One of the hats I wear off the smallholding is in girlguiding.  For a few years I was Rainbow guider and assistant Guide guider.  After having a break for three years, I recently went back to be Rainbow guider again.

Every single person in Girlguiding makes a promise when they enrol – from the smallest five year old Rainbow, to the oldest guider.  There are slight variations on this promise depending on which section you are in – but they all say the same thing.

“I promise that I will do my best to love my God, to serve the Queen and my country, to help other people and to keep the Guide law”

Each year on Thinking Day we renew our promise all together.  I have often wondered what it means to other guiders, and old Guides and Brownies.  Yesterday I had the privilege of finding out.

The guiders from our unit were asked to provide a colour party for the funeral of a lady who had for many years been a guider.   During the service, her son told us that his mum had, shortly before she died, repeated her promise!  She had made her promise decades before, and it meant so much to her that even in pain, it was important enough to her to repeat it.


At the end of the service “Taps” was sung and it was quite emotional to see how many guide salutes there were in the congregation and how many sang “Taps”.

At the end of this term I have to enrol a new Rainbow.  They say a simpler version of the promise as they are only 5 – but the meaning stays the same.   I feel a whole new responsibility to that task, knowing that the promise that that child makes in front of me may live with her for the rest of her life.

Were you a Brownie or a Guide? What does your promise mean to you?