March 30, 2010

The Girl Guides of Canada unveil a new Promise

For many the first time they pledged the Girl Guide promise – often in front of a group of their fellow Guiding sisters and perhaps others, such as their parents – was a moment they would never forget. There’s something immensely impactful about taking an oath of any kind, but what has always helped the Guide promise stand out is its simple, timeless words that even the youngest member of the GGC can understand and appreciate.

Late this past January the GGC publicly announced that they had altered the classic Guide promise to help bring it into the twenty-first century. The new Girl Guide promise is as follows:

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

I personally love the new promise. In order to make a broader range of people feel comfortable, the words “faith” and “God” are gone, in their place the all-encompassing word “beliefs” appears. I feel this is a wise choice that will hopefully make everyone from atheists to conservative religious Guiding members happy, as it doesn’t tie them to one word pertaining to their personal feelings or beliefs when it comes to matters of faith.

Likewise I really like the addition of the line, “I will take action for a better world”. In this rocky era of climate change, economic crisis, and constantly evolving technology, it’s import that girls realize that the changes they make today can have a real impact on both the present and that future.

This new rewording holds true to the classic spirit of Guiding, yet has come up to speed with the modern world we inhabit. I believe that it will resonate in the minds of many youngsters who make the Guide promise for the first time now, just as strongly as the words of those of its predecessors do in my own memory.