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MomWhoCamps

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  1. MomWhoCamps

    Adopting a ONE UNIT concept

    As Oak Tree said, AHG Troops are built this way. There is one troop that the girls can stay in from age 5 to age 18. Internally, the troop is divided into units by age: Pathfinders (Kindergarten), Tenderhearts (Grades 1-3), Explorers (Grades 4-6), Pioneers (Grades 7-8), and Patriots (Grades 9-12). The units are further broken down into Squads, which are roughly the equivalent of Cub Scout Dens or Boy Scout Patrols. This arrangement works really well for the girls, and has a good mix of Troop-wide and unit-specific activities. Advancement requirements for the older girls also require them to plan, arrange, and implement programing for the younger girls, which enhances opportunities for the older girls to show leadership, and the younger girls eat up the attention! It also gives the younger girls an opportunity to see the cool things that lie ahead, should they stay in the program. All told, I think it's a good system, and with two daughters who are a few years apart in age, it's nice to have one activity that they can do together.
  2. MomWhoCamps

    Squad Names and Flags

    Hi all! I am a leader for my daughter's American Heritage Girl Tenderheart (1st-3rd grades) unit. With a boom in interest in AHG in our area, the unit grew to 30 girls this program year, so we've broken the girls up into squads (the AHG lingo for patrols, or maybe dens given the age range.) In any event, we'd like to have the girls come up with squad names and make squad flags for them. I was wondering how the BSA folks do this. Do the boys pick their own names and make their own flags? Do the names change each year, or do the patrol names get handed down within the troop? Thanks!
  3. MomWhoCamps

    Squad Names and Flags

    shortridge, Yes! Definitely. We will talk to the girls about it. I'm sure they'll have a dozen creative and interesting ideas that I can't fathom. :-)
  4. MomWhoCamps

    Squad Names and Flags

    qwasze, My thoughts exactly. Asking for a policy is inviting someone to invent one. No thank you. As far as making flags, I'm thinking that, at the Tenderheart level, it might be sufficient just to let the girls go at it with some home craft materials. In my view, the more that the girls can do for themselves, the better, and the more pride that they'll have in the finished product.
  5. MomWhoCamps

    Squad Names and Flags

    Second Class, Tampa, and Cito: Thanks for your feedback!!! Many of the AHG squad designators that I've seen in the past revolve around the Red, White, and Blue theme, so you could have, for example, The Blue Belles, The Red Riding Hoods, and the White Diamonds, or something like that. I can see the argument for keeping them consistent, but also think that the girls should have some say.
  6. MomWhoCamps

    Squad Names and Flags

    Wow. Not copying...many AHG troops are doing this already, just not in our area. The precise reason that I'm asking is because if you ask 10 different people, I'll get 10 different answers, which, in my mind is the benefit of a discussion forum. In fact, logic would dictate that the very fact that you're saying that everyone does it differently would indicate that it would be very difficult to "copy" BSA practices in this area.
  7. MomWhoCamps

    Squad Names and Flags

    BDT00, I doubt most Boy Scout troops rock pink rain ponchos while camping, like my Tenderhearts, but appreciate your concern!!! :-) ,
  8. MomWhoCamps

    AHG: A Thread for Discussing the Program

    I agree. I could start to answer some of these, but am much more interested in the answers that national hopefully will provide. Thanks for asking them!
  9. MomWhoCamps

    Is the AHG truly a Scouting program??

    BadenP, Totally get this. If the troops in your area were being run poorly, and likely not in concert with the intention of the national organization, then that's unfortunate. There are bad seeds in every organization, and, unfortunately, they reflect on the organization as a whole. Like I have maintained from the beginning, since AHG troops are sponsored by charter organizations, the "feel" of the troop can vary significantly, as can the theology. I'm not expecting you to go out and find another troop to try out, but I hope you can understand that one bad experience doesn't necessarily represent the organization as a whole. I'm sure there are "bad" troops and/or packs out there (in fact, we know here have been), but that doesn't keep BSA from being a great organization for young men.
  10. MomWhoCamps

    Is the AHG truly a Scouting program??

