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"Bottom line for me, however, is that I'm still in strong support of AHG's strong program focused on faith, values, leadership, and integrity. It's a good partner for BSA."


And I'm still in strong opposition to AHG's program of exclusion, misleading statements and in-your-face religion. I think they're an awful partner for BSA.

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I'm honestly surprised by all the rancor about AHG and its supposed ultra-conservative religious agenda of "converting" young girls. Yes, it's a Christian organization, but, IMO, saying that AHG is an exclusionary aimed at converting young girls to Christianity is like saying that LDS BSA troops and packs are exclusionary and aimed at converting young men to LDS...it's patently ridiculous. Some AHG troops, like some BSA troops and packs, are sponsored by evangelical churches. On the other hand, some are chartered by mainline Protestant churches and Catholic parishes. Actually, in our immediate area, I can think of one troop sponsored by an evangelical church, 1 by a Methodist church, 1 by a UCC church, and 2 or 3 by Catholic parishes. For what it's worth, the Catholic interest in AHG seems to be growing in our area.


I'm wondering how many who have criticized the organization have any first-hand experience with AHG? My first grade daughter is a Tenderheart in an AHG troop chartered by a United Methodist Church. Like BSA, the CO has a significant amount of influence in the direction and "feel" of the troop. A troop sponsored by an evangelical church will likely have a different feel than one sponsored by a Catholic parish. Like BSA troops and packs, one is not exactly like another, and it's a good idea to look at several before committing to one. As far as the religious leanings of the national organization? I don't think they've ever claimed to be an evangelical organization. The AHG Statement of Faith is pretty moderate as far as I'm concerned.


AHG is a faith-based scouting organization that, in my opinion, takes scouting back to what it used to be. We chose AHG for our family for several reasons. First of all, when my husband and I discussed our scouting experiences, we found, as many families have, that his BSA experience was far richer than my GSUSA experience. The result? He stayed in and made OA and eventually Eagle, and I quit GSUSA after about six years of scouting when it became difficult to find a troop with which to connect. We also liked the fact that it was faith-based. What sold us? We saw a group of AHGers camping one weekend. Once we did our research and found out about the BSA/AHG mutual support agreement, there was no doubt in my husband's mind that we were going with AHG. To be honest, I wasn't that excited about putting my daughter in Brownies, anyway, so that suited me fine.


What have we found? Our AHG troop is about 80 girls strong. New troops are popping up all over our area as more and more people discover AHG. The agreement with BSA has helped give AHG a boost, to be sure and the alliance appears to be growing stronger each year. AHG leaders are now allowed/encouraged to attend BSA leader training, including Wood Badge. In fact, BSA's youth protection training will be mandatory for all AHG leaders starting in the fall. AHG troops are using BSA camping facilities and attending summer camp doing all the same activities that used to be reserved for just the boys. Our Explorer level girls (4th-6th grades) are going to camp at a local BSA camp this summer, and our Tenderheart girls (1st-3rd graders) are going to a day camp at another BSA camp in August. You may have also heard that AHG is going to Philmont this summer to discuss ways to enhance the BSA/AHG alliance to the advantage of both organizations. Whether you agree with the move or not, AHG is the girl's organization that BSA has decided to partner with on a national level, stating that BSA and AHG share similar values. That's a strong endorsement in my book. I'm looking forward to seeing the partnership grow over the next 15 years or so that my son and daughters will be in AHG and/or BSA.


Finally, what does a faith-based scouting organization for girls look like in practice? To be honest, it probably looks a lot like a church-chartered BSA troop or pack. We pray at the opening and closing of meetings and over meals. When we go camping, we have devotionals on Sunday mornings. I like that we have the opportunity to meet and scout with others that share our values. We are planning for our son to join the Cub Scout pack affiliated with the same CO as our AHG troop even though our elementary school has a pack that's closer. For me, there's an added benefit in reinforcing our values outside of just Sunday mornings, and it's nice for the kids to have a peer group outside of school. Others may feel differently.


Bottom line? We love AHG! For those who don't or aren't interested? No harm done. Back to your regular programming.


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AHG is hitting the "easy" button by not developing thier own trainings and programming and relying so much on their partnership with the BSA.


1. What happens if there is a significant philosophical change at BSA in the next ten years in regards to the DRP and homosexuality? (No. Not holding my breath.) What happens if BSA withdraws their support of AHG? Will AHG be able to keep going?


2. What happens if BSA decides they want to incorporate AHG officially as the "Girls' Division?" Will AHG accept BSA's DRP, which means any spiritual force, or is the Christian ministry more important than the scouting activities? (I have met an AHG mom who told me that AHG is the girls' side of BSA.)


3. How does it help or hinder BSA if they become more and more identified with an exclusively Christian group?


4. Do we want sectarian Scouting in America? In Europe many countries have Protestant, Catholic, and non-denominational Scouting in balance with their religious distribution. Usually these groups have confederated so that many of them can be WOSM/WAGGGS members and no one has to pick one creed over another. In the States we have avoided sectarian Scouting. Here in Germany, the non-denominational Scouting group is the largest by far, however there are over 150 different scouting organizations belonging to many different international organizations. Only the largest four belong to the Ring and are WOSM/WAGGGS members.





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Basementdweller, your comment is sickening. Please keep your hateful language to yourself.


AHGnBSAMom, Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts. My wife and I have the same situation and are looking into proposing it to our Catholic Parish.


