What is Girl Guards?
Guarding opens the door to adventure. As a Girl Guard, you will find many exciting new experiences awaiting you. With each experience you will discover things about yourself and the world God has created.
You will belong to a large family with thousands of members in every part of the United States and in many other the countries where The Salvation Army is located. Girl Guards is one of many youth groups sponsored by your local Salvation Army corps. Girl Guard meetings may be held at the corps center, at community buildings, or schools.
What Girl Guards Do
Girls meet together as a troop to learn new skills, hike, sing, camp, swim, make handicrafts, meet new friends, go on trips, and serve the people in the community. Before you can be enrolled, it is important that you learn the Girl Guard Aim and do your best to live up to it.
What the Girl Guard Aim Means
YOU WILL GROW SPIRITUALLY
The Bible will become a familiar book as you discover God’s message for today. As you learn more about God through Bible study and prayer, you will discover how you can grow to become the kind of person He wants you to be.
YOU WILL GROW MENTALLY
When you are honest with yourself and others, you will begin to see the unique qualities and talents God has given you. The varied activities in this handbook offer many opportunities to develop the mind and talent God has given you.
YOU WILL GROW PHYSICALLY
Your body will continue to grow and change rapidly during your years as a Girl Guard. It is important to learn the facts about developing healthy habits and keeping your body physically fit.
YOU WILL GROW SOCIALLY
Growing socially means learning to get along with others and respecting the differences that make us unique. You will learn how to have positive relationships with people in your family, friends and others who are different ages or from different cultures and backgrounds. The Girl Guard Aim states four specific ways to develop positive relationships with others.
• BEING RESPECTFUL – means to be considerate of and show regard for another person.
• BEING FRIENDLY – means to be open with people and willing to accept them as they are.
• BEING OF SERVICE TO OTHERS – means to look for ways to help other people and respond to their needs.
• BEING LOYAL TO MY COUNTRY – means to understand and acknowledge what your country stands for.
You may not have thought seriously about these things before, but they will become more important as you grow and mature.
In the DISCOVERING activity, you will study the Girl Guard Aim more thoroughly. The activity is divided into four sections, each representing one of the fourfold aims of Guarding. When you complete a DISCOVERING section, you will receive a emblem to wear with the membership insignia on your uniform sash as a symbol of your advancement. When you complete all of the activities, the emblem go together with your membership insignia to form the Girl Guard logo.
Who Can Belong to the Guarding Program?
Any girl can become a member of the Guarding program; there is no discrimination in membership. Girls in first grade through fifth grade are called Sunbeams. Sunbeams have their own handbook, activities, and uniforms, and meet separately from Girl Guards. Girl Guards is a program for girls in six grade* through twelve.
To become a Girl Guard you must:
1. Be in at least the sixth grade. (*If there is no Sunbeam program in your corps, you may become a Girl Guard in fifth grade.)
2. Attend four meetings.
3. Learn the Girl Guard Aim.
The Guarding program also includes a program for younger children, called Moonbeams. The Moonbeams program is for boys and girls who are four or five years old. Moonbeams have separate meetings and their own uniform, handbook, activities and emblems.
Becoming a Girl Guard
You become a Girl Guard when you are officially enrolled during a special ceremony. At this ceremony, you may wear your uniform for the first time.
Girl Guards have a special salute that is a reminder of the fourfold Girl Guard Aim. This salute is made with the right hand. See the illustration below.
The salute is given when you repeat the Aim, during troop reviews and inspections, during the Pledge of Allegiance when you are wearing your Girl Guard uniform, and as a greeting when meeting another Girl Guard.