Faith In Girl Scouts

Faith in the Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts go nuclear– girls work together on math and science based projects. Photo courtesy of Leandra Huffer, Cactus-Pine Girl Scouts of Arizona.

Girl Scouts go nuclear– girls work together on math and science based projects. Photo courtesy of Leandra Huffer, Cactus-Pine Girl Scouts of Arizona.

GIRL SCOUT PROMISE

On my honor, I will try:

To serve God and my country,

To help people at all times,

And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

 

 

GIRL SCOUT LAW

I will do my best to be

honest and fair, friendly and helpful,

considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and

responsible for what I say and do, and to

respect myself and others, respect authority,

use resources wisely, make the world a better place,

and be a sister to every Girl Scout.

The Girl Scout program is thriving in Arizona! Cookies are great, but there’s a whole lot of good being done for growing girls—and not just in the areas of arts and crafts or leadership skills. The Girl Scouts of the USA recognizes that faith is a powerful force in the lives of participants, making it easy to see why the program is gaining in popularity with LDS girls.

The Girl Scout foundation is based on diversity and helping girls to explore their potential. In the early days, this meant pushing some social boundaries. Mackenzie Collie, employee of the AZ Cactus Pine Girl Scouts, shares her favorite story from the program’s rich history.

“The first Girl Scouts were teens,” she says. “Being a Girl Scout then was all about having a safe place to try new things. In a secluded courtyard, these girls found themselves a basketball, hiked up their skirts, and gave the game a try! This was in the 1900s when that would have been completely scandalous.”

This spirit of adventure and focus on talents still motivates the Girl Scout program today, which works to foster a spirit of productive curiosity. With the help of parents and leaders, girls are encouraged to discover the wide scope of their unique talents and build confidence in their power to contribute in society.

As the Girl Scout Promise makes clear, this skill-building isn’t without a firm direction. The Girl Scouts operate outside any specific religious affiliation, but they teach girls to identify and commit to worthy principles of faith, patriotism, and social service.

“Everything girls do in Girl Scouting is designed to help them grow into well-rounded adults equipped to successfully meet the future,” declares the Girl Scouts of the USA website. The programs and interest areas focus on high-priority topics needed to be leaders in society today, including financial literacy, science/technology, healthy living, and more.

With this focus, girls can come to better recognize and employ their skills in the world. Religious faith, however, has always been encouraged in the Girl Scouts. One particular award, added in the last few years, provides girls a way to earn recognition for their commitment to their religious beliefs.

“This pin can be earned once every year,” Sister Collie says in describing this award. “To earn it, a girl has to take a portion of the Girl Scout Law and do a project that compares it to the teachings of their faith.” This project can take many forms, including art, written papers, musical compositions, even performances. Many girls use this pin as a chance to combine what they learn in Primary and their Young Women’s programs with their goals in the Girl Scouts.

Far from replacing church-based enrichment programs, the Girl Scout program seeks to make membership flexible enough for many levels of involvement. Troupe membership allows for diverse friendships and group activities. Girls without other members near can pursue an individual membership, working with parents or other mentors in the program. Whether formally enlisted or no, the program is full of enriching material for helping girls of all ages progress in their mental, physical, and spiritual growth. The message is encouraging and powerful: girls are powerful, capable, and a force for good in the world, and Girl Scouts aims to show them what they can do.

 

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