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To send my children to Brownies and Beavers even though DH and I are athiests?

(44 Posts)
AngryFeet Wed 17-Oct-12 19:43:54

I wanted my DC to attend these as I think they are good fun, they get to socialise with kids outside school, learn new things etc.

I help out every week as they were going to have to close down without extra help and I take my DD to church parade as I am happy for her to explore religion if she wants to.

But someone said to me the other day that Christianity was what it was all about and kids shouldn't go if they aren't religious.


MyNeighbourIsHorrid Wed 17-Oct-12 19:45:09

No, whoever said they shouldn't go is daft.

lilachair Wed 17-Oct-12 19:47:02


I'm an atheist, and my girls are well aware of that, and they LOVE Brownies.

It is part of my Grand Plan to keep them so busy as teens they do not have time to be vile grin

But really, the church bit is a tiny part of it, and you can choose whether they attend or not, and whether ou go with them so you can hear what they are learning and field questions.

Let them go, they will have a fab time, and Brownie camp is so good for them - they cone back so confident and full of new things smile

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 17-Oct-12 19:47:19

I would feel comfortable swearing allegiance to the Queen or doing my duty to God now, so do they? I did when I was a Brownie. Didn't think twice.

Gimblinginthewabe Wed 17-Oct-12 19:47:21

I went to brownies, guides and rangers and helped out at rainbows. I never noticed any religion apart from when we went to church for the remembrance service.

The brownie bells is about god but it depends how strongly you feel about it.

The normal meeting stuff isn't about god at all.

Leftwingharpie Wed 17-Oct-12 19:47:40

It's not about Christianity, it's about exploring a spiritual relationship with whatever your own personal concept of god(s) is. That may not be any more palatable of course!

PeggyCarter Wed 17-Oct-12 19:48:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lurkedtoolong Wed 17-Oct-12 19:49:11

No - I'm a Brownie leader and very agnostic which I explained from the beginning. We have a couple of Muslim girls in the group - both of whom actually come to the Christingle service. Guiding does have a Christian background but that isn't how it works these days with the exception of occasional and non-compulsory church parades.

Keep taking DD - as long as she enjoys it.

tazzle22 Wed 17-Oct-12 19:49:41

I can only speak directly for the guiding movement but I am sure scouting it the same .......... they are all inclusive, they explore and include religions other than c of e. Maybe your church parade is in a church because the majority of the children who attand also attend christian based schools.?

wickedfairy Wed 17-Oct-12 19:52:35

We are not religious and send DS to Beavers - in fact, I didn;t even realise they were a Christian thing until he was invested and had to pledge to be good to God (or whatever the wording was).

I am sure there will be children from all religions going and am sure that the majority of it will be fun things to do and not church related. DS loves Beavers!

stinklebell Wed 17-Oct-12 19:53:42

Neither DH or I are religious, and our DDs go to Scouts.

There's not much religion involved, I regularly help at Beavers with DD2 and religion is never mentioned.

They are expected to turn out for Remembrance Day parade and St George's Day parade, but no other church services

Ours our Sea Scouts, rather than Scout Scouts, I don't know if that makes a difference

meditrina Wed 17-Oct-12 19:54:56

It is a faith based organisation (any faith), and that is included in The Promise (in UK), though the actual level of religiousness (and which religion) varies between packs.

If you are atheist, then this is a direct contravention of your beliefs. You would probably be better to look for a secular organisation that would clearly be a better fit to your personal ethos.

stinklebell Wed 17-Oct-12 19:55:18

As far as I remember, the promise they made was

'to do my duty to my God'

No mention of Christianity or any particular god

LauraPashley Wed 17-Oct-12 19:56:36

I used to be an owl grin
They had changed the promise from when I was a kid, so you say I promise to love MY god (the my wasn't there before), I thought that was a good idea.

marshmallowpies Wed 17-Oct-12 19:59:38

Might depend on the individual leader...there was a boy in our village scout troop who used to say he'd been 'banned' from Cubs because his parents were atheist and wouldn't let him go to Church parade. Roll on a few years and the Scout leader was much less strict about who he let in!

I'm atheist and I hope DD will do Brownies, if she wants to...I loved it.

MaryZed Wed 17-Oct-12 19:59:47

It is definitely not about Christianity (at least most packs aren't). If anything, it's more about spirituality - an appreciation of nature for example.

As long as you are going to allow them to make the promise (even if you are vaguely disapproving, you shouldn't make an issue out of it if you want them to make it, iyswim), then they can join.

Leftwingharpie Wed 17-Oct-12 20:19:33

They can join but not make the promise as well - although what child would want to exclude themself like that I don't know. At one of my units in north London I had a Brownie whose family worshipped the Norse gods and goddesses.

alpinefresh Wed 17-Oct-12 20:23:17

they dont even have to promise to serve god, there is an alternative promise, all about doing your best.

Send them, its good fun

RiaOverTheRainbow Wed 17-Oct-12 20:29:17

I'm an atheist and I've been involved in Guiding most of my life in various forms. There is God in the Promise and Brownie Bells (song at the end of meetings) and optional church services, but very rarely more than that.

Ask your local leaders if you're still not sure, but I bet the most religious they get is Christmas cards and Easter eggs.

Isandri Wed 17-Oct-12 21:23:31

As I not very devote catholic I was always very uncomfortable with the pledge in brownies. First because I was starting to realise that religion probably wasn't for me and secondly because as a catholic I shouldn't be swearing allegiance to the head of a rival church. I also found it uncomfortable because of the ban on Catholics becoming PM or marrying into the royal family. It maemde me feel like a hypocrite.

LabMonkey Wed 17-Oct-12 21:40:23

GirlguidingUK not a religious organisation. My Guides include girls being brought up in Christian, Muslim and Atheist families and that's just the one's who talk about these things.

Guides are just a bunch of girls messing around in a safe setting learning new things and having fun - religion doesn't come into it. :-)

LabMonkey Wed 17-Oct-12 21:43:25

GirlguidingUK not a religious organisation. My Guides include girls being brought up in Christian, Muslim and Atheist families and that's just the one's who talk about these things.

Guides are just a bunch of girls messing around in a safe setting learning new things and having fun - religion doesn't come into it. :-)

LabMonkey Wed 17-Oct-12 21:44:04

And this Guider can't post properly - sorry!

whathaveiforgottentoday Wed 17-Oct-12 21:49:51

I'm atheist and my dd goes to rainbows and there is very little religion involved. I really wouldn't worry. She doesn't even have church parade which I remember having to do once a month as a brownie (long time ago in the 70's)

Cardea Wed 17-Oct-12 21:51:45

I'm an atheist and I'll be leading beavers this week, they have a oath for members of every religion but the sessions don't revolve around religious teaching or anything, it is mainly small children running around going mental having a brilliant time - I'd ignore your friend

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