Although Girl Scouts is a secular organization, we believe in encouraging girls to pursue their own spiritual journeys through their faith. Our Girl Scout Promise and Law features many principles and values found among religions, which makes it a natural connection.
Aside from the My Promise, My Faith pin, all other religious recognition activities are completed independently from Girl Scouts, but the awards earned can be worn on the our uniforms.
To help the spiritual growth of Girl Scouts, national religious organizations develop programs to reinforce the values integral to Girl Scouting while helping them learn more about and grow in their own faith.
Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (P.R.A.Y.) is an organization who helps make these connections between girls and their areas of faith. They work together with many religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Quakers, to design religious emblem programs to help girls on their journeys.
Last year, several girls from our council completed an amazing service project in the pursuit of earning a Girl Scout religious emblem.
As members of the Nativity of Our Lord Church and the Orchard Park Service Unit, Caroline (Senior, Troop 31101), Kaitlyn (Cadette, Troop 31128), Mia (Cadette, Troop 31128), and Natalie (Cadette, Troop 31128) began working an an emblem called ‘Mary, The First Disciple,’ led by Patti Raab.
Patti serves as a member of our Board of Directors, but her role as Religious Emblem Counselor for the National Catholic Committee on Scouting helps her get directly involved with Girl Scouts seeking these awards.
For their service project, they decided to organize a coat drive in their parish. The weekend before, they included an announcement about their drive and handed out flyers after each mass.
Patti’s heart was warmed by the response of the parish members the following week.
“A total of 268 coats were collected!” said Patti. “They were inspected for cleanliness, zippers working, and overall good wear. Only three were rejected. Therefore a total of 265 were donated!“
Because of the organization and work from the Girl Scouts and the generosity of the church, 265 coats were disbursed to the Harvest House, International Institute of Buffalo, and St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy. Caroline, Kaitlyn, Mia, and Natalie went to two of these facilities and got to see the results of their charitable work firsthand.
This is just one of many faith-based projects for Girl Scouts around our council. In fact, Patti currently oversees two other Senior Girl Scouts, Ava and Sophia from Troop 30271, as they pursue their Spirit Alive emblem.