    While I don't agree that AHG is exclusive with regard to its Girl membership requirement, nor do I agree with the assessment that AHG's brand of Christianity looks down on non-Christians, I can definitely understand how someone does make that assessment would be uncomfortable with that. What I find fascinating about the conversation thus far on the issue of AHG and "exclusion" based on religion is the similarity between the arguments being used on both sides of the issue on this thread and the arguments being tossed around about BSA's "exclusionary" membership policies on this thread in I&P: http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=333103. In fact, there's one poster on the other thread that goes as far as to say, "I don't know why anyone would be surprised...this is what happens when you have a nonsectarian service organization attempt to include a nod to Abrahamic religion. Eventually, one or the other simply has to go...they can't coexist. Eventually the BSA is going to do the same thing. It's either going to have to dump "public God" (i.e., the religion awards, the bar on atheists, the bar on homosexuals, drop vocal prayers for moments of silence) or dump all pretense at being nonsectarian and choose where to draw it's line in the sand...at Abrahamic Monotheism or Christianity. Either way, ther will be some unhappy people in Scouting." Obviously, I have no special insight, but it does make me wonder, as I've said in another thread, whether the partnership with AHG does, in fact, say a lot about where BSA sees its future. We can all sit here and debate, debate, debate what BSA's intentions are, but actions speak a whole lot louder than words.
  11. MomWhoCamps

