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Everything posted by MomWhoCamps

  1. Not trying to stir the hornets' nest, but find it interesting that we're still posting issues having to do with girl troops in Issues and Politics and I'm musing about how this does (or doesn't) demonstrate that girls in scouting continues to be a controversial subject. I just got back from a bridging ceremony in which we received three new female AoLs into our Troop. The Scouts that received them were so proud to be representing their Troop and Scouts BSA. These girls are so happy to have the opportunity to do the same things they've been watching their brothers do from the sidelines for years.
  2. 19 of our girls spent this weekend doing the Horsemanship merit badge at a local stable. This was our very first outing, and a huge success! The girls did a great job, considering that they're all Scout rank. It's definitely a unique challenge not to have more experienced scouts to pass along scouting skills and such. They had a lot of fun and are starting to gel as a Troop and as patrols. So excited to be a part of this.
  3. So, tonight was our Pack's major back-to-school night sign up before Join Scouting Night next week. My husband is the Cubmaster. We have one AOL scout and one Tiger this year. We also have two daughters. My daughters and I just quit a girl's scouting organization due to frustrations with the program and political leanings we can't live with. The plan was to have A Cub sibs program alongside the Pack until/unless the BSA membership policy changes. Over the course of the evening, we had inquiries for girls....from all-girl families. In one, the dad was a scout during his youth. Looking at the Pack slideshow, he remarked, "that is what I want for m girls...not selling cookies." I told him I couldn't agree more. We know that another Pack in our area was actively soliciting girls at their recruiting event last week. We've heard that other Councils are holding meetings and focus groups, but only silence from our Council. Are others receiving such inquiries? What are you telling these families, or are you simply turning them away?
  4. More here... https://sites.google.com/site/ahgpsa/home
  5. AHG Ambassadors: http://ahgksmo.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/ambassador-to-boy-scout-council-abc-inaugural-class/
  6. Many Boy Scout Councils now have AHG Ambassadors that act as liaisons to the local BSA Council. Talk with them. Our girls are attending Cub Scout and Boy Scout camp this summer!!! Really, this partnership is a win/win.
  7. Geez...and some people even believe this stuff. *sigh* I obviously can't speak for the behavior of every AHG troop across the country, just like BadenP can't speak for the behavior of every BSA troop or Cub Scout Pack. Just because there have been some child molestation issues associated with BSA does not mean that BSA is a national organization that promotes this abhorrent behavior. Similarly, just because some AHG troops might be extremely conservative or using their troop as a bully pulpit or whatever does not mean that the national organization promotes this. In fact, the Statement of Faith is quite ecumenical in its approach. The funny thing is that no one is saying that BSA can't sign a similar mutual agreement with a Muslim girls' organization, or an organization for girls who have blue eyes, or bat left handed. Why not enter into a mutual support agreement with GSUSA? The limiting factor is that either no one has established such groups or the groups that are established have not expressed interest in partnering with BSA. So why is BSA partnered with AHG? The article says, "...to cooperate in establishing AHG units and BSA units as a result of the shared values and goals of both organizations."
  8. Just saw on the AHG Facebook page a post by a BSA scouter promoting new AHG courses are the BSA Circle Ten Council University of Scouting. Offerings include: VEN704 American Heritage Girls and the BSA: The Boy Scouts of America and the American Heritage Girls have signed a Memorandum of Mutual Support, and many BSA councils are now working with local AHG communities and areas to conduct joint activities, training, recruiting, and more. AHG is for girls 5-18. Overview of the AHG program and its partnership with BSA and Venturing. VEN720 AHG Girl Leadership pt1: Come learn more of how to involve your girls in troop leadership where they are not just implementing an adult planned program, but rather being an active part of planning the program themselves. VEN721 AHG Girl Leadership pt2: Come learn more of how to involve your girls in troop leadership where they are not just implementing an adult planned program, but rather being an active part of planning the program themselves. VEN722 Let's Talk AHG: Learn how to tell your AHG story in such a way as to spark interest in others as well as discuss techniques of how to spread the word of AHG in your local area. How can we best communicate our message of Faith, Service & Fun? Here's the link: http://www.c10univ.org/
  9. Sentinel947 asked, "Do we have any AHG leaders registered on the forums who could provide us with a little bit of POSITIVE information about AHG?" Yes, we do!! This is my second year as a leader of my older daughter's Tenderheart (1st-3rd grades) unit. We love AHG!!! Some background about me and my family: My husband is an Eagle Scout, and I was a member of GSUSA from Brownies through Juniors. I fell out of GSUSA in the upper grades because it became harder to find troops to hook into once I finished elementary school I was always sad that I didn't go back to scouting. Upon meeting my husband, it became clear to me that his experience in BSA was much richer than my personal GSUSA experience; I was ambivalent about my daughters joining, and really wanted to be able to sign up for Cub Scouts. Then I learned about AHG and their partnership with BSA. We are a religious Christian family (mainline Presbyterian), so AHG's Christian focus matched our values quite well. Plus, it's nice to have our family's values reaffirmed outside the home. AHG's program is very similar to BSA, as is the structure. I love that the girls will be able to keep their membership in the same troop through high school if we don't move, and that the multi-age troop structure provides opportunities for girl leadership and role modeling. Our troop is sponsored by a local United Methodist Church, so the "flavor" of our troop is very mainline protestant, although we have a large number of Catholic girls as well. Local troops in our area are chartered by a variety of churches, including United Church of Christ (pretty liberal as protestant churches go), UMC Churches, Catholic Parishes, and non-denominational evangelical churches, so the theological affiliations of the troops really spans the spectrum of Christian belief structures. The troops have different flavors depending on the CO, just like BSA. AHG has a strong emphasis on outdoor skills, and my daughter recently finished the Fishing, Fire Safety and Fire Building, and Nature and Wildlife badges. Plus, she's going to get to go to Summer Camp at a local BSA camp this summer and do the same program that they do for the Cub Scouts!!! I'm so excited that AHG can provide opportunities for my daughters that I did not have. It's a great program.
