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American Heritage Girls

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"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.)


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.



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Interesting point.


BSA should partner with organizations whose values reflect its values. AHG's do not. It's that simple.




I'm not sure I get your point re: LDS. The church has adopted Boy Scouts as its young men's program, and agrees to abide by BSA's values, principles, practices and rules as part of that. I don't see any comparison to AHG there.


Yes, churches and other organizations can charter BSA units and restrict membership to only members of their faith or church. That's acceptable. And if that were all AHG was - an offshoot of conservative churches - that'd be cool.


But its partnership with BSA is what gets me tied up in knots. AHG is attempting to use its MMS as some sort of brand of legitimacy in the Scouting community, while going against the very values of inclusion and religious tolerance that Scouting is based upon. There is no room for non-Christians in the organization.


But in the BSA, while churches can charter and choose, so can the local synagogue, temple or mosque. Anyone can start a troop, pack, crew or ship, but we're all Scouts. In AHG, if you're not Christian, don't bother darkening their door.


Would AHG agree with these words, or would those West Chester moms have a fit?


"So far as having an Arab and Hindu at our 'Scouts Own' at Gilwell, we could easily have driven them away by keeping the service to a strictly Christian line. We preferred to take the wider view of recognizing our brother Scouts as being also sons of the same Father with ourselves. They were broad minded enough to listen to our Scriptures; it was not very much for us in return to listen to a chapter from the Koran. You probably know the Koran yourself and will agree that it contains very fine ideas and inspiring words, and I am positive we did ourselves no spiritual harm but good from what we heard that day."


Yeah, Baden-Powell said that.

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You keep beating this anti-immigrant dead horse. Here's what I found out ... Many pages ago, someone (perhaps you) accused AHG of plagiarizing BSA forms. The form you pointed me to originated by copying a BSA form (which has now been updated, just as AHG is doing). That form did not include legal residents, but now does. The Volunteer Application form for AHG was changed five years ago.

Fact: AHG, although they could, does not disallow membership to legal residents.

You asked if I would allow my daughter to join a wiccan group. Absolutely not. Why should I? I think we're on the same page there. Is the BSA aligned with wiccans? No ... don't share much in the way of values, as far as I know. Don't particularly care.

Tell you what you could do, just for fun: find yourself a non-citizen legal resident, and try to join the AHG. Do you honestly think they'd be denied? I can tell you, absolutely, they would not (at least not for that reason).



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Apologies in advance for the length.




Read the forms, and you will get it. I hope.


The adult volunteer form that AHG stole from BSA is not what I'm referencing. I'm referring to several forms for specific positions in units. Two of them STILL ON THE AHG WEBSITE include the requirement that volunteers for those positions be citizens of the United States - legal residents not allowed.


Here are the direct links ... better click 'em fast before AHG edits them out of existence.


Unit Leader and Assistant Leader: http://www.ahgonline.org/uploads/UnitLdrMinAgreemt09(1).pdf


Troop Treasurer: http://www.ahgonline.org/uploads/TroopTreasMinAgreemnt2_10.pdf


Those forms are dated 2009 and 2010, respectively. When viewed in concert with the blanket citizens-only policy listed on the AHG FAQ as of last week, it is clear that this is not some policy that vanished five years back. AHG got caught and then tried to scrub away the evidence, plain and simple.


To counter the inevitable free-association arguments: Sure, they have the right to restrict membership to whomever they want. No one is disputing that; that was the whole point of BSA's victory in Dale. And if you don't believe that banning legal residents from volunteering is anti-immgrant, fine. Just answer these questions honestly:


--> Why should leaders of an American youth-serving organization be required to be citizens?


--> What are possible valid reasons to ban legal residents from leadership positions? What makes legal residents inferior?


--> How is banning legal residents from helping to lead their child's unit in keeping with the principles of Scouting?




1. AHG was started in West Chester, Ohio. Thus the West Chester reference.


2. Baden-Powell's quote outlined his belief in religious tolerance as fundamental to Scouting. That is a belief that Scouting still holds dear, through the DRP, but in which AHG - its supposed partner - does not follow.


With regards to the organization welcoming all girls, let me present some comments from AHG founder Patti Garibay that explain just what AHG is all about. This is not an open, inclusive Judeo-Christian organization that welcomes everyone, but an exclusively, explicitly Christian ministry whose views are anathema to people of other faiths.


"Today's blog is dedicated to the beautiful children of Haiti and to our Father who loves each of us so much they He sacrificed His one and only Son so that all of us can have eternal life. ... It was also a great time of reflection during this season of joy, to realize that this is what it is all about - living the Christian life - loving God always and hoping to one day rest on the lap of Jesus in the home he has prepared for those who love him. ...


"When you work in the ministry field as you do as an AHG volunteer, Satan is acutely aware of you and he will do whatever he can to put feelings of doubt, worthlessness and frustration into your heart. ... I thought of the love I have for the amazing army of AHG volunteers that serve the girls in their community. My soul yearns that they are blessed with God's infinite grace as they selflessly give and model Christian values to our girls- our future. ... So as we embark on the season of Lent with the knowledge of the Risen Christ to come ..."


(Source: http://blog.ahgonline.org/ These are Garibay's own words, unaltered, taken from blog posts over the last 12 months.)