    AHG: A Thread for Discussing the Program

    There have been some great questions posed here. Sorry I've been away from the computer all day and haven't really had a chance to address them. I'll try to provide answers as well as I can. Are the skill-in-subject awards specifically called "Merit Badges", or what terminology is used? You got me here. I just checked my Handbook, and they are referred to simply as "badges." I think informally we sometimes refer to them as "merit badges" because, as many have said along the way, a lot of AHG folks have scouting experience from both BSA and/or GSUSA. Officially, though, AHGers earn "badges." Are the ranks you referred to age-based, or are they earned ranks that all Girls earn? The simple answer here is "both." The groupings, Pathfinders, Tenderhearts, Explorers, Pioneers, and Patriots are age-based. So, there's no need to "earn" advancement to the next level. Girls simply bridge up, based on age and grade. However, girls also have the opportunity to earn level awards at each step. Those level awards are the only insignia that follows the girl from one level to the next, e.g. a Tenderheart girl's goal should be to earn her Sacagawea Award, which will then be worn on her Explorer uniform when she bridges up. Not all girls will earn their level awards at every level, but in order to earn the Stars and Stripes award, the Patriot level award, the Dolley Madison Award, must be completed first. And what do you call them, "Girls", "Scouts", or some other term? Mostly, we refer to the girls by their level unit, Pathfinders, Tenderhearts, Explorers, Pioneers, and Patriots (or Pi/Pas, as we affectionately refer to the older girls). Officially, they're referred to as Girls, thus, the name Girl Handbook for the AHG manual. I like the incorporation of the different areas of the Merit badges for advancement. Are their additional requirements on top of doing one MB from each frontier? Yes. The requirements for level awards get progressively more difficult at each level (as they should.) For example, as a Tenderheart, in addition to the badge requirement (one badge from each frontier), girls have to perform 5 hours of community service for each year as a Tenderheart, attend one special event for each year as a Tenderheart, make a poster or presentation depicting what the girl enjoys most about AHG and have it displayed for at least 2 weeks in a public place, attend one Explorer-level meeting, and participate in a Board of Review. On the other end of the spectrum, Patriots have to earn one badge from each frontier, perform 20 hours of community service for each year as a patriot (which cannot then be used toward the Stars & Stripes requirement), earn the religious recognition for your particular church or denomination (e.g. PRAY award or the like), plan, organize, promote and implement an activity, either multi-troop or community outreach event requiring at least 15 hours of participation, participate in an AHG recruitment effort, sharing how you've benefited from AHG, and participate in a Board of Review. The Explorer and Pioneer requirements are similar. What are the badge requirements for each level? Badge requirements get more complex at each level. For example, both in complexity and number. So, a Tenderheart badge may have 3 mandatory plus one optional requirement that are relatively simple, while the same Pi/Pa badge will have 7 mandatory requirements plus 3 optional requirements, all of which are significantly more complex. For example, for the camping badge, Explorers have to "attend at least one campout where you pitch your tent and sleep in it for at least two nights." For the same badge, Pi/Pas have to "Design and pitch a shelter or lean-to using only a tarp and rope. You may fashion your own stakes from wood found at the site. In addition, design your own bedding using natural items, and a ground cloth." There are obviously a ton of other requirements. This just gives you an idea of the difference in level. What resources does AHG provide to girls to help them learn about the topics? AHG provides "badge helps" for the leaders via its website and encourages the girls to do a lot of their own research as part of the badge requirements. This part of the program is not as well fleshed out as the similar BSA resources. Is the learning model unit-based (leader signs off on everything) or subject-matter based (the BSA MBC model)? Leaders and/or parents can sign off on badge requirements, but all badges are subject to a leader-held "badge interview" in which the girls have to present their findings, projects, etc. to their unit leader in order to have the badge signed off. What are the requirements for the Level Awards? See above. What summer camp programs does AHG operate independently of other youth organizations? There are several. An email just came out earlier this week, or maybe late last week, about the AHG-specific camps that were being offered for this summer. I want to say that there were around 10, most in the mid-west. I don't know much more than this because none were near us. This is a building area for AHG. What outdoor training does AHG offer to its leaders? Not sure on this one, as I'm still in my first program year with AHG, but a good question. AHG leaders are now able to enroll in any BSA training that they wish, which will undoubtedly add significantly to the current offerings. Why is the Leader Portal online restricted to registered adults only? Not a clue. Took me ages to get a log on for that portion of the website. Why are only registered members permitted to purchase the Girl Handbook? Again, no clue. Is that the case? I just tried to buy one online, and it looks like it would let me buy one without registering. Not sure on this.
  12. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    Seattle, Sorry I missed your question earlier. We don't have many tag alongs. Some of the leaders have younger children, and the troop provides a playgroup/nursery setting for them during meetings, but few if any families bring additional program-aged children to meetings.
  13. MomWhoCamps

    Is the AHG truly a Scouting program??

