By: Georgia Gilbert, East Syracuse/Minoa Area Service Unit Manager
How important is a promise to you? If a friend promises you that she will call you on the weekend and then doesn’t, do you feel badly because of the broken promise or just blow it off? If your child promises to clean their room but then gets distracted with play do you remind them of their broke promise or are you just upset that the room did not get cleaned? When you promise to do something do you put that at the top of your priority list or is just being on the To Do list good enough? What is more important? The intent or the promise? We have watered down the importance of the word “promise” by using it to tell others and ourselves that we intend to do a deed whether we really intend to do it or not. “Promise” has lost its credibility and power.
In Girl Scouting we promise to live by the Girl Scout Law. It’s a promise we make at every meeting, every gathering of Girl Scouts. We are reminded again and again. We made a promise. And the intent is to keep it.
The Girl Scout Law is a guide to how we should conduct ourselves as Girl Scouts. Bit it really is a guide for us in and out of Girl Scouting. It is the Golden Rule of life. How often do we Girl Scout volunteers reflect upon the promise we made to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, etc.? We use the Law when we are dealing with the girls. When there is conflict amongst them we remind them of the Law. When they should be helpful we remind them of the Law. But how often do we remind ourselves? We set the example the girls are going to follow. There is a poem that is often used in Girl Scouting to remind volunteers that little eyes are watching us. Here is a part of it…
There are little eyes upon you and they’re watching night and day;
There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say;
There are little hands all eager to do anything you do;
And a little girls who’s dreaming of the day she’ll be like you.
You’re the little girl’s idol; You’re the wisest of the wise;
In her little mind about you no suspicions ever rise;
She believes in you devoutly, holds that all you say and do,
She’ll say and do, in your way, when she’s a grown-up like you.
How we conduct ourselves as Girl Scouts is noticed by those girls we are helping to become the leaders of tomorrow. We should ask ourselves are we being fair or friendly when we huddle with another adult and make fun of another person in the room. The girls around us are noticing. Are we being considerate when we exclude a volunteer for reasons based on dislike? The girls take notice. When we put ourselves down because of our looks or our ability are we respecting ourselves? Or when we decide not to follow Girl Scout policy and rules because they don’t suit our needs are we respecting authority? When we don’t hold to the promise we made we are sending a message that it is okay to let others and ourselves down, that is okay to hurt and belittle people, that our word is not worth much.
We are not perfect and there are times when we slip up but we should be taking a harder look at ourselves. Girls ARE watching and we are their role models. We made a promise and that is our word.