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Girl Guides No Longer Have to Swear to God and Country

Girl Guides No Longer Have to Swear to God and Country

For over one-hundred years, Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have made a promise: A promise to serve, to help, and to keep the Girl Guide/Scout law. The Girl Guides (the British version of the Girl Scouts) have decided to make a change on who they promise to serve.

In 1907, Robert Baden-Powell started exploring his idea of what would eventually become the Boy Scouts.  By 1909, girls wanted to participate, and decided to crash a Boy Scout Rally to get Baden-Powell’s attention. They did, and one year later his sister Agnes was running the Girl Guides Association. The Girl Scouts would form in the United States in 1912, founded by Juliette Gordon Low.

The Girl Guide/Girl Scout promise is more than just a formality to join a volunteer organization that gives girls confidence and a sense of purpose. It’s a way to be in the world. So it’s no small thing that the Girl Guides have decided to alter their pledge. Since 1994, it has read:

I promise that I will do my best:

to love my God

to serve the Queen and my country,

to help other people

and to keep the (Brownie) Guide Law

For historical perspective, the promise was to “do my duty to God” and was replaced with the current “to love my God” line in 1994.

The Girl Guides, after receiving more than 44,000 comments from members and the general public, have determined that this promise has not been inclusive to all who wish to participate in their organization. They want to have a pledge that will represent the spiritual and personal development of all their members. How are they doing that?

They are removing God and country from their promise.

Needless to say, religious organizations are not happy. They feel that removing the word “God” from the promise somehow removes God from the hearts of the girls that believe. It does not. This change does nothing to prevent them from believing or living their lives with faith. What it does allow is for them to continue to be who they are alongside others who may not share their spiritual focus and work together to make their communities, and themselves, stronger.

These girls and young women are still promising to do their best to help others, but they are also promising to be true to themselves and to develop their beliefs.  It welcomes all beliefs, including those that don’t include a deity.  Furthermore, it recognizes that the world is much smaller, and that a global organization shouldn’t have borders. Serving your community is serving your country…and the world.

So as of September 1, 2013, the new pledge will read:

I promise that I will do my best:

To be true to myself and develop my beliefs,

To serve the Queen and my community,

To help other people and

To keep the (Brownie) Guide Law.

What a powerful statement.

Every girl — and woman — should make that promise, even if they aren’t a Girl Guide.

 

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Photo: Gabrielle Ludlow/flickr

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162 comments

+ add your own
4:43AM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

not anything of interest

7:54AM PDT on Jul 8, 2013

Love the new oath. =D

10:08PM PDT on Jul 3, 2013

Love it :-)

10:15AM PDT on Jul 1, 2013

Kudos to the Girls Guides.I love the new oath,Thanks for sharing

11:52PM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

It's nice to see the new oath reflect the diversity of the girls, letting them know that all beliefs are welcome, just as all beliefs are supposed to be welcome in America.

5:19AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

Seems a contradiction of terms,given that queen is head of COE,and took an allegiance to god when crowned

3:32AM PDT on Jun 28, 2013

FMB

8:22PM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

About time...

5:37PM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

Margaret Margaret Margaret.People are entitled to their own beliefs.That new promise
sounds about right

9:42AM PDT on Jun 26, 2013

nothing pleases me more than seeing the world becoming more secular.

I am tired of hearing about god everywhere I turn

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