    BadenP, Not sure where you got the quote from me, since I can't find it. Not saying that I didn't write it somewhere at some point, but I am saying I can't find it. What I can find is this: "Now, I'm going to start a new thread on AHG's Program in Open Discussion, for anyone who's interested." ...and this: "I've been having some issues with starting a new thread, but really think it's worthwhile to talk about the scouting program offered by AHG, so here you go: This is a new thread for discussing AHG and its merits as a scouting program." I'm still waiting for answers on the other thread to questions regarding AHG theology. I imagine I'm going to be waiting for a long time. :-) Since you have started the new thread for me, I would love to discuss AHG's merits as a scouting program. I'm going to copy my post in other thread to this one, as it appears to me that many may be reading about AHG for the first time, and, as far as I can tell, I'm the only one on the board with first hand experience with the program. Hopefully, the post is informative: As I said in the other thread, my daughter and I stumbled upon AHG when we were on a local camping trip with a few families from our church. A large group of AHGers were camping not far from us, and appeared to be having a great time. I had heard that the program emphasis of GSUSA had swung away from classic scouting activities such as camping, canoeing, hiking, and the like, toward career exploration and other more modern activities. Since my daughter was purely interested in the outdoor aspects of scouting, I decided to look at AHG. The first thing I noticed about AHG was the troop structure. AHG troops are comprised of girls 5-18 years old, so there are a lot of opportunities for older girls to mentor and lead younger ones, as well as for younger ones to have older girl role models. In fact, one of the first troop activities that we did was a merit badge sleep over that was hosted by the troop's Patriot (9-12 grades) girls for the Tenderheart girls (1-3 grades). The older girls put together the entire event, and kept the little ones engaged the whole night. Everyone had a blast and the little girls earned a merit badge (Freedom's Heroes -- focused on learning about the U.S. military) while the older girls checked off some organizing/leading events requirements for their advancement. Our troop camps a few times a year, and the frequency depends on age group. The older girls camp more often and in tents, while the youngers camp a couple of times a year, and stay in cabins nearby. The ones in the middle do a little of both. I've also found that the parents, by and large, are very involved in the program. As a leader of my daughter's Tenderheart unit, I never have any shortage of assistance from parent volunteers. I think that this may be because, as a smaller organization, AHG is a little harder to find, so the parents are generally there as the result of a lot of research time spent looking for the "right" program for their daughter. It's just a theory, but I've found that the parents are very invested in the program. Thus far, my daughter has completed the Freedom's Heroes, Cake Decorating, Our Flag, Skiing & Snowboarding, Social Skills & Etiquette, and Needle Arts badges, and is working on the Textile Arts, Nature & Wildlife, and Young Meteorologist badges. She's having a blast! Peregrinator, Great post. Agreed that AHG isn't for everyone. I think there are few organizations that are for everyone. The ironic part about the AHG discussion thus far is that it hasn't focused on the actual program aspect of the program, but rather the politics of the relationship with BSA, which I'm all for, but can understand why some people may not be. I'm open to answering any questions about the program, and I'd be very interested in learning your opinions on the necessary components of a "true" scouting organization.
  14. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    Basmentdweller, YMMV. It's important to assess all aspects of a program in determining whether or not it's a good fit for you. Clearly, you've done your homework and passed along your thoughts to other members of your congregation. Best of luck with your BPSA group! Seattle, Our troop is chartered by a United Methodist church. For some reason, the Cub Scout pack that is chartered by the same church meets at a different location, a local elementary school, while the Boy Scout and AHG troops meet at the church. This location difference might make deter some joint activities. At this point, I'm happy with how things are, but this may change when my son gets involved in scouting. Then again, it may not. I'm a believer in girls and boys having their own space to find themselves, and probably wouldn't be a proponent (but also not an opponent) of co-ed scouting. I think the great thing about a partnership of a girls' organization with BSA is that it affords both organizations the best of both worlds. Like I've said before, it's a win/win. As far as the troop structure is concerned, I was very skeptical at the outset, but it works!!! The older girls are required to do a certain number of events (planning, organizing, shopping, and leading) for the younger girls for their advancement requirements, and the little girls just love it when the bigger girls pay attention to them. A typical meeting begins with an all-troop flag ceremony. Then, the girls break out into units by age: Pathfinders, Tenderhearts, Explorers, Pioneers, and Patriots. If the units are large enough, the units can be broken out into squads. Badge work and other programming is done by unit for obvious reasons. Then, the troop reconvenes at the end of the meeting for the closing flag ceremony. All the girls are encouraged to participate in the flag ceremonies, which are organized by the older girls. It really works out quite well.
  15. MomWhoCamps

