Canadian Brownies and Guiding…

… what an enlightened organization!

Let me explain…

My youngest daughter wanted to join our local Brownies Chapter – largely because one of her best buds was into it. And given why I knew about it, it would be a good fit for her and her personality. Yet, I have had some issues with organizations like the Brownies, Scouts, etc. 1.

I do recognise that they can provide some young people with valuable life experiences in a positive setting. And I also recognise that these groups can help to instill strong senses of community in their participants. A trait that is often absent in many of our young.

Buuuuuuuuuuut…

It (Scouting / Guides movement) was originally designed as a gender-segregated youth training, focussed on physical, mental, and spiritual development. As it was founded in the predominantly Christian times back in 1907 (when non-sectarian was the closest equivalent to modern secularism), everyone was assumed to pledge allegiance to God (and to the monarchy in the British/Commonwealth countries).

And therein lay the problem. I had THOUGHT that this pledge was still in place (I admit that I haven’t been following the issue very closely) and was going to nuke the idea… but I was wrong (gasp)!

Here is the pledge:

No God. No Queen. No problem.

And for the record… in case some of you think that her Mom didn’t have the same concerns… she did. I am but a small and often insignificant voice in our household…

And check this out…The Guiding Law gives some universal good traits that we should all remember.. and without the God and Queen stuff:

  • be honest and trustworthy
  • use my resources wisely
  • respect myself and others
  • recognize and use my talents and abilities
  • protect our common environment
  • live with courage and strength
  • share in the sisterhood of Guiding

Nothing wrong there!

After a scant bit of research, I learned that this was quite a debate within the Guiding community only a few years back. Good to see that good sense and 21st century rational thinking won out!

Now if we can only find a way to get the same out of out publicly funded education system!

1. Yes, I have issues with lots of things, don’t I?

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4 Comments to “Canadian Brownies and Guiding…”

  1. I have a small issue with Guiding: they cannot acknowledge the contribution of men. You (trashy) can’t be a leader, and can’t do much of anything other than pay and provide muscle. Guiding is about women, by women, for women. As a dad, you’ll be lucky to get so much as a thank you from anyone but your own daughter.

    And I have no problem with that… right up until they start wanting men to do things for them (how much that happens varies with the unit).

    All that said, some of the units really do have a good (i.e. not “girly”) program that teaches some good life skills.

  2. Luna says:

    I remember saying the old one back when I was in brownies in 1980 or so. I always crossed my fingers on the queen bit. Couldn’t stand the monarchy, even then. I was a wee bit precocious. 🙂

  3. John Shipley says:

    Hey John,
    My 5 year old son started Beavers last month and I was a bit surprised that they still had the pledge to God in their goodnight address. But, he loves it and I have decided to pick my battles elsewhere and plus he doesn’t even know what he is saying yet so no harm done at this stage.

    John

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