  10. http://digital.scouting.org/scoutingmagazine/novdec2012/resources/index.htm
  11. Not trying to fan the flames. I did find a couple of things with a search, however. http://www.themichigancatholic.com/2012/08/little-lamps-of-faith/ http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Girl-Scout-Troops-Banned-from-Church-137815843.html
  12. Article about a Catholic AHG troop in Michigan. Disclaimer: I'm not Catholic, and I don't agree with some of the political leanings of this troop. http://www.themichigancatholic.com/2012/08/little-lamps-of-faith/
  13. You know what gets my goat about this discussion? We have completely digressed from the topic at hand to discuss the sectarian politics of youth organizations! Personally, I'm completely against kids getting dragged into politics of any kind, those I agree with as well as those I don't. I would like to raise children who will be well-equipped to make their own decisions on their political leanings, not to simply parrot mine. My family chose AHG over GSUSA, not because of its politics, but because based on what I know of GSUSA through my own experience as a youth member of that organization and what I know of AHG through my experience as an adult member of that organization, I believe the AHG program to be superior. It's a shame that people with no experience whatsoever with AHG profess to be such experts about the organization. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming...
  14. SeattlePioneer, Sounds like a great plan!!! AHG troops are popping up at Catholic churches all around my area. I think your parish will be very pleased with the program that AHG offers.
  15. Bando, You appear to be a person who likes to research matters before making a decision one way or another. When you say the more you hear, the more uncomfortable you become, ensure that your sources of info are informed and reliable. A lot of the initial information that I received on AHG turned out to be incorrect. The only reason that I'm saying this is your characterization of AHG as "Evangelical." AHG is not an Evangelical (or even an evangelical) organization. It has no specific religious affiliation, other than ecumenical Christian. If you are opposed to BSA partnering with a specifically-Christian organization, then that's another matter, but AHG does not represent any particular form of Christianity. As with BSA, the troops are owned by the CO, so the way in which the troops are run is flavored by the sponsoring organization. In my area, most of the troops are Catholic, and probably have a more Catholic undertone. Our troop is chartered by a United Methodist Church. There is only one troop in my area that is chartered by a church that identifies as evangelical, and I'm guessing that this troop has a more evangelical feel. No different, say, than an LDS-chartered troop as opposed to a UMC troop in BSA. You, of course, are more than welcome not to join, participate, or have anything to do with AHG. Just wanted to point out that your statement, "...scouting through the narrow filter of the Christian Right" is inaccurate. AHG serves girls of all denominations. I even read a post in one of the other AHG threads in which one of the dads said that his daughter's troop has several Jews and Muslims! I think that's great, because the AHG program really is well-done, with a strong focus on the outdoors. I really do think of it as "Boy Scouting for girls." Well, as close as we're going to get these days, anyway. :-)
  16. In the thread on the potential impact of BSA going coed, SeattlePioneer was talking about the alternative approach of partnering an AHG troop and a Cub Scout Pack and/or a BSA Troop. This is exactly what AHG leadership is currently discussing at Philmont. Regardless of how anyone feels about GSUSA's politics (and I personally couldn't care less), the AHG program is more similar in content and structure to the BSA program than is GSUSA's. This was one of the reasons that BSA proposed a partnership to AHG leadership in June 2009. Now that the partnership is three years old, AHGers are taking part in Cub World and BSA camps all over the country. AHG week at Philmont (currently ongoing) is another forum for AHG and BSA leadership to discuss opportunities to partner the two organizations. Frankly, the partnership with BSA was probably the single largest factor in my family's decision to join AHG. We're huge fans!!!
  17. Interview with AHG Founder Patti Garibay: http://mhf.myhuntingandfishing.com/_American-Heritage-Girls/audio/943169/10577.html
  18. NJCubScouter, I had the same question. Not sure what "cultivated at Philmont" means. Guessing that BSA brokered the meeting or something? Ideally, the author would have used more precise language.
  19. BadenP, The beauty of America is that you are welcome to support GSUSA every day of the week. As long as girls are having the opportunity to go out and learn new things and have new experiences, I think it's great!
  20. TWOMORROWS, Thanks so much for letting us know that GSUSA is doing this, too! Awesome that so many girls are having the opportunity to try new things! :-)
  21. Apparently, the new MOU was cultivated at Philmont. http://www.ussportsmen.org/hunting/partnership-gets-young-women-outdoors/
  22. Ummm...just to be clear, I don't think I expressed an opinion one way or another about the article. I'm not Catholic, and don't really care about what the Catholic Church does or doesn't do. I was simply responding to an earlier request for information. As for the personal insults, I'm not even going down that road. I wish you all the best, BadenP!
  23. Someone asked earlier in the thread how/where this was playing out on the local level. Here's one example: http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Girl-Scout-Troops-Banned-from-Church-137815843.html
  24. As a member of AHG, it actually bothers me that every anti-GSUSA article includes some reference to AHG. The fact is that there are at least two separate, and very different, scouting organizations for girls in America now, and thank goodness that moms and daughters now have some choice! I was a Girl Scout, as were many AHG moms. The bottom line is that my Girl Scout experience was very differnt from, and perhaps not as rich as my husband's BSA experience. We were looking for a program that emphasized life skills, outdoor skills, and girl leadership. AHG provides all of that. The BSA relationship sealed the deal for us. We LOVE AHG, and we wish our fellow female scouters in GSUSA nothing but the best.
  25. 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.
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