"I promise that I will try to love God; to be obedient to be loving and kind to all; to be true to the Sunbeam Declaration." ("I understand that as a Sunbeam I should: pray morning and evening; speak the truth; be kind to animals; never: steal, swear, gamble, touch harmful drugs or strong drinks.")
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 she 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.
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."
Sunbeam members are in grades 1-5; 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 the Midwest are growing up strong and learning how to better serve God and their community through Sunbeam ministries.
Adventure Corps. Pledge:
"I promise to explore God's Word and God's world to find ways to serve Him and help others; to develop and guard good habits so that I will grow as God desires; and to adventure into the world with the "good news" of Jesus Christ."
Boys and young men have it all. In their busy schedules they have the time to have fun while still having the responsibility of bettering themselves through their local educational system. Why should Adventure Corps be any different. In Adventure Corps boys and young men get the opportunity to take part in a variety of exciting activities while working on emblems. This scouting type program offers fun work that also educates and builds positive character.
Adventure Corps, when compared to its female counterparts, Sunbeams and Girl Guards, is a relatively new program. In fact, Adventure Corps was first started in the 1980s. The program was based on traditional scouting programs with a slight twist. Instead of focusing on badge work, Adventure Corps focused on Christ-centered character building using badge work as a tool. Boys work hard on emblems such as hiking, camping, carpentry, career work, theater arts, sports, archery and much more (about 100 different emblems). Although the history is young, there is one tradition that lasts-The Salvation Army's dedication to creating safe, fun, message bound programming for youth.
Though fairly new, Adventure Corps has changed dramatically to meet the needs of an ever changing society. In fact, around 1995 the Adventure Corps program was rewritten in order to better work with the youth and leaders at local centers for worship and service. What a difference. Youth are having a blast at Adventure Corps. Not only do they still take part in emblem work but there are other supplements as well such as summer camping and service projects.Adventure Corps is broken up into two groups, Explorers (1st - 4th grade) and Rangers (5th grade and up).
Girl Guard Aim:
"I understand that as a Girl Guard 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."
Young women today are faced with exciting choices, vast opportunities and new adventures. But at the same time many are confused about which path to take and what road is best for them. The Salvation Army is there to help. Through the Girl Guard program young women build self-confidence, explore positive options, take a look at potential careers, learn about the world, discuss current events, volunteer activities, dig into the Bible and discover how they can make a positive impact. Girl Guards also gives young women a safe place to get away from the pressures of middle and high school. They develop healthy friendships with other young women and are mentored by caring leaders.
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 young women in the troop learned skills that prepared them for homemaking and outdoor living. These young women spent time hiking, camping, marching, doing drills, exercising, learning first-aid, Morse Code and flag signaling. Over the years the focus has changed to meet the needs of a new generation, but the purpose remains the same-guarding the soul, mind and body. And helping young women realize the importance of looking beyond themselves.
The Girl Guard program is available to young women in 6th -12th grade and focuses on the four aspects of personal growth outlined above in the Girl Guard Aim: spiritual, mental, physical and social. Girl Guards meet once a week and focus on these goals by earning emblems within various areas of interest. Girl Guards study art, find out how to respect and take care of the environment, learn the responsibilities of parenthood, gain computer skills and auto know-how, delve into God's Word, discover how to handle difficult situations, participate in wood working classes, join in recreational sport activities and so much more.
By discovering God's gifts of arts and skills, health and happiness, nature, people, personal growth and their present and future, Girl Guard members gain knowledge and experience in a variety of areas which will aid them as they mature into adults.
"I promise that I will try to love God, to help everyone and to always do my best."
"Help us to do the things we should, To be to others kind and good, In all we do at work or play, To grow more like Jesus every day."
For girls and boys ages four and five, The Salvation Army offers the Moonbeams program. The children learn to make their world brighter by being a light everywhere they go. They earn emblems, learn about interesting things like insects, cooking, animals and how to be helpful and polite. It?s a great opportunity for young girls and boys to make new friends and learn about a very special friend, Jesus.