You are receiving this newsletter because you have expressed an interest in P.R.A.Y. and promoting faith-based programs to Girl Scouts. P.R.A.Y. handles the Protestant Christian program but also provides interfaith resources and links to other religious emblems programs to support both Girl Scout professionals and volunteers.
P.R.A.Y. Update to Members of GSUSA
September 2019
P.R.A.Y. Welcomes New Board Member  
P.R.A.Y. is blessed with wonderful Board members who bring influence, ideas, and guidance to our table and those we serve. Recently, Board member Teena Weathersby-Hampton informed us she would be unable to complete her term. We are so grateful for her service and continued commitment to P.R.A.Y.'s mission. Thank you.

Today P.R.A.Y. would like to introduce you to a new director, Vikki Shepp. Vikki is the CEO for the Girl Scouts of Orange County (CA). Over her decade-long career with the Girl scouts of Orange County, Vikki has held numerous leadership positions, including Director of Volunteer Management, Vice President of Fund Development, and Vice President of Mission Operations before assuming her current position in January of 2018. Vikki has also authored books on ministry and youth. Her experience in volunteer engagement and program delivery suits her passion to help young women achieve their highest potential including their personal faith connections. 

Welcome Vikki!
Sandra DeTora Receives Celtic Cross Award
Girl Scout Makayla J. Gives Inspiring Speech
"I am one of the Green Hill Girl Scouts, under the leadership of Ms. Sandi, and I want you all to know that I realize how lucky I am. Ms. Sandi has three of us, her two daughters and myself, but I truly believe that she sometimes forgets that we are not all hers, or she forgets which of us is not. She is an awesome role model and I have learned so much from her, but it is not all about Girl Scouts. She often shares her faith just by her actions, her love of Jesus with every good deed for fellow church members or anyone that needs it. She is the epitome of a Christian Mother and friend. When I have been in need of something, she always has it in her Mary Poppins bag or in the back of her car….When something goes wrong she is my first phone call….So [Ms. Sandi] is not just my Girl Scout leader....she is my friend, my confidant, my sometimes fill-in Mom, and most of all my mentor. I love Ms. Sandi and have never doubted that she loves me too, even when I make it hard. Thank you for all you do for me and with me and thank you Green Hill for recognizing this wonderful woman. I am so proud of you."
This amazing speech was given by Makayla J. upon the presentation of the Celtic Cross award to her Girl Scout leader Sandra DeTora.
The Celtic Cross award is sponsored by the National Association of Presbyterian Scouters and recognizes “adult leaders who have given exceptional service to children and youth.” Sandra was nominated for this award by the Session of Green Hill Presbyterian Church. In addition to working with youth at Green Hill through such programs as Vacation Bible School, Sandra has been a Girl Scout volunteer for nearly ten years, organizing Girl Scout Sunday every year and teaching the My Promise My Faith Award. Receiving the Celtic Cross Award means a great deal to Sandra: “ I am a Girl Scout volunteer and I am a Christian. Those two parts of my life are intrinsically tied together. Raising girls of courage, confidence, and character, as Girl Scouts does, requires a focus on God. I am proud to wear the Celtic Cross, not because I have done anything special, but because the award represents the connection between Girl Scouting and Christianity. ” Sandra expressed her thanks to both the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, Service Unit 923 and Green Hill Presbyterian Church for their ongoing support.

Congratulations, Sandra, on this special achievement, and thank you for your ministry to young people!  

