My Promise, My Faith

December is a month of religious, spiritual, and cultural holidays for all of the world's major religions. It is therefore an opportune time to update you on how Girl Scouts can interface with any faith.

Although Girl Scouts is a secular organization, and Girl Scouts recognizes that religious instruction comes from the home and one's faith community, we are values based and encourage faith in God, as defined by each member and her family. The Girl Scout Promise and Law are in alignment with many faith organizations’ teachings.

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.
*The flexible wording of the Girl Scout Promise means that a member may substitute another word that more closely represents that member’s spiritual belief for the word God.

The Girl Scout organization has transformed itself in recent years to focus on leadership development for girls in the 21st century, and the new Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting reflects that transformation. The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting is the new national curriculum, a combination of handbook, badge and award book, and guide to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience. The program builds the critical thinking, creativity, and entrepreneurship that the next generation of leaders will need to make the world a better place.

One of the new awards in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting is the My Promise, My Faith award.  Some of you are familiar with  the PRAY religious awards. PRAY is an outside vendor. So now, My Promise, My Faith is Girl Scouting’s own national faith recognition.

Here's what our volunteer Council Historian, Cindy Littel, from Soldotna reported back from the official launch of My Promise, My Faith at National Convention last month.

"I am so glad you asked me to attend the My Promise, My Faith Launch Event. Being the daughter of a minister, this subject is definitely something I care about very much. I had picked up some materials at the PRAY booth in the Exhibit Hall the day before. The PRAY program, for the most part, is sponsored by/geared to specific churches/religions. The new program will appeal to those GSUSA members who are not [actively] involved in a local church but want to explore their faith. This "faith journey" may lead them to look within themselves and become more involved in a church/synagogue. It is also nice that the pins for the new program are colored differently for each program level and can be earned [every year]. For example, a Brownie can earn [the pin] both in 2nd and 3rd grade." 

With the introduction of the My Promise, My Faith (MPMF) pin, GSUSA has provided a resource to help girls strengthen the connection between their faith and the Girl Scout experience. Girls pursuing MPMF will examine the Girl Scout Law and tie it to their faith. The specific requirements for this award are listed in The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting here.

Some leaders may have wondered what the connection is between the new My Promise, My Faith pin and the already existing Religious Recognitions. In fact, My Promise, My Faith does NOT replace Religious Recognitions. The My Promise, My Faith pin complements exisiting Religious Recognitions, and girls are encouraged to earn both.

 Girls are instructed to "find out if your faith community offers a recognition program for Girl Scouts." The Religious Recognitions are created by the faith communities to help girls grow in faith. Girls may earn both the MPMF and Religious Recognition and wear them on the front of the Girl Scout uniform.

Happy December from Girl Scouts of Alaska. Go forth to serve God and live the Girl Scout Law.

Yours in Girl Scouting,
Marge Stoneking, CEO