|Country United States|
Membership 30,000 (2013)
|Founder Patti Garibay|
executive director Patti Garibay
|Similar Girl Scouts of the USA, Awana, Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire, GEMS Girls' Clubs|
American heritage girls impact video abbreviated version
The American Heritage Girls (AHG) is a Christian-based Scouting-like organization. The organization has more than 20,000 members (2013) with troops in 48 states in late 2012, plus Americans living in seven other countries.
- American heritage girls impact video abbreviated version
- American heritage girls promo video
All girls are eligible for membership while adult leaders must subscribe to a Christian statement of faith.
American heritage girls promo video
The American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by Patti Garibay and other parents from West Chester, Ohio to form a Christian alternative to the Girl Scouts of the USA after the Girl Scouts allowed individual Scouts and Scouters to use wording appropriate to their own beliefs for the word "God" in the promise and supposedly banned prayer at meetings. The organization started with 100 girls.
In June 2009, the AHG formed a partnership with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The Memorandum of Mutual Support recognizes the common values and goals of both organizations and formally established a relationship, as AHG had been working with the BSA on projects and utilized BSA camps especially with the BSA mixed-sex Venturing membership division.
In May 2013, the AHG dissolved its relationship with the BSA in reaction to the BSA's new policy on gay youth. Also that month, American Heritage Girls joined the Faith Based Boys Coalition. The Faith Based Boys joined with other groups to form an alternative Boy Scout program. A leadership meeting was held in Louisville, Kentucky on June 29, 2013 to discuss forming a new boys group. The AHG cofounder Patti Garibay was invited to the Kentucky meeting as an advisor. It was revealed in September that American Heritage Girls would be partnering with Trail Life USA, the new boys' Scouting group which was modeled on AHG.
The American Heritage Girls program is divided into several levels based primarily on age. Girls participate in troop activities and work toward earning 80 badges, learn leadership skills, social and spiritual development:
Girls can proceed through various ranks. As a Tenderheart, members can earn a PRAY award by making a pizza with crust, cheese and sauce to learn about Holy Trinity. Troops must do 3 community service projects per year. The first award girls earn after joining AHG is their joining award, which gives them the opportunity to learn about flag etiquette, AHG history, the buddy system, and uniforms.
Pathfinder's uniforms consist of a pathfinder shirt, pathfinder necklace, closed toe shoes, and navy slacks or a skirt. Tenderhearts wear white polos, closed toe shoes, a navy neckerchief, a red vest, and navy shorts or a skirt. Explorer uniforms are a white polo, closed toe shoes, a red neckerchief, a navy vest, and khaki slacks or a skirt. Pioneers wear a white polo, a navy sash, closed toe shoes, and a khaki skirt or slacks. Patriots wear the same uniform as Pioneers, except for a red polo.
The American Heritage Girl program emphasizes life skill enhancement, developing teamwork & building confidence, social development, girl leadership, character development, and spiritual development. AHG ascribes to progressive programing, where everything a girl does will be appropriate for her age and ability. As a girl moves through the program, requirements for badges and other achievements will become more challenging.
American Heritage Girls have the opportunity to earn badges from 6 frontiers:
Pathfinders earn necklace beads for attendance, memorizing verses, and participation instead of badges.
In addition to badges, girls are encouraged to earn level awards, sports pins, service stars, and patches. In the last year a girl is in each level (3rd grade, 6th grade, 8th grade, etc.), they have the opportunity to work towards a level award. Pathfinders earn the Fanny Crosby Award, Tenderhearts earn the Sacagawea Award, Explorers earn the Lewis & Clark Award, and Pioneers earn the Harriet Tubman Award. Level awards typically include earning one badge from each frontier, earning a service star every year, attending special events, and a board of review.
Sports pins include sports such as bowling, gymnastics, martial arts, skating, tennis, and volleyball. Service stars award girls for serving in their community. Tenderhearts earn blue stars for every five hours of service, Explorers earn red service stars for every ten hours of service, Pioneers earn white service stars for every 15 hours of service, and Patriots earn yellow service stars for every 20 hours of service. AHG awards patches such as mother/daughter event, clean up day, pen pal, summer fun, fundraising top seller, respect life, food drive, and father/daughter event.
As a Patriot, they are given the chance to work toward earning the Stars and Stripes Award, the highest honor achievable in the program. It requires earning a minimum of 16 badges, earning the Dolley Madison Level Award, performing a service project with a minimum of 100 hours of service that demonstrates leadership, leadership development, writing a life ambition/spiritual walk essay, earning a religious recognition, completing a mini-resume, and asking for and receiving reference letters. Girls must be between the ages of 16 and 18 before completion and complete a board of review.