How can a Jewish girl or a Muslim girl or a Hindu girl join such a group? They cannot, despite all the repeated protestations to the contrary.


Here's some bizarre logic for you: BDPT wouldn't let his daughter join a Wiccan group, but thinks it's OK for a girl of another faith to join this Christian group. Apparently, while overt Wicca would exclude his daughter, overt Christianity is not excluding anyone. How does that make sense?


AHG may be a great fit for you and your family. That's not what I'm arguing against. Go ahead and join; if AHG can stand on its own two feet, more power to it. I support everyone's right to join organizations with which they find a match.


I simply believe that *my* organization, the Boy Scouts of America, should not be endorsing, partnering with and openly favoring AHG, an organization that (1) excludes many of BSA's own families and leaders, (2) has a track record of anti-immigrant policy and (3) has a track record of spreading misinformation.


That's where I stand.

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When GSUSA got its start, Juliette Gordon Low sold her wedding pearls to help inital funding. She recruited wealthy, well-connected, and influential women for her first National Board, which helped the new organization's finances enormously. GSUSA has stood on its own two feet since the beginning, the way Daisy wanted it to.


AHG needs to be able to stand on their own with out relying on BSA for so much. It is laughable that an organization for girls and women, which purports to develop leaders, can not develop, organize and fund their own training or conferences. They will not be as strong of an organization if they can always just say, "We'll get that from the Boy Scouts." If BSA is going to allow AHG to participate in training and Philmont conferences, the AHG members, who are there in an AHG capacity, should be doing so at a non-subsidized rate.


AHG should also put its books and other written material on the open market. Why restrict purchasing the books to only registered members? Awards, sure. Some people might prefer to check it out quietly without an AHG rep sitting across the table.


And, frankly, I'd like to know more of the backstory on why BSA has chosen to partner so closely with AHG. I don't believe for a minute it has anything to do with values and morals, but rather demographics and internal politics and pressure.(This message has been edited by Nike)

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Hate campaign? Really, SP. Surely you can do better than that!


All of my criticisms of AHG are based in facts drawn from the organization's own words. I find it extremely telling that none of its defenders have been able to summon up credible explanations to refute them. ("Oh, stop whining, they've changed the policy" isn't a refutation.)


It's the BSA that entered into the partnership, but it's AHG that has discriminated, misled and excluded. I'd like either group to stop - I don't care which.


Nike is spot-on about AHG and self-sufficiency. Bravo.

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You are going around in circles. You state the obvious, AHG is an openly Christian organization with openly Christian statements, so what. If you are of another faith, they will not turn you away, you will just have to deal with Christians doing Christian things in a scout setting. Is that so bad? Don't like it, start your own group, ignore them or even love them as I am sure they would do for you.


As for the U.S. citizen leadership issue, so what. The American government has the has requirements. U.S. citizenship means something, it is special, it is something that should be strived for and not on par with legal residency. Allegiance to the U.S., pride in the American culture and stability in the community. These and many more things are why they may have that requirement.


Your child can still participate, you just cannot assume a leadership position until you have demonstrated their above requirements and achieved citizenship. Is it so bad to have standards? Federal, many state governments and private organizations do not think so.



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You don't seem to understand what's wrong with a religiously tolerant organization partnering with and favoring a religiously exclusivist organization. I'm sorry that you don't get it, but I can't find a simpler way to explain it.


Actually, what AHG has done with the citizenship requirement would be illegal if done by a private employer. It also goes against the BSA's own policies. 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? That is a conscious, deliberate anti-immigrant policy. There's no defense for it, though I'd sure love to hear someone try.

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"partnering with and favoring a religiously exclusivist organization." Hard to believe there are 15 pages dedicated to this. The BSA already partners with literally hundreds of COs that are religiously exclusive. There are units that are only Jewish, Muslim, Christian,(incluidng specific sects of Christianity)and I'm sure others. This is a pointless argument.


I'll admit, if I had a daughter I'd probably not encourage her join this organiztion, and there are other opportunities for girls available.



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(Sigh)Cannot believe the number of posts...To the citizen thing, I think it is (or was) a poor policy move on AHG's part but not an evil one. I have worked for local, state, and Federal government and in each case I was not eligible to apply unless I was a citizen.

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Your statement, "You don't seem to understand what's wrong with a religiously tolerant organization partnering with and favoring a religiously exclusivist organization. I'm sorry that you don't get it, but I can't find a simpler way to explain it."


I get "it", I just do not have a problem with "it". Just like I do not have a problem with any other "religiously exclusivist organization" doing the same thing.


The explanation is in the name, "American Heritage Girls". Does it make sense to have foreign nationals talk about and instill American values when they are not American themselves? They may be waiting the five year period to be an American, but in the mean time they cannot serve in a leadership position.


A foreign national can serve in the U.S. military, but not in leadership positions or have security clearances. A foreign national will fight and die for America to have the chance to obtain U.S. Citizenship. They even know in advance that they are limited in the roles they can serve until they obtain the U.S. Citizenship. Why? Because of the things I have already mentioned in my prior post.


I wonder if you understand or appreciate the gift of United States Citizenship. There is nothing wrong with being a foreign national in the United States, but there are limitations to what you can do. Otherwise, lets just open those borders and watch the chaos and unintended consequences.


This is my final post on this subject, I look forward to meeting everyone on other subjects.



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