Questions and Answers
Why have we changed the Guide Promise and Guide Law?
In 2011, Girl Guides Australia conducted a comprehensive review of the wording of the Promise and Law. The last review took place in 1993 and resulted in no changes. The Australian Guide Promise and Law has not changed significantly in over 40 years, yet the Australian community has changed enormously over this time. Further information about the review is available here.
Also the Promise and Law Review webinar 2012 Powerpoint is available for download.
Why have the words “God” and “Queen” been removed?
The Promise and Law review raised concerns about the use of the word “God” within an increasingly multicultural Australia. WAGGGS states that: ‘The essence of Duty to God is the acknowledgement of the necessity for a search for a faith in God, in a supreme being, and the acknowledgement of a Force higher than man, of the highest o principles.’ (21st World Conference 1972). Therefore the words “true to myself and develop my beliefs” encompass these acknowledgements.
The Queen continues to be recognized as the Sovereign of Australia. By “serving our community and Australia” we continue to acknowledge the position of the Queen. She has not been removed in essence from the Promise.
Is there a change over period where girls can decide which Promise they wish to make?
No. There is no changeover period. Any guide or adult making or renewing their Promise from July 2012 makes the Guide Promise with the updated wording.
Do girls and adults have to renew their Promise with the updated wording?
Girls and adults may choose to renew their Promise with the updated wording but they do not have to if they don’t feel ready to. Adults may choose to renew their promise with the girls in their Unit.
How old does a Guide have to be before she can make her Promise?
A Guide can make her promise whenever she feels ready to; there is no age restriction. A girl only needs to have an understanding of the Promise that is in line with her own level of development. A girl can work towards making her Promise for as long as she feels is necessary.
Is the Promise badge changing because of the change of wording?
The Promise badge has changed a number of times over the past 100 years of Guiding in Australia. However, at this time the Promise badge is not changing. The World Badge will not be affected by this change.
Do we still sing Taps and what about the wording “God is nigh”?
Singing “Taps” is one of Guiding’s traditions. Taps actually refers to the tune and there are many variations of words that have developed over time. In Australia we have traditionally sung Verse 1 or Verse 3 of the version below. Girls may continue to sing the same words their Unit has traditionally sung, a different version or they may choose to create their own. For example some Units have chosen to change the last line of Verse 1 and 3 to “say goodnight” or “say goodbye”.
Day is done,
Gone the sun,
From the sea,
From the hills,
From the sky,
All is well,
God is nigh.
Dims the sight,
And a star,
Gems the sky,
Falls the night.
Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.
Is the Queen’s Guide Award still going to be named after the Queen now she has been removed from the Promise?
The Queen’s Guide Award was not named after the present Queen. It was actually named by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 1946. There will be no change to the name of this Award. The Award will not change its name when we have a King as a monarch. It will remain the Queen’s Guide Award in recognition of its origin.
Do we need to remove the photo of the Queen from our Guide meeting place?
There is no requirement to remove any photos of the Queen. It is the choice of individual Units and Districts as to whether or not the photo of Queen Elizabeth II continues to be displayed.
Can we still sing Brownie Bells and the Ranger Guide Song?
Both these songs are Guiding traditions and Units can choose to sing these songs.
Do Guides currently working on their Junior BP, BP or Queen’s Guide Awards have to renew their Promise because of the updated wording?
No. They may choose to renew their Promise but they don’t have to. Any Guide starting on her Junior BP, BP or Queen’s Guide Award will need to renew her Promise before she starts the Award.
Will the motto be changed?
The motto will remain “Be Prepared”.