Girl Scouts of Orange County Council Convenes
Faith-Based Task Force 
Program Specialist Donna Lack of the Girl Scouts of Orange County Council in Irvine, California convened a “P.R.A.Y. Task Force Meeting” in January to brainstorm ways to engage the religious community. Seven religions were represented: Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, and Lutheran. The meeting was an opportunity for representatives to network together and to explore ways to provide faith-based programs and opportunities for Girl Scouts.
One of the highlights was a presentation by members of an Islamic Girl Scout Troop 3357. The girls were very open in discussing their faith and provided a special dish to share with participants.

As a direct result of their Brainstorming meeting, Donna Lack reports that they posted an event for a Catholic Girl Scout Sunday Celebration to be hosted by Saint Joachim Catholic Church to honor all Girl Scouts (past and present). Their event quickly reached capacity with 80 registrations. Judging from this initial response, the Girl Scouts of Orange County have tapped a definite interest for their Girl Scouts. “It was so exciting to see so many religions come together in a very open and welcoming environment! The different religions were able to network with each other, answer questions in regards to their particular faith…it was just wonderful!”

Does your council partner with the faith community? Share your stories of Faith Based Initiatives, also how Girl Scout Sunday/Sabbath is celebrated in your communities. Let’s gather best practices to encourage and provide resources for others to do the same. Share your stories here or contact Deb Hazlewood .
P.R.A.Y. Provides Webinar Training for Faith Based Initiative
Girl Scouts Peaks to Piedmont invited CEO Jason Noland to make a presentation to their staff and volunteers on the benefits and strategies of working with the religious community and how the religious recognitions created by the various national religious organizations is the key to connecting Girl Scouting and Faith. P.R.A.Y. does more than just administer the Protestant religious recognition program. Part of P.R.A.Y.’s mission is to help congregations embrace Girl Scouting as ministry. And one of the ways that P.R.A.Y. can achieve that is to come alongside Girl Scout Councils. P.R.A.Y. provides training and resources to council staff to help them approach congregations and interpret Girl Scouting in terms of membership and outreach for those congregations . Interested in a Faith Based Initiative for your council? Contact Jason Noland for more information.
P.R.A.Y. Four Star Award:
A Girl Scout’s Reflections / A Mother’s Perspective
Avery B. attended the National G.I.R.L. event in October 2017 and recognized P.R.A.Y. in the Hall of Experiences and stopped to chat and take a picture for her Mom. Avery has earned God and Me, God and Family, God and Church, and God and Life and is the recipient of P.R.A.Y.’s Four Star Award. We asked Avery to reflect on her Four Star experience and share what she has learned. Here’s an excerpt of what she had to say:
“ As someone who earned the Four Star religious award, I am an example of the positive outcomes of the P.R.A.Y. program and the good characteristics that are nurtured in girls through the program… As I have completed each of the four aspects to the award throughout the years, I have learned how … to take ownership of my faith, to deepen my relationship with God, and to offer my own gifts and talents in service to the church…One of the most amazing things that I have experienced through this program is the deepening of my friendship with two of my Girl Scout sisters.”

Left to Right:
Pastor Kelly Brumbeloe
P.R.A.Y. also reached out to Avery’s mother (after all, Avery did stop at the P.R.A.Y. booth because she knew her mom would want a picture!) and asked her to share what she values about the P.R.A.Y. Program and the impact that it had on her daughter and family: “ As the parent of a Four Star Award recipient, I am very thankful for the P.R.A.Y. program. Both of my daughters are Girl Scouts, and while we appreciate all of the opportunities and experiences scouting has provided, we found it really didn’t involve their faith. The P.R.A.Y. program gave us a way to incorporate that aspect of their lives into the scouting experience.”
Note: Only those who start in 1 st , 2 nd , or 3 rd grade will be eligible to earn the Four Star award. Start a God and Me class now to get those young girls on their Four Star journey! Older girls should jump in at their appropriate grade. Each program level is an independent unit designed to deepen a young person’s faith and commitment. 
Christian Protestant Workshop Combines
“My Promise, My Faith” Pin AND “Bible Basics RP3” Patch
9 Girl Scouts earned their My Promise, My Faith pins along with The Good Book patch (from the Bible Basics RP3 series) at a workshop hosted by the Christian Protestant Committee of the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. The focus was on RESPECT AUTHORITY from the Girl Scout Law, and girls discussed how God is our ultimate authority and the importance of reading the Bible. Activities included acting out the Bible story of King Josiah discovering the lost scroll, the building up and tearing down of false idols, putting the books of the New Testament in order, and doing physical training and comparing that to training in righteousness. Girls created notebooks with the Bible verses, handouts, charts, and coloring sheets.
Click here for some of their resources:
Brownies earn "Out of the Water" Bible Patch
Brownie Girl Scouts from Peace Lutheran Church in Saginaw, MI had a great time earning the “Out of the Water” Bible patch. The girls made Moses “sock babies” and talked about how older sister Miriam would have felt watching her baby brother float in a basket in the river, how God had a plan for Moses, and how Miriam was brave and trusted God. The girls enjoyed making their own dolls to cuddle!

Note:The “Out of the Water” patch is part of P.R.A.Y.’s Bible Basics RP3 Series. Click here for more details and to request the free curriculum.
2017 P.R.A.Y. Usage Available Online
P.R.A.Y. posted the 2017 usage figures online. 882 Girl Scouts earned a P.R.A.Y. award last year (a decline of -28%). Click here to see usage by council.

Congratulations to the following councils on the P.R.A.Y. honor roll who had more than 25 recipients and a 10% increase over the prior year:

Arizona Cactus-Pine
Colonial Coast
Northeast Texas
Southwest Texas
Western Pennsylvania
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