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BD - Mutual support is good. But it seems like the AHG is evolving into the BSA's preferred, semi-official program for girls. It seems like the extent of "mutual support" the BSA is provided to AHG is beyond that of many other organizations it supports.

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"But it seems like the AHG is evolving into the BSA's preferred, semi-official program for girls."


Yeah, well, at one time there was a 'preferred, semi-official program for girls' for the BSA. It was Camp Fire Girls. But that went by the wayside several decades back.



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Many times over the past years we have heard a call from many of us to have BSA honor the "Local Option", the ability of the Chartering Organization to decide who it wants to be the leader of the units they Charter. These leaders would be chosen by the Chartering Organization's standards, not the BSA's. So, here we have the BSA saying to Chartering Organizations that AHG is an organization that may be worth looking at and that is not good? Its an option, one that is not a fit for all, but would not a local option of Leadership qualifications also not be a good fit for all?

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"Seems like" is the key expression. From what I read here, it seems like the AHG won't allow some girls to join ... that's false. It seems like the AHG is going to attempt to convert girls to certain religions or denominations, and it seems like the AHG is going to have a heavy influence on Cub packs. This is all nonsense, and has no proof. It's totally speculative.

The Boy Scouts and Heritage Girls appreciate, respect and support each other. Count me in.


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BD - Can't comment on AHG's membership policies, but I suspect that, like the BSA, there's some discrepancy between what the official guidelines are, and what the public perception is, and what actually happens in real life.


The Boy Scouts and Heritage Girls appreciate, respect and support each other.


If that were the extent of the relationship, I'd have no problem with that. I'd hope the BSA would have the same relationship with any other Scouting organization (that's not a direct competitor of the BSA). But the BSA goes beyond that by actively promoting the AHG to it's chartered partners. That's beyond appreciating, respecting and supporting. The PDF from Scouting.org uses some pretty strong language to advertise and advocate for CO's to start up AHG units, and I can understand why that might set off some alarm bells.



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"...But it seems like the AHG is evolving into the BSA's preferred, semi-official program for girls. It seems like the extent of "mutual support" the BSA is provided to AHG is beyond that of many other organizations it supports."


It will appear "semi-official" in certain communities where parents have boys in the BSA who will also have daughters in AHG. When that happens, it's only natural to have the two organizations cross paths and get to know each other. So, I'm guessing in your community the AHG may have a strong prescence. I don't know. However, I do not see "semi-official" with the BSA on a national scale by any streych.


In my metro area, the AHG is so small it has no impact with our BSA local council.

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I don't think that the BSA should align/twin/partner itself with any organization that excludes children and/or adult leaders based on their religious beliefs.


I'm not sure if this sentence was intended with irony or not, but the BSA clearly excludes leaders on the basis of their religious beliefs if they are atheist.


Still, I do not think a merger could happen without having AHG broaden their stance. The Christian only thing bothers me as well.....Poor fit for the BSA. I agree with Basement on this one - this philosophical difference would be a big sticking point for any national merger. It's not too much of a sticking point for any church that wants to offer both programs.


I would predict that if AHG wants to pursue a merger, they would agree to include other religions as the BSA has done. I don't see much about the AHG program that would really make that a problem. The big hindrance would be the strongly held beliefs of those that founded the program - but I don't know how big a deal that would be in practice.


Actually, though, at this point I'm not sure what AHG would get out of a merger. BSA clearly would love to get all the new members. AHG would get more members, I'm sure, and that would help to lower their current unit chartering fee (much higher than the BSA), but right now AHG seems like it pretty much is getting most of the benefits of partnering with BSA - they're getting to use the camps, the training, Philmont, etc.


There is no way the BSA would adopt an official Christian-only position.

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Atheism is not a Religious belief....









BTW I don't agree with BSA's ban on Gay or Lesbian Leaders.....I know some folks in the Gay/Lesbian lifestyle that are much better people than some of the Bible thumping Heterosexual folks I have met in scouting... Just sayin.....

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Atheism is not a Religious belief


Toh-may-toh, toh-mah-toh.


Atheism is not a religion (the first link), but the second link is more ambiguous. The broad definition of atheism is just the absence of a belief in any gods. In that sense, it is not a religious belief, but it is marked by the absence of a religious belief. Hence the BSA is still discriminating based on religious beliefs (you must have one) when they discriminate against atheists.


The "strong atheist" definition is of one who denies the existence of god (as opposed to just not having any belief). In this case this would clearly be a religious belief.


The exact definition of the term isn't likely to matter to the BSA, though.


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Back on page 7, I posted a list of stories about things I experienced and heard about AHG during my time working next to them. I've been contacted off-board and had a discussion with a leader in the organization, who has explained much about their programs and operations. Her messages have reminded me we're all in the game together regardless of team.


I'd like to ask the members of this board to ignore the things I said in the post, it was based on misunderstandings. These e-mails back a forth show that their program is self-sufficent, which I implied wasn't true, and that I works towards developing well rounded women. I also realize that some of what I said could be misconstrued, because on forum things I see as minor details seem much bigger. I have asked the forum staff to delete the message, because it doesn't add to the conversation, and in fact detracts from a valid discussion.


