April 2016
PRAY UPDATE for members of GSUSA
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Launches
Faith Based Initiative
Roni Luckenbill, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio (GSWO), reports great enthusiasm over their Faith Based Initiative (FBI) launched in January 2016. Patterned after the initiative by Orange County Council BSA to develop sustainable partnerships in the faith community, the GSWO set out to educate and train staff on faith communities and to identify congregations and reach out to them. 

Rhonda Starghill, Director of Recruitment and Community Outreach, contacted P.R.A.Y. CEO Mark Hazlewood to discuss the rationale for the FBI and walk through the many resources available through P.R.A.Y. From there Rhonda chartered the path that GSWO would take. To read more about their training, their successes, and to access the presentation and other "All in good faith" resources, click here.
Girl Scout Troop 664, Edenton Street United Methodist Church
Girl Scout Troop 664
God and Church Award
Edenton Street United Methodist Church
Raleigh, NC
This is the third time that Girl Scout Troop 664 offered the P.R.A.Y. award for interested girls. Troop 664 started 9 years ago, and although the troop membership has fluctuated, the adult leadership has been constant, and they have made sure to offer the opportunity for girls to earn their religious emblem. This year 9 girls earned the God and Church award under the instruction of Beth Norris. Beth has served as P.R.A.Y. counselor over the years teaching God and Me, God and Family, and now God and Church.  According to Troop Leader Marla Turlington, "Beth has formed a unique bond with the girls and provides an alternative adult leader from the regular troop leadership. I believe the girls (and Beth) enjoy the program materials and find it perfectly suited for age appropriate learning and conversation."
 
Counselors play a key role in the P.R.A.Y. Program. Keep in mind the many resources to help counselors deliver a quality program. Click here for resources and videos.
Soon-to-be-College-Grad Reflects on Impact of Four Star Award
Jess G. received her Four Star Recognition 6 years ago. She is now in the midst of job hunting and finishing up college at Missouri State University, but she took the time to look back on her journey through the P.R.A.Y. awards. She shares her reflections here:
 
Religion has always been a very important part of my life. My sister and I were raised in the Lutheran Church and still hold very strongly to those ideas. My relationship with God has shaped my life, and holding true to those values which He wants in our lives define who I am. Since Girl Scouts was through my church/school, it was a strong foundation in my life. Completing the PRAY awards brought me closer to God as well as closer to the friends with whom I completed the program. I think it's important to reflect on your faith and where it has brought you often in your life, and the PRAY awards were wonderful for that in the very formative teenage years.
 
As to where I am today, I am still friends with the girls I was in Girl Scouts with and with whom I went through the PRAY program...My faith continues to be an important part of my life. I'm at a turning point, in the process of transitioning from college to the professional world. I have a lot of decisions to make in the coming months and years, and I put my faith in God to help me find the right path He wants for my life.
 
Here is a picture of Jess and her Girl Scout friends around the time they earned their last P.R.A.Y. award.

Pictured L to R: Dani, Catherine, Rachel, and Jess