The Girl Scouts of the USA has faced a bit of controversy since changing the use of the word “God” during the membership pledge in 1993. The “greater flexibility” for Girl Scouts who do no “embrace the Judeo-Christian worldview” can now substitute a different word for “God” if they so choose. Now, The Girl Guides of Australia, the sister group to the Girl Scouts, is following suit in the oath of membership modernization effort, The Blaze reports.
The group also deleted the word “queen” from the membership pledge. The International Herald Tribune reports that the Girl Guides of Australia has experienced a “major decrease” in membership in recent years. The Girl Scouts were founded in Britain in 1910 and have approximately 10 million members worldwide. The Girl Guides have approximately 28,000 members, down from an approximate 80,000 during past highest years of membership.
The group reportedly hopes to be “seen as more inclusive, modern, relevant organization and that many more women will like to join us, Girl Guides representative Belinda Allen stated in a media release republished on The Blaze.
When taking the former oath Girl Guides of Australia pledged to “do my duty to God, to serve the queen and my country” The new scouting pledge reads, “I promise that I will do my best to be rue to myself and develop my beliefs, to serve my community and Australia and live by the Guide Law.”
Controversy has swirled around the group from Australians who feel it was improper to remove “God” and the queen from the traditional Girl Guides pledge. The American Heritage Girls organization, a Christ-Centered “alternative to the Girl Scouts” is a relatively new group focused on similar scouting principles but infuses a Christian focused theme to the pledge and organized activities.