Girl Scouting and the Religious Community Working Together
Historically, Girl Scouting has been committed to diversity, religious and otherwise, and a rich tapestry of religious beliefs is reflected in the Girl Scout membership.
Statement of Belief
We, the members of Girl Scouts of the United States of America, united (by a belief in God and) by acceptance of the Girl Scout Promise and Law...do dedicate ourselves to the purpose of inspiring girls with the highest ideals of character, conduct, patriotism, and service that they may become happy and resourceful citizens. We believe that the motivating force in Girl Scouting is a spiritual one. We affirm that the Girl Scout Movement shall ever be open to all girls and adults who accept the Girl Scout Promise and Law. -Excerpt from Preamble, Constitution of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
Realizing the benefits of collaboration with Girl Scouting, many faith based groups have developed religious award activities that encourage Girl Scouts to become stronger members of their faith.
Benefits of Working Together
The Girl Scout Promise and Law reflect that we are a spiritually-based organization. We are non-denominational, though the values we endorse are universal -- for example, respecting oneself and others and making the world a better place. In working with her faith group, a Girl Scout reinforces her commitment to her faith. At the same time, religious groups strengthen their connection to girls, their families, and youth in their communities.
Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas Interfaith Committee
The GSSWT Interfaith Committee provides information to the Service Unit Interfaith Coordinators about all faith communities Religious Award programs and promotes girl and adult involvement with the Religious Award programs. In addition, the committee assists with presentations about the Religious Awards programs and encourages the observance of Girl Scout Sabbath/Girl Scout Sunday in local faith congregations. Council-wide events are planned for girls to learn more about faith communities in our area and to support Girl Scout Sabbath/Girl Scout Sunday.
Interested in finding out more? Contact the volunteer Interfaith Committee Co-Chairs:
What are religious awards?
- Over 25 faith communities have religious awards.
- Religious awards programs are created by the various religious groups to encourage girls to grow stronger in their faith.
- GSUSA recognizes these programs and allows the recognition to be worn on the official uniform, but each religious organization develops and administers its own program.
- Religious awards are optional programs for girls to complete with the help of their families and religious leaders.
Download the To Serve God Religious Awards Brochure that explains the what, who, how, and why of the religious awards.
Religious Award Report Form
GSSWT wants to recognize the achievements of girls and adults earning their religious awards. When a girl earns any type of religious award please encourage the volunteer leader or parent to complete a Religious Award Report form.
What is Girl Scout Sunday/Girl Scout Sabbath?
Celebrated in March each year, Girl Scout Sunday and Girl Scout Sabbath give girls an opportunity to attend their place of worship or a new place of worship and be recognized as a Girl Scout. If a place of worship is the group sponsor, girls may perform a service, such as greeting, ushering, or doing a flag ceremony. These days are also a time when girls can explore other faiths.
The GSSWT Interfaith Committee plans several council-sponsored Girl Scout Sunday/Girl Scout Sabbath events each March. The programs can be found in the Spring Program/Training Guide. These programs are open to all. Girls and their families are encouraged to attend a new faith event to learn and explore the rich diversity in the council.
Celebrate Girl Scout Sunday/Girl Scout Sabbath in your faith community. GSSWT has bulletin inserts you can order from the Resource Center or download from the website and distribute in your congregation. By promoting and celebrating Girl Scout Sunday/Girl Scout Sabbath you can inform local faith communities about Girl Scouting and the religious award programs available.
To Serve God Patch
Purpose: To learn about and promote religious awards. The To Serve God Promotion Patch is a four-segment puzzle patch. Only one segment is earned each year.
Requirements: (only 2!)
Attend or make a presentation on religious awards
Make a promise To Serve God
Eligibility: Both girls and adults of all faiths
Steps to earn the patch:
- Set a time during a service unit meeting or troop meeting to make a presentation about the religious awards.
- Use the resources on the Web site or visit the Pray Web site for information to conduct your presentation.
- Ask the girls and adults to reflect upon their own faith and make a promise to themselves to serve God. These reflections can be shared in a group if participants feel comfortable discussing. Sharing a personal commitment with others is not required to earn the patch.
- Call the Resource Center (210.349.2404 ext. 203) to order your patches. Patches are $3/each.
What is P.R.A.Y.?
Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) is a not-for-profit organization whose national board of directors includes representatives from Protestant and Independent Christian Churches, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., and Camp Fire USA. The P.R.A.Y. office and Web site is an important interfaith resource.
How to Contact P.R.A.Y.
Interfaith Resources from P.R.A.Y.
- To Serve God Patch Requirements
- To Serve God Religious Awards Brochure
- Service Unit Presentation Script
- Troop Presentation Script
- Workshop Game
- Parent Letter
- Service Unit Presentation about Religious Awards (coming soon!)
- Troop Presentation about Religious Awards