    New to the Forum

    Hi everyone! I'm a mom to three. My older daughter is in the first grade and is a Tenderheart in the American Heritage Girls. My other two, a five year-old boy and a four year-old girl, can't wait to join scouting as soon as they're old enough. I'm a leader for my daughter's Tenderheart unit, and I'm married to an Eagle Scout and Brotherhood member of OA. We're very excited to be joining the scouting community!
  16. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    I've been having some issues with starting a new thread, but really think it's worthwhile to talk about the scouting program offered by AHG, so here you go: This is a new thread for discussing AHG and its merits as a scouting program. As I said in the other thread, my daughter and I stumbled upon AHG when we were on a local camping trip with a few families from our church. A large group of AHGers were camping not far from us, and appeared to be having a great time. I had heard that the program emphasis of GSUSA had swung away from classic scouting activities such as camping, canoeing, hiking, and the like, toward career exploration and other more modern activities. Since my daughter was purely interested in the outdoor aspects of scouting, I decided to look at AHG. The first thing I noticed about AHG was the troop structure. AHG troops are comprised of girls 5-18 years old, so there are a lot of opportunities for older girls to mentor and lead younger ones, as well as for younger ones to have older girl role models. In fact, one of the first troop activities that we did was a merit badge sleep over that was hosted by the troop's Patriot (9-12 grades) girls for the Tenderheart girls (1-3 grades). The older girls put together the entire event, and kept the little ones engaged the whole night. Everyone had a blast and the little girls earned a merit badge (Freedom's Heroes -- focused on learning about the U.S. military) while the older girls checked off some organizing/leading events requirements for their advancement. Our troop camps a few times a year, and the frequency depends on age group. The older girls camp more often and in tents, while the youngers camp a couple of times a year, and stay in cabins nearby. The ones in the middle do a little of both. I've also found that the parents, by and large, are very involved in the program. As a leader of my daughter's Tenderheart unit, I never have any shortage of assistance from parent volunteers. I think that this may be because, as a smaller organization, AHG is a little harder to find, so the parents are generally there as the result of a lot of research time spent looking for the "right" program for their daughter. It's just a theory, but I've found that the parents are very invested in the program. Thus far, my daughter has completed the Freedom's Heroes, Cake Decorating, Our Flag, Skiing & Snowboarding, Social Skills & Etiquette, and Needle Arts badges, and is working on the Textile Arts, Nature & Wildlife, and Young Meteorologist badges. She's having a blast!
  17. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    Seattle, I'm one of six leaders for my 1st grade daughter's Tenderheart unit, comprising 30 girls. The unit is nominally broken into three squads of 10, with two leaders for each squad. As far as BSA goes, my screen name is hedging my bets. :-) My son is starting kindergarten in the fall, so he's not in scouts yet, but is literally counting the days until he can join Cub Scouts. I've heard that there is a kindergarten Cubs program being piloted in some councils, and I sure wish it was being added nationally for the fall! As far as some of the things I've heard being done are joint family camping trips, joint work on scouting for food, and joint pinewood derbies. Our troop participated in Scout Sunday with the Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop sponsored by the same CO, but we haven't done any other joint activities with them.
  18. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    That's ok, OldGreyEagle, BadenP never answered any of my direct questions, either: about the Statement of Faith, about the inconsistencies in his arguments, or about the Creed. Since he made a final allegation of inclusivity, I will again pull from the AHG website, Who can be an American Heritage Girl? Any girl, age 5 and in Kindergarten through age 18 can be an American Heritage Girl. Girls of all different backgrounds are welcome in AHG. Who can be an AHG Volunteer? An AHG volunteer must be at least 21 years of age and a citizen or legal resident of the United States. This candidate must have the willingness and desire to work with girls, parents and Troop Board. This candidate must subscribe to and affirm the Oath, Creed, Mission Statement, Statement of Faith and all other rules of AHG, Inc. This person needs good communication and human relations skills. This candidate must be a registered AHG member. This candidate must complete the Volunteer Application and adhere to reference and background checks along with the final approval of the Charter Organization. Now, I'm going to start a new thread on AHG's Program in Open Discussion, for anyone who's interested.
  19. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    So, now I'm really confused. In the early pages of this discussion, the anti-AHG (for lack of a better term) crowd was arguing that the AHG MMS was not unique, and simply one of hundreds that BSA has. They said that AHG was being deceptive in claiming a special partnership with BSA that they did not, in fact, have any claim to. Now, I'm understanding that the main objection appears to be with the closeness and unique partnership that BSA has entered into with AHG and the fact that the MMS might lend some credibility in the scouting world. Which one is it? Do they have a unique relationship, or not? If they don't, then what's the problem? If they do, then lay off the argument that AHG is distributing misleading claims about their relationship with BSA. It makes me sad that people are seeing this as a zero-sum game. I still say that BSA has every right to partner with as many varied girls' organizations as they please. Their partnership with AHG does not preclude another partnership with GSUSA or another like organization, at least not that I'm aware. As for AHG being religiously intolerant, I'll turn you to their website and the AHG Creed that I've cited earlier. Under "Reverent" you'll find a specific reference to respecting the beliefs of others as being a critical part of the "an American Heritage Girl is reverent" part of the Creed.
