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Article on BSA/AHG Partnership in Nov/Dec Issue of Scouting Magazine

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Yea seriously? Comparing a girls Christian Youth organization to the Hitler Youth? Lets keep our heads on straight here. There is NO comparison to the Hitler Youth and the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, or American Heritage Girls besides the obvious that they wear uniforms and have children in them. The similarities end there.(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)

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Wow! I've never understood the actual fear so many people have of Christianity. My wife's parents divorced when she was 17. She went to live with her dad and her little brother and sister went to live with their mom. My wife and her dad continued going to church. My mother-in-law and the other two children quit going. Church is foreign to my sister and brother-in-law. My sister-in-law was interested in putting her son in Cubs when he was old enough, but she feared that they would "cram" religion down his throat. I laughed when she asked me about it and explained the BSA's religious principles to her and said that any religious observance would vary from unit to unit. Since most of our Cub Packs were chartered to schools instead of churches at that time, probably the most "religion" he would get would be saying grace before a meal. Given the fear of religion that some people perceive in the BSA, I can understand why they are terrified of AHG. Well, actually I can't.

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SR540Beaver, don't you see a difference between an organization that declares that it is is "absolutely nonsectarian" in matters of faith, and one with a statement of faith that requires adult leaders to be Christian? (And I'm leaving aside for now the question of whether the BSA actually is "absolutely nonsectarian" and just focusing on what they say.)

 

As I have said, I have no problem with the AHG, and certainly think there is no justification for name-calling. I have no problem with the Girl Scouts either, and in my personal opinion it is the Girl Scouts that is more "compatible" with the BSA because they are not oriented to any single religion. Whatever group people want to join (if any) is fine with me. But when it comes to the BSA (which is the only one of these organizations that I am involved with), I don't see the benefit of "partnering" (or whatever it is) with the AHG, or of emphasizing the "relationship" in Scouting magazine.(This message has been edited by njcubscouter)

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Beaver your statement about Christianity is as ridiculous as the hilter statement.

 

I am Catholic....Many of the families I serve are not.

 

The BSA has a stance of a belief in a higher power......The AHG has a belief there is A, one god and the Western style belief in him.

 

If the AHG would change their belief statement to something similar to the BSA my Single biggest objection to their association with the BSA would be removed.

 

 

I wonder what the AHG stance is on the book of mormon??????

 

 

Sentinel....Not seeing horror stories, Just folks who disagree with them excluding or forcing folks to agree to their statement of faith in ONLY ONE GOD or Belief system.

 

 

I also wonder about their stance on Gay or lesbian adult leaders???

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So there it is, why here and why now? If any bonafide organization can schedule the use of a Scout camp (county rec department uses Council camp, GSUSA Troop uses council camp, Brownie Troop hikes with Cub Pack) hereabouts, what is the necesity of creating a "partnership" relationship? Is this more of creating an official imprimatur so that any AHG Troop can walk up and say "here we are" for entre to Scout facilities?

Hey, the local council went after the Rec Dept to offer the camp to them. Made it easy.

Maybe it is just the "local option" thing made "national"?

And what, if anything does this "partnership" require of either "partner"? Do we get to use AHG stuff?

I'm not saying that BSA shouldn't seek cooperation with other groups, just curious .....

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Basementdweller says:

 

The AHG has a belief there is A, one god and the Western style belief in him.

 

Well, they are a little more specific than that: Their statement of faith includes, "We believe that there is One Triune God Father, Jesus Christ His one and only Son, and the Holy Spirit Creator of the universe and eternally existent. We believe the Holy Scriptures (Old/New Testament) to be the inspired and authoritative Word of God." I am from a "Western style" religion -- one that is, genealogically, closely related to Christianity -- which does not believe major parts of that. (My religion does have the one God, the Father (and the Holy Spirit, though that gets a little complicated) as well as the Old (but not the New) Testament.)

 

I also wonder about their stance on Gay or lesbian adult leaders???

 

Do you really wonder? I don't wonder. But it wouldn't bother me if they do exclude gay people as leaders because (1) I'm not a member; and (2) they make it clear up front that their organization is based on certain specific religious beliefs, so it is understandable that they have policies consistent with those beliefs.

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Do we get to use AHG stuff?

 

Like what stuff? Like all the camps they own, or their version of Philmont or other high adventure bases? I think the point is that they don't own any of that, so they need to use someone else's.

 

In theory it may be a two-way street, but that begins to look very much like a one-way street if only one of the "partners" owns a street.

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I also wonder about their stance on Gay or lesbian adult leaders??? Their statement of faith addresses this: http://www.ahgonline.org/uploads/AHGStatementofFaith08.pdfreserving sexual activity for the sanctity of marriage; marriage being a lifelong commitment before God between a man and a woman.Based on that I'd say they oppose gay and lesbian adult leaders, although you might interpret that to mean that celibate gays would be ok.

 

AHG would allow for lesbian youth, just not leaders.

 

As for the Book of Mormon, I don't believe they have a position. I don't any theological statements beyond their statement of faith, and I would think they would not want to make any such statements. Nevertheless, I also don't see any religious awards for Mormons.

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NJCub,

 

What I know is that no one holds a gun to anyone's head and forces them to join BSA or AHG. It is an individual decision based on many factors. What I also know is that the majority of BSA units are chartered by Christian churches. The fact that one program is nonsecterian in it's approach and the other isn't, doesn't mean that they don't have some common goals and aims that can make working together advantageous to both groups.....except to people who object to religion in general and Christianity in particular. I don't see anyone here going out and creating a nonsectarian female "companion" program to the BSA to counter AHG. Obviously the GSUSA isn't it. Besides, what with the changes coming down the pike with doing away with the Venturing and Cub oaths and laws and adopting the Boy Scouts, I think it is only a matter of a few years before we see a coed program top to bottom and that will leave AHG out of the picture.

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The fact that one program is nonsecterian in it's approach and the other isn't, doesn't mean that they don't have some common goals and aims that can make working together advantageous to both groups.....except to people who object to religion in general and Christianity in particular.

 

I disagree with your "exception", because I think there are religious people, including Christians, who prefer that their youth organization be nonsectarian.

 

Personally, I have no problem with local units of different organizations working together if they perceive a mutual benefit from doing so. I just don't see why the BSA is "pushing" the relationship on a national level -- and I would define the Scouting magazine article as part of "pushing" it.

 

I don't see anyone here going out and creating a nonsectarian female "companion" program to the BSA to counter AHG. Obviously the GSUSA isn't it.

 

I think that depends on what you mean by "companion" program. I think it also depends what part of the country you are in. Around here, if you ask people to name a large youth organization for boys and girls, respectively, most people will say, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, respectively. Of the families in our troop that have daughters as well as sons, it seems like the majority of the girls are (or were) in the Girl Scouts. On the other hand, I have never seen an American Heritage Girl. (Nor have I ever seen a Varsity Scout -- not counting Venture Patrol or Venturing Crew members wearing the wrong-colored shoulder loop.)

 

Besides, what with the changes coming down the pike with doing away with the Venturing and Cub oaths and laws and adopting the Boy Scouts, I think it is only a matter of a few years before we see a coed program top to bottom and that will leave AHG out of the picture.

 

I don't get the connection between having Cub Scouts and Venturers say the Scout Oath, and allowing females to be Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. But maybe that is the subject for another thread.

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"I don't get the connection between having Cub Scouts and Venturers say the Scout Oath, and allowing females to be Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. But maybe that is the subject for another thread."

 

Because it appears they are moving towards a single unified program model.

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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.

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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/

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