Learning the Law
At the beginning of a new Girl Scout year and during Girl Scout Week in March are both great times to learn or review our Girl Scout Promise and Law. Iıd like to share Beckyıs thoughts, which apply to both Girl Guides and Girl Scouts . . . "One of the most challenging tasks we have as Guiders is to teach our girls about the Guiding Promise and Law, as well as a little bit of Guiding history, without losing their attention or making it boring. I truly admire the Guiders I have met who have a real talent for creating games which help teach these important subjects." Check Beckyıs Guiding Resource Center, Games for Girl Guides & Girl Scouts, and the 1st Castlegar Guide Co. websites for a wide variety of ideas (adapt wording for Girl Scouts). I've provided more below, many of which were compiled by Carmel in Virginia some time ago (not all sources were available - our thanks for your contributions!).
You can note the changes as you read the Girl Scout Law Through the Years (from Kathyıs Scouting Web). GSUSA gives the current policy on alternate wording for families with different religious beliefs.
Contact the below councils for permission and ordering information if interested in their council-own program:
· Living the Law patch for Daisy through Ambassador GS from GS of the Pioneer Council, NC
Some other patch options are available through Patchwork Designs.
Do It By Hand
Making the below suggested hand motions while reciting the Girl Scout Law may help girls more quickly memorize the words. Other options include GS Law with Hand Motions and the GS Promise in American Sign Language.
· I will do my best to be...
· Honest and fair (hold palms out)
· Friendly and helpful (pretend you are shaking hands)
· Considerate and caring (hug yourself)
· Courageous and strong (muscle arms up)
· Responsible for what I say and do (give the Girl Scout Sign)
· And to...
· Respect myself and others (right thumb to self and then right hand out, palm up as though presenting something)
· Respect authority (salute)
· Use resources wisely (rub fingertips like $$$$ while moving arms back and forth in front of you)
· Make the world a better place (sweep arms in front of self and up to shoulder level)
· And, be a sister to every girl scout (arms around shoulders of girls in circle)
When your girls repeat the Girl Scout Law, do they start out strong, and then fade away to "mumble, mumble, mumble?" This finger game can help you and your girls remember all the Girl Scout Laws, in the correct order too!
· It takes strength to be truthful in what we say and do, and to treat others the way we wish to be treated. Our strong thumb helps us be: HONEST AND FAIR
· Girl Scouts love to make new friends and keep the old, and we always lend a hand to help others. This pointer finger leads the way. We are: FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL.
· Our tallest finger reminds us to do our very best to care for our family, our friends, our pets and the environment. Girl Scouts are: CONSIDERATE AND CARING
· It is important that we hold fast to our values and face challenges head on. In our heart we find courage and strength. Our ring finger has a vein that runs directly to our heart and helps us be: COURAGEOUS AND STRONG
· This little finger may seen small, but it reminds us to take a stand for what we believe, and to be responsible for our actions. This finger says "I must be: RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT I SAY AND DO
· We strive to be confident individuals, and we also know that each one of us is special and unique. This dainty little finger (on your other hand) says: I RESPECT MYSELF AND OTHERS
· These next three fingers stand together to make the Girl Scout Sign, just like these three laws stand together.
o We respect our parents, our teachers and our Girl Scout leaders. We: RESPECT AUTHORITY
o We must take care of our resources, such as endangered animals, our farmland, our family history, and our money, or these resources will not last. It is important that we: USE RESOURCES WISELY
o There are many things we can do to bring a smile to someone's face, and to bring the world closer together. We can: MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
· Thumbs up for Girl Scouting! We are proud to: BE A SISTER TO EVERY GIRL SCOUT
Add some familiar music and the girls will quickly learn the words. The words to the Girl Scout Promise fit nicely with the tune Yankee Doodle. Then sing the Girl Scout Law to the tune of Youıre a Grand Old Flag or Home on the Range (scroll down). Challenge older girls to sing their law to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, make up a GS Rap, or try using the The Beverly Hillbillies theme song (arrangement by Kathleen Bryant). Pam Krauss from Illinois came up with another creative idea and shares . . .
I've adapted our GS Law into a song for my Brownie troop to perform for Daisies at our Thinking Day Celebration. It's to the Glenn Miller tune In The Mood. The girls are separated into two groups. For the First Part, group one only sings I Will, and group two sings the lines. For the second part, the groups switch. You have to work with the tune to fit the words in correctly. My Brownies loved it, and my parents are going to recognize the tune right off. Maybe they'll remember the law a little more easily now.
Girl Scout Law (In The Mood)
Group I: I Will
Group II: Do my best to be honest and fair
Gr. I: I Will
Gr. 2: Do my best to be friendly and helpful
Gr. 1: I Will
Gr 2: Do my best to be considerate and caring
Gr 1: I will
Gr 2: Do my best to be courageous and strong
Gr 1: I Will
Gr 2: do my best to be responsible
All: For what I say and do.