  20. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    "Riddle me this: Legal permanent residents can serve in the military and die for our country, but they're not American enough to be treasurer of their daughter's AHG unit. How much sense does that make?" Probably about as much as 18 year-olds having to register for selective service but not being able to drink alcohol. Really...some things are red herrings and have been for years. As for being anti-immigrant, the last time I checked, a lot of U.S. citizens are immigrants to this country. I think that you can say that you don't like the citizenship requirement, nor do you approve of it, but I really think that it's factually inaccurate to say that a citizenship requirement makes any organization anti-immigrant. I guess our government is anti-immigrant because we require citizenship to vote, right? How about the part of the Constitution that says that you must be born in this country to be the President of the United States? You want anti-immigrant, now THAT'S anti-immigrant. If AHG were requiring U.S. birth, I think you might have an argument, but that's not the case here.
  21. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    "If a group goes against your family's religious values, you'd still be OK with her joining?" This one seems a double-edged sword to me. Actually, this is the reason that AHG was invented, right? People weren't comfortable with the way in which GSUSA was headed, so they decided to make something different? As for me, my parents allowed me to attend Young Women's camp with an LDS friend for three summers in high school and weren't afraid that I would come home asking to convert, so yes, it does happen. I'm very curious in BadenP's continued statements about the theology of AHG, claiming to cite rhetoric on their website that I can't find. I've already posted their Statement of Faith, asking what about it he objects to, but now that he's pointing to their mission statement, as well, I'll post that, too. Feel free to take pot shots: AHG Mission Statement "Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. Here's the AHG Creed for good measure: "As an American Heritage Girl, I promise to be: Compassionate (Understanding of others in fellowship, empathy, kindness, and caring. Respectful of others' opinions and emotions.) Helpful (Willingly serving others.) Honest (Always telling the truth and keeping my promises. Loyal (Be true to God, family, friends, community and country.) Perseverant (Continuing to strive toward a goal despite obstacles.) Pure (Keeping my mind and body pure.) Resourceful (Wisely using my time, materials and talents.) Respectful (Honoring my country, being obedient to those in authority and courteous to all.) Responsible (Being accountable for my own actions and reliable in all situations.) and Reverent (Being faithful to God and honoring God, and respectful of the beliefs of others.)" The bottom line on this is that in 1995 a group of women set out to establish an organization that would provide their daughters with a Christian-based traditional scouting experience. AHG is that organization. BSA and AHG have decided to partner for the good of both organizations, and yes, I'm sure that at least a part of BSA's motivation is money. That's great! It's a win/win. They shouldn't partner at all if both sides aren't getting something out of it. If you don't like AHG? Don't join. If you want your daughter to have a non-Christian BSA-like scouting program? Create one, like the AHG founders did. If you don't like the BSA/AHG partnership? Write national and tell them. I don't understand what is threatening about this partnership. BSA can partner with as many girls' organizations as they please. As you all have noted, they are/should be the senior player in the partnership, so one would assume they could call the shots. IMO people are all in a tizzy about the arrangement, not so much because they dislike AHG and what it stands for, but because they're concerned that this partnership says more about BSA's core values than they'd care to admit.
  22. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    BadenP, Thanks for your explanation. I am interested in learning which doctrines allegedly supported by AHG are not Christian, in your opinion. I'm including the AHG Statement of Faith below for your reference: "We believe that there is One Triune God Father, Jesus Christ His one and only Son, and the Holy Spirit Creator of the universe and eternally existent. We believe the Holy Scriptures (Old/New Testament) to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God. We believe each person is created in His image for the purpose of communing with and worshipping God. We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit who enables us to live a Godly life. We believe that each individual is called to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength; and to love their neighbors as themselves. We believe that each individual is called to live a life of purity, service, stewardship and integrity." Also, I've never heard of an isolationist group that evangelizes, but it would make for some interesting internal organizational dynamics, for sure.
  23. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    Seattle, I think it's great that you're looking into AHG for your CO. If our troop is any indication (and I hope it is), you'll find that AHG is offers a traditional scouting experience, including all the great outdoor stuff, coupled with Christian values and a strong emphasis on family and girl leadership. I hope you find it to be everything you're looking for. One more link that I wanted to pass on... I think it says a lot about the vision/intent of the organization, i.e. what AHG is trying to do for girls. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GSNyhkUdYs
  24. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    For what it's worth, and fully knowing that I'm about to be led down the garden path, I understand where BadenP is coming from. Christianity should not be exclusionary. I mean, Jesus spent a good deal of time with prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, and other societal "undesirables." This is one of the things that drove the religious leaders of his time to distraction. So, Jesus certainly wasn't a model of exclusion on any level. The interesting part of BadenP's argument, however, is that he claims that AHG's primary purpose is to evangelize or proselytise Christianity to young girls, but then accuses the organization of being exclusionary. It would make sense that girls who are already Christian in faith cannot be evangelized or proselytized, so one would assume that the intention is to evangelize or proselytize to non-Christian girls. If this is the case, then it wouldn't make much sense for the organization to be exclusionary in nature...no one to whom to proselytize. So I'm wondering which one it is. For the record, I don't believe AHG to be exclusionary or proselytizing. AHG's membership guidelines are pretty clear about the fact that any girl can join who is comfortable saying the Oath, "I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country, and serve in my community." As for adult leaders, it makes sense that any youth organization would endeavor to model its values through its adult leaders. For AHG, these values are Christian (it's a Christian organization). Thus, it would make sense for leaders to be Christian. Plus, in the event that it's not an exclusionary organization and the true intent is conversion and proselytizing of young girls, it would be hard for non-Christian leaders to do this, wouldn't it? It's enough to make you go hmmmmmm....
  25. MomWhoCamps

