A simple candlelit Promise ceremony

The original of this ceremony was conducted on the last night of an excellent activity holiday, out of doors and after dark, but it could be adapted to an indoor setting as long as it was either dark outside or the room/hall was well curtained.

Equipment needed :
Outdoors : tea lights – we used 100; matches; torches (for the girls to get to and from the site); sitters; promise badge (and certificate if you use them).
Indoors : tea lights, metal tray or suitable table top, matches, promise badge / certificate.

Prior to the ceremony the tea lights are laid out in the shape of a large trefoil : as we were outdoors we simply scratched an outline shape in a patch of bare earth and laid the tea lights out in double row about an inch apart in each row, with the two rows “staggered” in the gaps (see below) – this schematic diagram shows 56 tea lights but you can use however many you have and make the trefoil as big as you can.
If your ceremony is indoors, lay the tea lights out on a stable and flame-proof surface.

Ceremony :
The girl(s) to be enrolled and their patrol leaders and seconds – or, in the case of Rangers, two friends or supporters – stay outside or away from the ceremony area, preferably out of sight but still within earshot.

The rest of the unit assemble in a circle around the candle trefoil, leaving a gap at the “stem” end of the shape for the girls to enter by.

When everyone is ready the candles are lit, the lights (if any) are turned out and the PLs / supporters called to bring the girls to be enrolled.

They make their promises one by one, the PLs / supporters first introducing them to the unit and presenting them for enrolment.

After they have made their promise and have been welcomed into the unit and the wider family of Guiding, the rest of the girls and Guiders all renew their Promise together.

When we first did this, everyone then sat in a circle around the candle trefoil and we sang “Make New Friends” followed by Taps and then everyone drifted away slowly, singing “Go well and safely” leaving the candles burning – we returned when all the girls were safely in to blow the candles out and tidy up.


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