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GirlGuiding to consult on review of the Promise

(32 Posts)
EcoLady Mon 03-Dec-12 17:08:43

Just received this... interesting.

The Promise is guiding’s beating heart – it’s the core expression of our values and the common standard that brings us all together. But over the past few years we have heard from more and more girls and Leaders who struggle with the wording, particularly in interpreting what it really means to girls today.

Girlguiding UK is committed to retaining a Promise that is in line with its original principles, but we know it’s crucial that girls and young women understand and believe in the words they say. That’s why, in the 2012-14 Strategic Plan agreed by the Executive Committee, it was decided to invite all members as well as other interested parties to discuss the Promise wording.

We know feelings are strong and wide-ranging. This is why everyone’s opinion matters. In January 2013 we will be launching an online consultation on how we express the values embodied by the Promise. The questions will give you a chance to reflect on what the Promise means and how we express the values it represents. There will also be questionnaires on the Section websites that the girls can complete to make sure that their voices are central to the discussion.

The questionnaires will be available from Friday 4 January until Sunday 3 March 2013 and for those members dedicated to paper communication there will be an alternative way to take part so that their views are represented too.

Please do share this information with other volunteers and Senior Section members in your unit and look out for more information in the forthcoming guiding magazine and on our website at and make sure you take part in the discussion.

Gill Slocombe
Chief Guide
Girlguiding UK

SledYuleCated Mon 03-Dec-12 21:53:19

I was just coming to start a thread on this!

I presume it will address the religion aspect. As an atheist Guider I feel it would be good to have the God part as optional, I promise it but it just makes it a bit meaningless to me. Although I'd be very sad to see 'serve my Queen and my country' go.

Can't imagine what it will be like if they change it, it won't roll off the tongue properly grin

Festivedidi Mon 03-Dec-12 21:58:43

They already changed it a little bit didn't they? When I was a Brownie I promised to do my duty to God, now they promise to love their God. It changed the rhythm of it and I struggled to say it right ever since it was changed.

I don't know what to make of another change. I would hope that the main thrust of the promise would be the same but do think that the bit about God could be removed as there are more and more atheists involved in the movement.

Startail Mon 03-Dec-12 22:50:52

As someone who felt a bit guilty for lying aged 7.l think it is time the God bit was optional.

I decided that as Jesus said we should love our neighbours, being kind to people would have to do.

I've been a Brownie, Guide, Ranger, young leader and Brown Owl.

Four times I've said those words and 4 times I've wished there was an alternative (living in rural Wales there was no alternative activities to Guides).

I actually never made my promise as an adult (nobody asked me to).

SledYuleCated Mon 03-Dec-12 23:13:15

Yes, I've taken. Very broad view of 'love my God' to mean doig what I think is right, being ethical and being kind to people.

YDdraigGoch Tue 04-Dec-12 15:43:37

I'm not particularly religious (though wouldn't go so far as saying I am atheist, more agnostic) but I do think it's sad that a religious based organisation should change it's promise to meet the needs of atheists.

If you don't want to make the promise, then there are plenty of other non-religious based activites to get involved in.

If you're not religious, and chose to cross your fingers whilst making the promise, then that's between you and your conscience, and fine by me - but I really think things should stay as they are.

Is there any connection between this and the background of our new Chief Exec, do you think?

SlubberMistressOfPain Tue 04-Dec-12 16:49:57

I'll promise to anything if they get rid of bastard GO! in return.

madwomanintheattic Tue 04-Dec-12 17:06:40

Loads of countries already have.

In Canada:

I promise I will do my best
To be true to myself, my beliefs, and Canada,
I will take action for a better world
And keep the Guide Law.

I've been saying on these threads for years that it's only a matter of time before Guiding UK updates. It's tricky, as the home and centre of traditions etc, there seems to have been a bigger emphasis on retaining as much as possible.

I would see it ending up as something similar to the Canadian promise, tbh.

madwomanintheattic Tue 04-Dec-12 17:10:54

I don't think it's anything to do with mollifying the atheists, YD. I think it just allows more of an inclusive option for all girls and young women. I don't think my beliefs are diluted in any way by promising to stay true to them, rather than God.

Ad it would mean far less crap about pink unicorns and militaristic blah blah blah Jedi knights shite on mn every time there's a scouting or guiding thread. grin

I actually quite like that the emphasis is put onto the girls to identify what their beliefs are, rather than dictating them and expecting them all to nod in unison. It's far more personally empowering, particularly in the older sections. And that fits right in with the guiding message.

SlubberMistressOfPain Tue 04-Dec-12 17:16:10

I like Canada's promise v much, esp take action for a better world.

SledYuleCated Tue 04-Dec-12 22:06:08

Ooh, the Canadian promise is quite touching.

Also is Guiding really a religious organisation? Old BP was very keen on allowing members to develop their personal beliefs in their own way. Guide's Own, for example, had always had a non-religious option, as it were.

madwomanintheattic Tue 04-Dec-12 23:37:25

It is on mn. <sage>

SledYuleCated Tue 04-Dec-12 23:48:44

I know and it annoys me sad I turn into a seething ball of Girlguiding rage. Not sure Olave would approve sad wink

EcoLady Wed 05-Dec-12 09:56:42

Australia's new Promise is similar to Canada's (but I prefer Canada's).

I do really like the Australian Laws. I still struggle with our 'new' laws as I'm of the old 10 laws generation and get the two versions all mixed up.

madwomanintheattic Wed 05-Dec-12 15:54:07

Oh, it is similar, isn't it? smile
I'm fretting about 'develop my beliefs', I don't know why... It's a good way of promoting debate. I like that it includes 'community' though.

BrianButterfield Wed 05-Dec-12 15:57:47

At the age of 7, as an atheist, I justified it to myself by remembering that it says "I promise to DO MY BEST to love God etc". I did try my best, but I couldn't do it. Promise nevertheless upheld.

SledYuleCated Wed 05-Dec-12 18:19:38

Yes, I prefer 'to be true beliefs'. Develop becomes an interesting concept for packs where there are many different beliefs.

madwomanintheattic Thu 06-Dec-12 19:09:45

<I am still chortling away at 'seething ball of girl guiding rage', btw grin>

SledYuleCated Thu 06-Dec-12 23:02:49


It's like normal rage, but with more badges.

madwomanintheattic Fri 07-Dec-12 06:11:31


BackforGood Fri 07-Dec-12 12:28:35

Souts are consulting about the wording of their Promise too smile

YDdraigGoch Fri 07-Dec-12 13:41:18

I saw that about Scouts - timing is too close to be a co-incidence I think!

ComeIntoTheMistletoeGardenMaud Sun 09-Dec-12 17:40:44

This is fascinating and seems to be the logical step from the recent instruction to allow girls to modify the Promise if they struggle with its current wording. I'd be happy for the mention of God to become optional but suspect that in the eyes if some on MN guiding will always be a sinister paramilitary organisation. hmm

And I'm with Slubber about Go!

SledYuleCated Sun 09-Dec-12 20:15:01

How excite are you about Join Us? wink I am ecstatic...

ComeIntoTheMistletoeGardenMaud Sun 09-Dec-12 23:35:08

I missed the training about Join Us. When I went to have a look at it the other day, all I found was a blank page. If the idea is that parents effectively put their daughters on the waiting list and I don't have to create a zillion new records on Go!, then I'm happy.

It is going to be like that, isn't it?

::irony emoticon::

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