I took my Brownies away on Pack Holiday last weekend. We spend a glorious couple of days in the Buckinghamshire countryside at a purpose built home. There was little sleep, a few bruises, lots of giggles, zombies, map making, ice lollies and we all got our Out and About badges.
On the Sunday morning after duties were done, I took the Ladybird six to prepare for Brownies Own, a small service, for want of a better word, that we always hold on Sunday mornings on Pack Holiday. The idea is it gives us all a time to reflect on the weekend and be thankful. The girls picked a couple of well known songs and a few prayers to read. They also asked each girl to state what they were most thankful. It is always a really lovely time.
In preparing for Brownies Own we pulled some books off the resource shelf at the house, most of which have been gathering dust there for many years. I found a brilliant little book called: To do my best, reflections on the promise and the law.
With all the hoo haa about the revised promise recently I was delighted to read a really rounded set of short reflections on the promise, which while supporting a faith based approach to Guiding, recognise the value of Guiding being more than that, and how we must aim to be inclusive. The bit of the new promise which has received the most criticism is surely the “I will be true to myself” portion. I wrote a blog, The Promise is not an island, on my views. The book I found is copyrighted so I beg forgiveness in publishing a couple of extracts here.
[The Promise] should be a Promise that grows with us, not one we need to grow into. Our promise allows individual interpretation and is not written in stone, but is a ubilding block, a code for life which increases our understanding and enjoyment of daily experiences.
As experiences change, the interpretation of the code will also develop, adding new meaning to the initial words spoken.
A Guider is responible for creating opportunities and supporting the girls while they mature and grow in accorance with the Law.
Guiding belongs to girls of today. It is up to us as their Guiders to see that they have fun living by a code they understand.
And a second piece which really went home:
Let’s try and give people a pride in themselves.
Often pride is immediately jumped on as a quality which promotes self to the detriment of others, but this need not necessarily be so. Pride is a quality which needs to be worked at, it needs to be balanced with other characteristics of our personalities and aspects of life and yes, I think we should be giving young people a pride in themselves.
- Pride in the talents and gifts they have been given, and direction to use these in the service of others rather than seeking glory solely for themselves.
- Pride in who they are, as people journeying through life, often taking wrong turns and arriving at dead ends, but honest travellers, seeking a destination in life and who have respect for their fellow travellers.
- Pride as young people who belong to a Movement, who have said that in the Promise and Law there is a code for living and a vision of an ideal they want to ascribe and aim for.
Be true to yourself and you will be true to others.
I wish I could publish the whole thing! It was written in 1996, compiled by the Law Resources writing group with a lovely forward by HRH The Princess Margaret. There are a couple floating around on Amazon but not cheaply.
Now the dust is settling and we have had chances to speak to our girls and young women about the promise, it would be interesting to hear any thoughts you have on the above, or what girls have been saying to you.