As I said in that post, I do whole heartedly agree with and defend AHG's right to exist. Anyone who choses to help kids become better adults is doing right in my book.


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Agreed. Thanks, Wulf.


Thought everyone might be interested in the below FAQ on the AHG/BSA partnership. The original PDF can be found at http://www.ahgonline.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=166193 , along with a brochure about the two programs. Thoughts?


FAQ for AHG/BSA Relationship


Who are the American Heritage Girls?

From the AHG web site: American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 in West Chester, Ohio by a group

of parents wanting a wholesome program for their daughters. These parents were disillusioned with the

increasing secular focus of existing organizations for girls. They wanted a Judeo-Christian focused

organization for their daughters and believed that other parents were looking for the same for their

daughters. This became the catalyst for the birth of the organization we have come to know as the

American Heritage Girls.

American Heritage Girls began its first year of programming in the fall of 1995 with about 10 troops and

roughly 100 members. Most of the troops met in the West Chester area and worked on badges written

by the founding parents. Organizational events were started that year which assisted the organization in

tying city-wide troops together.

American Heritage Girls is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of building women of

integrity through service to God, family, community and country. The organization offers badge

programs, service projects, girl leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences to its members. This

program of character building has successfully served thousands of girls since its inception and will

continue to do so long into the 21st century.

The BSA has a unique relationship with the American Heritage Girls (AHG). Unlike MOUs with other

organizations that we work with to serve youth, the BSA and the AHG signed a Memorandum of Mutual

Support in June 2009. American Heritage Girls were represented at the 2010 National Scout

Jamboree. They have modeled much of their program and delivery on the BSA model and do joint

recruiting in some local councils.


Are BSA Training Courses open and available to AHG volunteers?

Yes. AHG leaders use many of our e-learning courses, including Youth Protection and Weather Hazards.

For attendance at any instructor-led BSA training with a prerequisite, that requirement would have to be



What about Wood Badge?

In light of the unique relationship with the AHG, it is fitting and mutually beneficial for AHG leaders to

attend Wood Badge courses. Providing the local council training committee and Scout executive

approves, that these leaders are trained in their AHG leadership position, and that they complete the

BSAs youth protection training prior to attendance. It is not necessary for them to be registered

members of the Boy Scouts of America. However, if they are not registered BSA members and attend as

American Heritage Girls members only, they must provide an insurance certificate and sign a holdharmless


The Wood Badge symbols of completion (beads, neckerchief, and woggle) are international Scouting

symbols with varying meanings around the world, but have special Scouting significance

nevertheless. These items are not appropriate for AHG-only leader recognition, nor wear on their

uniforms as AHG is not a member of WOSM or WAGGGS. A certificate of completion would be

appropriate. If an AHG leader subsequently joins the BSA, the Wood badge symbols could be awarded.

What insurance requirements are necessary for AHG participation in BSA activities and camps?

AHG has its own liability and accident and sickness insurance. Neither AHG nor their members are

covered by BSA insurance, unless they are also registered as member of the BSA.


Are AHG Troops able to use BSA facilities?

Yes, at the discretion of the local council. They must provide an insurance certificate and sign an

indemnification and hold-harmless agreement.

What joint activities can be enjoyed by AHG/BSA members?

Individual councils can make the decision locally, provided such activities are consistent with BSAs

Youth Protection policies, the Guide to Safe Scouting, and the councils insurance liability requirements

or limitations.


Can AHG members participate in BSA product sales?



Can Scout Shops carry AHG merchandise?

National Scout Shops cannot, however local council Scout shops can with the approval of the local

council subject to the same limitations as other not-BSA items. Any local council contemplating doing so

should call BSA Supply to ensure compliance with BSA policy.


Can AHG be the chartered organization for Venture Crews?

Yes. We highly endorse this program element.


What marketing tools are available to promote the creation of BSA/AHG units?

AHG has prepared some tools, including a co-branded brochure. They can be found at:



Can AHG units and BSA units share a charter?

No. AHG and BSA units can be chartered to the same chartered organization, but AHG and BSA are

separate entities and have different polices.

Why might it be beneficial for a local BSA Council to partner with the American Heritage Girls?

The rental of underutilized camp facilities, chartering AHG associated Venture Crews, joint service

projects, shared marketing efforts such as booths at Homeschool Conferences, joint family/training

events, and a sales tool when establishing new units in Christian congregations.


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Since this is yet another "AHG only propaganda release" I would like to see an official BSA statement, that verifies these claims. AHG leaders at WB?, here comes yet another rewrite of the curriculum, and probably sitting round the campfire singing Kumbaya before you go to bed each night. Oh well there goes the neighborhood. There was sound logic when the founding fathers insisted on the seperation of Church and State. I see nothing worthwhile or beneficial for the BSA in aligning with the AHG. I do see many more troubles for the BSA if it does choose to formally align itself with the AHG and its exclusionary and elitist policies.

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