While the Girl Scouts of the USA is a secular organization, it provides opportunities for members to explore faith through its Religious Recognitions program. Girl Scout leaders say the promise and law at the center of Girl Scouting promotes beliefs that mirror those of many faiths.
The Religious Recognitions program is designed to help girls grow stronger in and learn more about the specific faiths. Through the program, scouts of all ages are also able to earn the My Promise, My Faith pin by examining Girl Scout law and learning how it ties into their individual faiths.
A few weeks ago, North Carolina Coastal Pines, the local chapter of Girl Scouts, held a Religious Recognitions workshop.
“Attendees learned more about how girls can grow stronger in their faith and fulfill their Girl Scout promise ‘to serve God,’ ” said Krista Park Berry, communications and public relations director for Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines.
Jeryl Anderson, co-leader of Cadette Troop 3750 that meets at Orange Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, attended the workshop with most of her girls. The troop had already discussed the possibility of working to earn the My Promise, My Faith pin, but wanted to hear more about it.
“We meet at a church, but we have girls that may come to Orange Grove for Girl Scouts but do not worship at Orange Grove or might not even be Baptist,” Anderson said.
That’s why she proposed the girls attend the workshop to work through their questions. And because Girl Scouting emphasizes girl-led programs, Anderson let her troop make the decision to proceed with earning the faith pin. After attending the workshop, the girls decided they wanted to make it their November project to earn the pin.
“I’m all about getting them to talk and tapping into them and finding out where they really are,” Anderson said. “This is a great opportunity for us to have some dialogue about women of faith.”
She said the requirements for earning the pin will be a good starting point for the troop.
“It asks you to do some things like gather three inspirational quotes, make something to remind you of what you’ve learned and how you are going to keep those connections strong,” Anderson said. “Because it asks those things, I want to have time for dialogue. I want to find out where they are without making them feel ill at ease about what they believe.”
Anderson said she is sure that focusing on faith will be an interesting journey for the troop.
“I am excited to see where we’ll go with it. They always surprise me with their dialogue and what they’re thinking and what’s on their mind,” she said. “I am not a minister, not a pastor – if anything, I’m a lay minister. I believe in God, I worship at Orange Grove and my faith is important to me, but I really want to know what they believe.”
Orange Grove Missionary Baptist is just one of the many faith-based partners in Girl Scouting.
“There are many churches who have supported Girl Scouts over the years as a community partner in Wake County and across our 41-county region,” Berry said. “Many churches supply free space for our troops to meet and provide service opportunities for our girls or incorporate scouting into their ministry.”
Service of Hope and Remembrance
Participants in the Raleigh Capitol Square Churches Annual Service of Hope and Remembrance will remember loved ones who have died in the past year.
Organizers say the service brings together people working though grief and provides prayer, scripture readings and comforting music in a contemplative environment.
The service will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at First Baptist Church, 99 N. Salisbury St. In addition to First Baptist, participating churches include Edenton Street United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church on Wilmington Street, Church of the Good Shepherd and Christ Episcopal Church.
One for the Dogs
Beth Shalom Synagogue will host its first Bark Mitzvah for dogs at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, in its backyard at 5713 Yates Mill Pond Road, Raleigh.
Canine owners are encouraged to bring their leashed friends to the service, along with a donation of puppy or dog food to benefit Pawfect Match, a pet adoption organization dedicated to rescuing abused and neglected dogs and finding them forever homes.
For more information, call