Girls’ ministry involves thousands throughout the West
GIRL GUARD TROOP 540 from Santa Clara, Calif. The girls ages ,11 to 17, participate regularly in corps activities including visits to rest homes and shelters.
During 2000, the Girls’ Ministries of the USA Western Territory maintained the strength that they built in the previous season. In addition to working on a variety of emblems, the girls took part in activities ranging from car washes to nursing home visits to sleepovers. Besides having fun, the girls learn to follow Jesus’ example as they grow into godly young women.
More than 2,430 girls were registered in 276 troops; 159 of these were Sunbeam troops and 117 were Girl Guard troops. The troop activities were designed to strengthen all areas of a girl’s life: mind, body, and spirit. As well as local community service projects, the girls developed a global perspective by continuing to hold fundraisers to benefit the Territorial Project of Overseas Children’s Sponsorship. Camp activities continued to be a fun and highly inspirational means of bringing our young people to Christ.
Many girls achieved High Awards in both the Girl Guard and Sunbeam programs. Twenty-eight earned awards in the God and Family Program, which explores Christian living at home, church, and in the world. In Sunbeams, 63 girls earned the Commissioner’s Sunbeam Award. Eleven girls added gold stars to this award–the Commissioner’s Sunbeam with Gold Star being the highest award possible in Sunbeams. Forty-seven other girls received bronze stars, and 27 earned silver stars.
In the Girl Guard program, 18 General’s Guards were awarded, with 16 girls augmenting this award with Guard Palm awards. Five girls received the Catherine Booth award, which is the highest possible award in Girl Guards. The leaders also recorded many accomplishments–13 received the Robin Hood Award for their abilities in camping and outdoor activities.
Based on religious surveys received for the 1999-2000 season, 348 seekers came to The Salvation Army because of our Guarding program (includes troop members and leaders). By virtue of their initial contact with a troop, 28 junior soldiers and 7 senior soldiers were enrolled. Also through initial contact with a troop, 73 new girls and 25 new families were brought into a corps. With strong, loving leadership our girls’ ministries will continue to flourish. Our young people’s programs play a major role not just in leading girls and boys to Christ, but in bringing whole families to the Lord.