P.R.A.Y. Update
(for members of GSUSA)
April 30, 2013

MAKE PRESENTATIONS NOW ON RELIGIOUS RECOGNITIONS
Religious Recognitions are done not in a Troop setting but in the home and with one’s own faith community. What a perfect summer project!  Gather information now to disseminate to your Girl Scouts and families. Remember that the Religious Recognitions are created by the national religious organizations and that each girl needs to participate in the program for her own faith. Here is a list (with contact information) for the Religious Recognitions. Also available is a sample script to help you make a presentation. Encourage your Girl Scouts NOW to do their faith awards this summer.

FIRST QUARTER P.R.A.Y. USAGE REPORTS

Usage of the P.R.A.Y. Program by Girl Scouts shows a decline of 33% this quarter continuing the steady downhill trend since 2005. The chart below provides the breakdown by program level and compares the first quarter in 2013 versus the first quarter in 2012.

GSUSA

2013

2012

Percent

God and Me

401

611

-34%

God and Family

340

455

-25%

God and Church

117

170

-31%

God and Life

21

60

-65%

Four Star

5

23

-78%

Total

884

1319

-33%


Congratulations to the following councils that appear on the First Quarter Honor Roll for having 25 or more P.R.A.Y. recipients AND at least a 10% increase in usage.

Girl Scout Council Name

1st Qtr. 2013

1st Qtr. 2012

Increase

Colorado Girl Scouts

35

5

600%

Historic Georgia Girl Scouts

33

6

450%

Commonwealth Girl Scout Council

34

15

127%

Greater Chicago & NW Indiana GS

38

28

36%

Eastern Missouri Girl Scouts

29

25

16%


Wondering how your council is doing? Usage reports are posted on the P.R.A.Y. website. There are several different listings and information going back to 2011. Why is this information important? Religious recognitions can serve as a barometer for councils indicating how closely they may be relating to and working with the faith community. Councils that seek to grow Girl Scouting in the faith community and intentionally work with congregations will see an increase in the number of girls participating in the Religious Recognitions programs. Want to learn more about Religious Recognitions? Interested in approaching the faith community? P.R.A.Y. is offering a workshop on Faith Based Initiatives. See information below.

Don’t forget the new Religious Recognitions POSTER that is available from P.R.A.Y.

Display the poster in your council store, resource centers, camps, etc. Council staff may also want a supply of posters as they visit congregations and seek to strengthen each girl’s promise “to serve God.”

Click here to order your poster today.


FBI WORKSHOP – OCTOBER 22-24, 2013
P.R.A.Y. is offering a workshop on “Growing Girl Scouting through Faith-Based Initiatives.”  Topics include:
  • My Promise, My Faith pin and the new revised requirements
  • Religious Recognitions created by the national faith groups
  • Understanding how Religious Recognitions can be used as a membership tool
  • Rationale/benefits to collaborating with the faith community
  • Using religious organizations to reach underserved areas and initiative targets
  • Guest speakers from different religions and denominations
  • Drafting a plan of work (specific for your council) to collaborate with religious institutions and to promote religious awards

Membership staffs especially are encouraged to attend. Many assume that the religious recognitions belong to the program department, but the Faith Based Initiative is membership driven.

Early bird registration deadline (with discounted price!) is May 31st. Final registration deadline is June 28th. Registration forms must be accompanied by a $50 deposit to hold your place.  Checks can be made payable to P.R.A.Y. or you may provide Visa, MasterCard or Discover card information.  Final payments will be due July 31st. The workshop will be held at Toddhall Retreat Center in Columbia, IL (fly into St. Louis Lambert airport). Lodging, meals and conference area are all located at Toddhall. Please do not make any travel plans until your reservation is confirmed by P.R.A.Y. Click here for a registration form.

Pictured below are the attendees from the F.B.I. Workshop in November 2012.

P.R.A.Y. is also willing to work with councils to bring on-site training to your council.  The cost of bringing a P.R.A.Y. staff member to you may be a more cost effective option. Please email Mark Hazlewood at markp@praypub.org for information on this option.


GIRL SCOUT SUNDAY CELEBRATION
Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri had two council-wide Girl Scout Sunday Celebrations in March: a Presentation Sunday Prayer Service sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts, and a Girl Scout Sunday Worship Celebration sponsored by the Christian (Protestant) Committee on Girl Scouting.


The Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts sponsors the Presentation Sunday Prayer Service every year in March at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.  Girl Scouts and all girls who have completed the faith formation award program “Mary, the First Disciple” or “The Spirit Alive!” are welcome. Both are faith formation programs offered by the Office of Catholic Scouting. Mary, the First Disciple is open to all girls in grades seven through twelve and helps them to grow in appreciation of Mary and in an understanding of themselves. The Spirit Alive program for high school youth helps young people grow in their awareness of the Holy Spirit and how the Holy Spirit has manifested itself in the history of the people of God.  To learn about the many different faith formation programs and retreats offered by the Office of Catholic Scouting or for more information about Presentation Sunday, please visit http://www.catholicscoutingstl.org/girl-scouts/catholic-committee-scouting.
The Christian (Protestant) Committee on Girl Scouting started in 1999 with a Recognition Service to honor those Girl Scouts who had earned their P.R.A.Y. award, and since then it has evolved into a worship service and reception for all Protestant Girl Scouts. The tradition is to have a girl-led service: Girl Scouts read scripture, provide music, sing in the Girl Scout choir, say prayers, and the speaker is usually a God and Life or Four Star award recipient. This year’s speaker was Ambassador Girl Scout Emily E. (pictured, left)from Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church. Emily is a recipient of the P.R.A.Y. Four Star award, as well as the Girl Scout Gold Award and the Congressional Award Gold Medal. Emily told her early memories about learning the Brownie elf story and shared how Girl Scouting, with its emphasis on service, has had a strong impact on her.  Click here for more information about the Christian (Protestant) Committee on Girl Scouting in St Louis. https://sites.google.com/site/cpgsfaith/home.

Pictured below are the attendees from the Girl Scout Sunday Worship Celebration, 2013.

PLEASE CONSIDER A GIFT TO P.R.A.Y.
If you have benefited from P.R.A.Y. and the many resources that we make available to work with the faith community, please consider a financial gift to P.R.A.Y. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your gifts are tax deductible. Our “bare bones” operation is being stretched thin at a time when we are eager to expand our mission. Please consider becoming a “Friend of P.R.A.Y.” with a financial gift. Click here to make an online donation.

Thank you for your generosity and support!


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