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American Heritage Girls

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Well, my daughter's AHG Troop was once the largest in the country before they split off multiple troops in our area. As far as open, just like our Pack, Troop, and Crew, anyone youth is welcome to be a member, but none of our three make bones about the fact that they are sponsored by a Christian charter organization and will exhibit Christian values and conduct said prayer before meetings and a service on Sundays. However a youth is not required to sign a statement of faith in any of the units.


As for minorities, I would say that our units run about 20%.


With the exception of being a "Christian" based organization, AHG programing is much more closely modeled on BSA that GSUSA is.

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shortridge: But it looks like that's OK with AHG; its site makes it fairly clear that it was started for parents. As far as I'm concerned, that's not Scouting.




Aren't we, as parents, supposed to guide our children in accords with our own moral values? As a parent, I felt that joining BSA was appropriate for my son. Parents started AHG because they felt that GSUSA didn't offer the type of program they wanted their daughters to belong to.


AHG was started by and is run by parents. BSA is run by parents. Does that make BSA all about the parents?

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I'm not sure how much more up front AHG could be. Two different places on the main page of their website they have links on how to support the AHG MINISTRY and one item talks about what their MISSION is. They aren't trying to hide anything as they are advertising it instead.

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Surely you are aware of PRAY that provides the religous awards materials aren't you? They partner with BSA, GSUSA, AHG and Camp Fire USA.




Honestly, I don't understand all of this pearl clutching and hand wringing by so many people here over AHG. Religion and faith is nothing to fear. If you don't want to do it, you don't have to......but why be opposed to others doing it or being associated with it? If a program has a faith element to it and that isn't your cup of tea, there are other programs to pick from.

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SR540: so much LOL at "pearl clutching". I'm so stealing that.


I am not sure either why people are so annoyed at an "alliance". We have the PRAY program, we have Duty to God, and we pretty much discriminate against homosexuals and atheists. I am not seeing why AHG are so "wrong" in providing a clearly Christian program. If it is not your thing, fine, but it doesn't make them evil.

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Exactly! We are seeing more and more Packs having to leave schools and where is one of the few places they can go for a CO? Churches. Without the support of the faith community, I'm not sure how long scouting would survive.




Feel free to steal it, I did. I'm not sure, but I actually think I heard it in a response from Gingrich about some expressed liberal outrage. Pearl clutching and hand wringing.....Oh my, why I never! :)


Edited to add, I think in retrospect it was actually said about Gingrich over his outrage at the media. Either way, it's a funny phrase with a clear mental image.(This message has been edited by sr540beaver)

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Where does it say that you have to be a citizen? This application just asks "Are you a legal U.S. resident?" http://www.ahgonline.org/uploads/NEWAdultBGCKVolunteerApp12.pdf


AHG is very open about their mission. "American Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered leadership and character development ministry. The following Statement of Faith applies to all American Heritage Girls' Charter Organizations, Adult Members and Adult Leaders."


In practice they appear to be very much like BSA in pretty much all aspects except that they require their leaders to be Christian. Their program is not really much different at all from the BSA - it doesn't appear to have any more distinctly religious aspects than Boy Scouts does, although I'm sure that varies from group to group in both organizations.


They do have some nice features in their organization that I view as small incremental improvements to the BSA model.


They have a position of troop vice-coordinator, which would be a vice-chair in a BSA unit.

They require that the chair, the unit leader, the treasurer, and the vice-chair be from different families.

They have the equivalent of a combined pack/troop - so they are set up not to experience the same loss as what happens at the Webelos crossover.

All their units have the same recharter date.

I like the words of their creed slightly better than the Scout Law (which has the overlapping concepts of 'friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful')

They have a clearer non-discrimination policy than the BSA does. "Girl membership in the organization shall be made available to all without regard to race, color, creed or national origin, under such rules and regulations, not in conflict with the provisions of the AHG Oath: I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country and serve in my community, and the Purpose and the Basic Policies of AHG. This non discrimination policy clarifies the intention of AHG to serve as an outreach ministry. All girls are invited to belong to AHG as long as they will say the Oath and abide by the rules and regulations of AHG and the chartered Troop."


One of their six "program emphases" is "Developing teamwork and building confidence

through varied outdoor experiences." So they are very clear about their desire to get outdoors.


Our CO is chartering an AHG troop. The AHG troop picked the same unit number as our BSA units. From what I've seen, the entire organization is extremely similar to the BSA. In fact, if it wasn't for their statement of faith for their leaders, I'd think it was almost a perfect fit as "BSA for Girls" and I would expect a merger, but I'm not sure how they could reconcile that significant difference.

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Depends on the Jew. But I haven't met many who want religion (be it mine or theirs) swept under a rug.


Likewise, the Moslems I know have voiced a higher respect for Christians who are public (and even a little dogmatic) about their faith.


Meanwhile, I've known parents who've avoided BSA because of its broad stance on religion.


But maybe that's just me.

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CopperCarla wrote: "Aren't we, as parents, supposed to guide our children in accords with our own moral values? As a parent, I felt that joining BSA was appropriate for my son. ... AHG was started by and is run by parents. BSA is run by parents. Does that make BSA all about the parents?"


Twocubdad wrote: "The BSA program is an adult program run by adults to develop the moral character of their youth."


The issue is not about who runs the program, but who the program is for. AHG's pitch is not about Scouting, adventure, exploration, learning. The language it uses is all about wholesome Christian values, character-building, etc. It's very clear that the chief goal is not meeting the desire of children for Scouting adventures and teaching character through a Scouting program, but meeting the desire of parents to have their kids not associate with gays and non-Christians.


"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. ... Today Christian parents are concerned about the changing tides in our society. Moms and dads are continuously looking for wholesome, morally sound opportunities for their precious children."


Further: The description of how the troops run focus barely a whit on youth leadership roles. The outdoor program information in the girls' section of the site is cribbed from other publications. They can't even write their own program material, but can expound for hours about values and Jesus.


I'm not saying that is a bad thing. I'm just saying that AHG is clearly a church youth group gone national with delusions of grandeur. Nothing more. It's not Scouting.


Should BSA have a connection with AHG? Sure, why not. But its supporters shouldn't delude themselves, and its leaders shouldn't mislead their members into thinking, that it's something special. BSA also has connections with religious groups who would not be allowed to join AHG.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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As for the whole citizen/leader thing - there's contradictory and confusing information on the website.


>> Parents are told: "An AHG volunteer must be at least 21 years of age and a citizen of the United States." www.ahgonline.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=41554


>> According to the agreements leaders must sign, unit leaders and assistants must be citizens, while Troop Shepherds, treasurers and vice-coordinators may be citizens or legal residents.




Oh - just noticed this. It's really cute how AHG stole the BSA's screening questions from its adult application. The only rephrased question is "Have you ever been charged with child neglect or abuse?" instead of the BSA's "Have you ever been charged with, or investigated or arrested for, child neglect or abuse?"


I didn't know that plagiarism was a Christian value!

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