to create a special celebration. 20 girls and their families attended the church service, where each Girl Scout wore her uniform vest. From handing out bulletins and Girl Scout Sunday flyers to playing music and leading prayers, each girl participated in the service, including a music program for the church prior to the sermon. Following the service the Girl Scouts thanked the church by hosting a reception for the members.
- Troop 833 in Henderson celebrated at Raleigh Road Baptist church in Henderson, where the troop meets. The girls held roles as greeters and ushers during the service, and provided a picture slide show during their presentation to show some of the fun activities and learning projects they have completed this year. The girls even brought some cookies for the congregation to sample.
- Girl Scout Troops 109 & 290 in Wayne County spent Girl Scout Sunday presenting the entire service at Brogden United Methodist Church. They sang, ushered, served as acolytes and helped with the offering. They even cleaned the church afterwards!
- Troop 961 attended services at Hill King United Methodist Church in Louisburg. The girls served as greeters, distributed church bulletins and took up the offering during the service.
To help troops explore religious emblems and prepare to celebrate Girl Scouting in their faith communities, Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines offers a Religious Recognitions Workshop. Here, girls have the opportunity to grow stronger in their faith and honor their promise “to serve God.” This year, you can attend a workshop in person on September 30, 2016 at the Raleigh Service Center or one of three webinars on January 31, April 11 and August 29, 2017. We hope to hear more of your Girl Scout Week stories in 2017!