By Alicia LeBlanc
“I will try my best to be…” -- Religion in Life for Girl Scouts (4th edition)
Do you advise Girl Scouts in your congregation? Were you a Girl Scout in your youth? If you’re a young person reading this, are you a Girl Scout? If you’re not… maybe you’d like to be!
The newly published Religion in Life for Girl Scouts (4th edition) is a recognition program that connects experiences gained in Girl Scouting with Unitarian Universalist faith values. This program, by Dr. Charlie Groth, differs from the 3rd edition in two ways. One, it is entirely online, and two, it is written for girls themselves. The website is designed to be a girl-friendly, engaging, and interactive environment. Religion in Life for Girl Scouts is a truly welcoming experience for all—girls, leaders, caregivers, advisors, and religious professionals.
In the younger girls’ section (grades 4-8), the Girl Scout Law is examined in-depth. Girls engage in expressing, exploring, and thinking deeply about individuality, responsibility, how to interact with others, and the global community. The older girls’ section (grades 6-12) explores spirituality, world religions, UU history, self-esteem, stereotypes, and challenges girls may face.
During the initial stages of this project, I enthusiastically took on the opportunity to design the website’s pages. Though I was not a Girl Scout in my youth, while working on the website I connected with many of the ideals discussed in the program. In a direct way, being able to create the website design for this program gave me a chance to express myself through creativity, explore a new web-based platform, and think critically about how to make the website engaging for a Girl Scout audience. I learned the value of community and connecting with people around me: My colleagues supported me from start-to-finish, through the process of learning what would or wouldn't work with the technology we had available. My own faith development grew as I took a step back to reflect on the life lessons this program offers young people in today’s society. Most of all, the project was fun! As a young adult, this program was powerful to read and I look forward to implementing the values in my life.
As you engage with Religion in Life for Girl Scouts—whether as an emblem-earning participant, a leader, advisor, caregiver, and/or religious professional—I hope you express yourself in profound ways, explore the activities with those in your congregation, and think about how you can make a difference in the life of a UU Girl Scout by sharing this program with them.
We would love to receive videos and photos of UU Girl Scouts to add to the Religion in Life website, as well as any feedback you would like to offer. Before you submit a video or photo, please make sure you have each visible photo/video subject (for minors, a parent or guardian) sign a form like this standard media release form from the UUA. Feedback, photos/videos, and release forms may be sent to email@example.com.
Alicia LeBlanc is the Administrative and Editorial Assistant for the Faith Development Office of the Unitarian Universalist Association.