Leading Means Going First

“Everything in Girl Scouting is based on the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The Girl Scout Law includes many of the principles and values common to most faiths. Thus, while a secular organization, Girl Scouts has, since the movement began, encouraged girls to take spiritual journeys via their faiths’ religious recognitions.”

If you’ve ever looked into the “My Promise, My Faith” pin on the GSUSA website, you’ve seen that text above in the introduction to the recognition process. To earn the pin, a girl must make connections between her faith and the Girl Scout Promise and Law. As a leader or mentor you might wonder how to bring that connection process into a conversation, a meeting or, for that matter, your own life.

Faith is a major organizing principle in our lives; it is the source from which we derive meaning and inform our major life choices. Faith doesn’t require a religious belief system, although it often does. You might explain your view in terms of Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Zen, Indigenous or Earth Based Religions, Humanism, New Age Spirituality, a General Ethic of Care, etc. There are many ways to explore the essential questions of life.

The first step in guiding a girl to answer her own questions is to have invested in the answer to your own. And to connect your beliefs to Girl Scouting–Your Promise and Your Faith–is a learning experience that is well worth the time of quiet reflection that is required. Unfortunately, you won’t get a pin, but your ability to lead will be enhanced by the fact that you’re guiding a girl in a process you have experienced yourself.

Here is a suggestion: start with the Girl Scout Promise, and think through what each line means in your own words, and in your daily life. Print out the attached worksheet to get started. And please share what you learned making connections.