Gr 2: And to
Gr 1: Respect myself and others
Gr2: And to
Gr 1: Respect Authority
Gr 2: And to
Gr 1: Use resources wisely
Gr 2: And to
Gr 1: Make the world a better place
Gr 2: And to
Gr 1: Be a sister to every girl scout
All: That is the Girl Scout Law.
Play a version of TV Tag. In order to not be tagged, you must sit down and say one law before the person who is it tags you. No law can be used more than once.
A relay is another fun game to play. Make up strips of paper with the phrases of the Promise or Law (or both). One set for each team. The girls run to their table (team tables should be spaced apart), draw one slip from the bag, and place it where she thinks it goes in relation to the other phrases. The first girl has it easy, but it gets more challenging as the list of slips grows. Toward the end, after there are no more slips to draw, a girl can use her turn to move a phrase if she knows it was incorrectly placed. Continue until one team wins by placing all the phrases in the proper order.
Have each girl make a collage, draw a picture, or make a booklet about what the Girl Scout Law means to her. Or, your troop could make a large mural on a long roll of paper to hang at their meeting site and later use for a backdrop at their next Court of Awards.
Our younger girls might enjoy the GS Law Coloring Book (listed under Troop Activity Ideas) from GS of NW Great Lakes in Wisconsin. A second version of the GS Law Coloring Book (pdf) is listed on Kathyıs Scouting Web. Daisies could color a picture depicting the petal that they're working on as they learn each piece of the Girl Scout Law.
To better understand the meaning behind the recited words, girls can do a GS Law Skit. Or, try something like the game What's My Line? as shared by Kristy . . .
Make up strips of paper with the phrases or words of the Promise or Law (or both) and put them in a bag. Each girl or team draws out one strip of paper. They are to decide how they will give clues for the rest of the group to guess what their ³line² or word is (they may talk, or do charades). Each girl or team takes turns giving clues until the rest of the group has guessed what their line or word is.
Write each law on a separate slip of paper, mix up in a bag, and have participants each draw one out as a discussion opener. In what way is this law a part of their life? How do they demonstrate it? This is a good way to get everyone involved in the discussion.
Draw out just one of the laws at each meeting and have the girls share how they lived that portion of the law in the last week (i.e. I was friendly by introducing myself to the new girl at school)
Use teachable moments as they occur during your meetings to make sure the girls understand the meaning of each Law.
Card Games (shared by Pallotta)
Play games with each piece of the law written on a 6 x 8 card. Each girl gets a card, and the games begin . . .
1) girls arrange themselves in the proper order, and then recite the law, each in her turn
2) cards go on the floor: Go stand behind the law that is the EASIEST for you to follow (girls arrange themselves)
3) cards on the floor: Go stand behind the law that is the HARDEST for you to follow
4) select a card/law, and tell the group what it means to you
5) select a card/law and give an example of how it affects you in your life
6) cards on floor: Go stand behind the law that you are going to WORK ON THIS WEEK.
Print out the GS Law on a piece of poster board. Then cut it up like a puzzle. Have the girls work together to put it back together in the right order. You can also do a relay race with this: Do 2 or 3 poster puzzles, form teams, and have a race to stick the words in the right order.
You can also make a trefoil shaped puzzle with the Promise written on the various pieces. When the puzzle is put together, the Promise is in the correct order. It can be done as a group exercise when the number of participants is small or for a larger group in teams as a relay race. The same thing can be done for the Girl Scout Law.
For Parents and Leaders
On my honor,
I will try,
To encourage and support my Girl Scout daughter,
To help her troop at all times,
And to obey the Girl Scout Parent's Law.
Family Promise (from Leader/Guider Cyber Council)
On my honor,
Share my daughter's new interests
Give her opportunities to practice her skills at home
Show appreciation for the promise and law
Attend the troop events to which I am invited
Support Girl Scouting by working for and contributing to activities and funds that make
Girl Scouting possible in our community.
A Girl Scout parent . . .
Understands the true purpose of Girl Scouting.
Gets her daughter to and from meetings on time.
Knows a troop is a team effort.
Sees the job through to the end.
Sets a good example at all times.
Is enthusiastic and cheerful.
Does not consider the leader a baby-sitter.
Brings troop problems to the leader first.
Always does his or her part willingly.
Is aware that Girl Scouting is for all girls.
A Leader's Promise (from Huron Valley GS Council website)
I will do my best:
To be honest about my girls abilities and fair to their talents
To be friendly and helpful because my girls deserve the best
To be considerate and caring even when things don't work out
To be courageous and strong because my girls need me
To be responsible for what I say and do because others are depending on me
To respect myself and others, after all, I am a Girl Scout
To respect authority, even the girl's
To use resources wisely by not wasting the potential in each girl I work with
To make the world a better place by sharing my best, and not sharing when necessary
To be a sister to every Girl Scout and care for each Girl Scout as family
Updated August 2009