For information on adult religious recognitions, click here .
Girl Scout Earns Four Star Award
Lena T., Girl Scout from Troop 2440 in Suwanee, Georgia, proudly wears the Four Star Pin and displays her certificate recognizing her outstanding achievement in earning all four of the P.R.A.Y. religious awards. Her journey started in 2012 when she earned her first religious award as a Brownie Girl Scout and continued as she went on to earn awards as a Junior, Cadette and Senior Girl Scout. Lena has joined the ranks of an elite group. In 2018, only 228 young people were recognized as Four Star recipients, and only 20 of them were Girl Scouts. Thanks to Epiphany Lutheran Church which regularly offers P.R.A.Y. classes every two or three years to make sure that young people have the opportunity to participate at every program level.
Quick Start Steps 
Religious awards are quite simple. People often shy away from them because they don’t feel qualified to talk about religion, but the steps to earning a religious award are straight forward. People who want to encourage Girl Scouts to earn the religious award for their own faith, are promoting religious awards, not teaching them. There’s a big difference. All Girl Scout professionals and volunteers should be comfortable in explaining the religious awards because every Girl Scout promises “to serve God.” Here are the Quick Start Steps that will help explain religious awards to girls and their families:

  1. Obtain the specific booklet for your religion. The To Serve God brochure provides contact information.
  2. Review the eligibility guidelines for your specific program.
  3. Talk to your religious leaders and show them the booklet before beginning any program.
  4. Complete the requirements, obtain the proper signatures, and follow the instructions to order the recognition or pin.

Here are two resources that are helpful in promoting religious awards:
Faith-based Programs Handout and Troop Leader Script. For more information and additional resources, visit .
Girl Scout Sunday/Sabbath
Girl Scout Week is celebrated each March, starting with Girl Scout Sunday and ending on Saturday with Girl Scout Sabbath, and it always includes Girl Scouts’ birthday, March 12. For 2020, March 8 th is the day! 
Girl Scout Sunday/Sabbath gives girls an opportunity to attend their place of worship be recognized as a Girl Scout and for one’s commitment “to serve God” with the religious emblem of their faith. Most emblems require several weeks of work for completion and if your troop meets in or has a close relationship to a congregation, now is the time to get it on your congregation’s calendar.

Don't forget that Girl Scout Sunday/Sabbath is also a time to recognize adult volunteers for their service to their faith community. Help your congregation identify Girl Scout leaders and recognize them with an Adult Religious Recognition .
Visit the P.R.A.Y. Girl Scouts Resource page for more ideas on Girl Scout Sunday/Sabbath services .

God and Me Curriculum to be Revised
P.R.A.Y. Launches Revision Process
After the successful launch of the new Jesus and Me curriculum for K-1 last fall, P.R.A.Y. has announced a revision schedule for its core programs. Starting with God and Me for grades 1-3, P.R.A.Y. will evaluate and revise one program a year. The cooperative writing process utilized in Jesus and Me was so successful that P.R.A.Y. will again engage a volunteer team.

God and Me was first launched in 1983. The GAMEBox was added in 2002. It is time to take a close look at the curriculum, implement changes, and improve the experience not only for the children but also for the counselors and volunteers who are offering the program. All three booklets will be revised, i.e. Student Workbook, Counselor Manual, and Adult Mentor Workbook. The revision team will be charged with ensuring that the selection of Bible stories are relevant and appropriate for this grade level, that the activities are interactive and utilize multiple strategies including music, art, movement (not just paper and pencil exercises), that the Counselor Manual provides comprehensive lesson plans along with corresponding handouts, as well as adding value to the Adult Mentor component as a key resource for strengthening the parent-child relationship.

The target date for the revised program is summer 2020. As in the past, P.R.A.Y. curriculum will never be rendered “obsolete” or unacceptable to use. It is understood that congregations and scouting groups may be transitioning to the revised curriculum at different points in the program year as it is convenient. Look for P.R.A.Y.’s updates on the God and Me Revision Project.
P.R.A.Y. Denominational Brochures
Resources to Engage Protestant Congregations
Several denominational brochures have been developed by P.R.A.Y. and its denominational/Scouting Association partners. These brochures will be useful in approaching congregations and strengthening their connection to Girl Scouting. Religious Awards can be the cornerstone of a Faith Based Initiative. Here are the denominational brochures available from P.R.A.Y. More denominations will be added as material is approved. 
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Building Faith in Youth