    American Heritage Girls

    "I do not have a problem with the BSA and AHG having a MMS as the BSA has MMS's with other organizations; however, what I object to is the extreme lengths the BSA has gone to assist the AHG (such as the use of our YPT; a week long conference at Philmont; allowing Wood Badge attendance, etc.) when many of our highly dedicated Scouting families who are non-Christian will see no benefit. I bet there are many non-Christian Scouters who want a similar program for the daughters to join so that they get a great Scouting experience just like the sons. The AHG says that all are welcome, but does anyone know of any AHG troops that have a predominantly Jewish membership or Buddist or Islamic? Unfortunately, while this ready made girls' program might be a good fit for many in the BSA, the AHG is not a great fit for all in the BSA. If the BSA won't allow CO's the option to have co-ed troops, teams, and packs, then I just wish the BSA had been a bit braver and established it own girls' program to parallel the boys' program. That way each program would have had the same ideals making it a better option for all BSA members and not just the Christian members." The above is probably one of the most cogent arguments that I've seen on this thread from the more anti-AHG crowd (or anti-AHG/BSA partnership crowd). Thanks to ChazzLee for that. I have had these thoughts myself. As a mom who would only half-heartedly have sent her daughters off to GSUSA if there weren't a good alternative, I have thought many times about how we are lucky that AHG offers a wonderful option that squares with our values, both social and religious. I do wish that other groups had similar options, and if BSA had it's own girls' program, you can bet that I would have signed my daughters up immediately.
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