Today, the Girl Guard program is available to young women in sixth through twelfth grade and focuses on the four aspects of personal growth in the Girl Guard Aim-growing spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially. Girl Guards meet once a week and focus on these goals by earning emblems within various areas of interest.
Girl Guard emblems: Collector, Dimensions Unlimited, Green Thumb, Auto Know-How, Communications, Discovering one and two, Growing a Leader, Bible Study, Community Health and Safety, Growing Wild, Blow Your Own Horn, Community Knowledge, Dramatics, Handy Woman, Careers, Confident Cook, Ecology, Hit the Trail, Challenged Individuals, Creatures and Creation, Fabric to Fashion, Home Sweet Home, Choices with Voices, Design and Decorate, Focus on the Arts, Insight for the Future.. Lifestyles, Insight for the Future…Parenthood, On the Go, Safety First—First-Aid, Timbrelist, Insight for the Future…Surviving in an Adult World, My World-My Heritage, Native American Lore, Needle Knack, Now you see it (Photography), Our Own Activity, Pathfinding, Pedal Pusher, Racquet Sports, Recreational Sports, Roughing it, Science Potpourri, Smooth Sailing, Super Sitter, The Sky Above, Wild and Free, and Working with Wood.
By discovering God’s gifts of arts and skills, health and happiness, nature, people, personal growth and present and future, Girl Guard members gain knowledge and experience in a variety of different areas which will aid them as they mature and grow into young adults.
The first Girl Guard troop sprouted in London, England in 1915, under the name the Life-Saving Girl Guards. Patterned after the Boy Scouts, the troop learned skills that prepared them for homemaking and outdoor living. These young women spent time hiking, camping, marching, doing drills and exercises, learning first-aid, Morse Code and flag signaling. Over the years the focus has changed to meet the needs of a new generation of girls, but the purpose has remained the same—guarding the soul, mind, body and others.
Girl Guard Aim
I will grow spiritually by increasing my knowledge of God through Bible study and prayer. I will grow mentally by being honest in my thoughts and actions and by developing the mind and talent God has given me. I will grow physically by protecting myself from all harmful substances and habits by developing a healthy body. I will grow socially by being respectful, friendly, of service to others and loyal to my country.
Can you recite the history of the American flag, define the Impressionist period, identify five birds local to your region, list the books of the Bible and respond properly when a person is choking? If not, just ask a Sunbeam. And they could probably tell you a lot more. The Sunbeam program emphasizes the importance of growing spiritually, mentally, physically and socially through fun activities, field trips, camps, service projects, earning activity emblems and so much more! It gives girls a refuge, a place to be themselves, have fun, deepen their relationship with God, gain self–confidence and discover how they can make a difference in the world.
Today, Sunbeam members are between the ages of 6-11; the only criteria for joining is regular meeting attendance and parental consent. The goals of the Sunbeams are outlined in the Sunbeam Pledge, Declaration and Motto— but for this group actions speak louder than words. In Sunbeams, heavy emphasis is placed on actively working with the Sunbeam leader and fellow Sunbeams in order to earn emblems in a plethora of areas. Whether around the town or in a large city, girls all over Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are growing up strong and learning how to better serve God and their community through Sunbeam ministries.
Inaugurated in 1921 as an offshoot of the Life–Saving Girl Guards, the Sunbeams offered a character building ministry for younger girls interested in expanding their knowledge through emblem earning and Christian fellowship. More specifically, the program encouraged “the building up of sterling character in girls and young women, promoting their physical, mental, moral and spiritual development, and training them for service to others.”