For future posts - please provide actual, factual experiences rather than the hateful rhetoric being spewed. You do nothing for your position when you do not provide an example or thoughtful comment.

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You know Basement, I am the 1st person to decry the fact that it is actually BSA that is becoming more WASPy by the year, but I am getting quite offended by your continuous derogatory comments of people that live in the burbs.


You call us rich, you call us lazy, you call us exclusionary. I could most certainly make the argument that BSA is just as exclusionary as AHG. We don't allow homosexuals, we don't allow atheists, and even though we talk the big talk about scouting being for every boy, the reality is that affording scouting is a difficult proposition. Most councils and districts are very tight with the purse strings when it comes to helping lower income families.


There is NOTHING wrong with an organization that is geared towards Christians. If that bothers you, DO NOT JOIN IT. I don't see the need to insult people to support your position.



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You said: In the Gospels Jesus many times had to explain and re-explain his parables to his disciples who seemed to have trouble understanding their true meaning, hence the scripture quote, "they have eyes yet they do not see and ears yet they do not hear." I clearly answered your question in my last post in a way I thought you would be able to relate to the best, and was not at all dismissive unlike your own question. However I guess that you just did not see the answer. It is clearly there. However this discussion does not belong in this thread and should end here.


If you had simply said yes or no - or even if you had completely ignored me I would have been happy to just let it go. But seriously, youre quite a piece of work. You piously tell me that neither of us should judge which I clearly did not do and then you go on to infer that my relationship with God is not right (they have eyes yet they do not see and ears yet).


AND worse you attempt to make this judgment of me to be the last word, by conveniently noting that this discussion does belong in this thread and should end here. Well, okay thenthis is my last post on the subject. To be clear, I believe Jesus is God and is the only path to God the Father. I have no clue if you believe likewise. You avoided that question to the best of your ability. And let me end by saying Jesus had little patience for hypocrites. That assertion probably seems random to you but I think most folks, who have ears to hear, know what I mean.


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White Anglo Saxon Protestants what is so sickening about that?????



My scouting reality and youth I serve don't fit that mold........Sorry


Hit a nerve?


Far as the BSA not allowing homosexuals really????? Without a witch hunt how do you know??????


Yes, mom I have a bit of a adversarial relationship with the folks a crossed the beltway..... Been told more then once to stay on my side.....But the money I need to run our program is on their side.


for the record I never called suburbanites lazy.(This message has been edited by Basementdweller)

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I did not infer anything about your relationship with God in my post. The truth is anyones relationship to God is solely between themselves and God, and is nobody elses business. However that relationship should never be used as a "look at me I know I am right but I don't know about you" attitude against others beliefs. That is what I don't like about AHG they promote their own idea of what Christianity is supposed to be. Jesus in his ministry was all inclusive he healed any who came to him pagan, Jew, Samaritan. He never created a doctrine or a specific church or hierarchy that was not his doing but mans who took his message and created their seperate institutions of what they thought Jesus taught.


If you really understood the message of Jesus you would know that a true Christian can NOT be exclusive, elitist, predjudice, or superior to anyone else. To be a true Christian is not easy or to just believe a cliche simplistic statement, it involves so much more. AHG does not meet these standards and neither do many other so called Christian religions.


SP- Just because the Seattle Archdiocese supports AHG does not mean they or AHG are right. After all the Catholic Church specifically states that "The ONLY path to eternal salvation is through the Catholic Church", we all know that statement is false yet millions of Catholics believe it is true. Jesus was not a Roman Catholic, and Catholics are not the only ones in heaven SP.(This message has been edited by BadenP)

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I've been a member here since 2002 and one of the recurring themes here has been complaining about the monopoly that BSA has on scouting in the US. The argument has always been that in other nations, there are many flavors of scouting and how it should be that way in the US. Now we have an organization that does exactly what people have desired and people complain about them being exclusionary. Folks, you can't have it both ways.


Here is but one example of multiple scouting organizations within a nation. Some are interreligious, catholic, protestant or adventist. Some are single gender and others are coed.




If you don't like McDonalds, you can go to Burger King or Wendys. If you don't like AHG, no one is making you participate and it should be no skin off your back that the people in their demographic have a place to go. AHG opens up the marketplace and you don't have to buy what they are selling.

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Speaking only for myself, I'm not at all upset to see AHG launching what will hopefully be a successful Scouting program. My concern is the extent of the relationship between AHG and the BSA.


Regardless of anyone's opinion of the AHG's mission and aims, of whether or not Jesus Christ is your personal savior, or anything else - the objective fact is that the AHG's mission and values aren't quite consistent with the BSA's mission and values. And I think some folks are legitimately concerned with the extent of the partnership between the BSA and AHG, given their differing mission and membership policy.


A Christian-focused Scouting program? No problem. Developing a close relationship between that program and the BSA? That has me a bit concerned.

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The AHG and the BSA have a memorandum of Mutual Support. The BSA has the same memorandum status with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, AMVETS, the Islamic Society of North America, Knights of Columbus, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Salvation Army, and Trout Unlimited. These organizations all have specific and even excusionary joining requirements and missions. Are we whining about them too? Are we blasting the BSA for aligning with groups that cater to Blacks, Catholics, Conservative Lutherans, Veterans, and Muslims? Are they discriminating against Baptists, Girl Scouts or salmon?

It's a letter of mutual support! Both groups like what the other is doing. What are we afraid of?!


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