The numbers tell the story too. In 16 short years, the American Heritage Girls has become the fastest growing all-girl Scouting organization. Membership spiked by 50 percent last year, and now stands at 15,000 members in 42 states and four countries.
So what makes American Heritage Girls (AHG) different? Three things: Faith, principles, and partners.
First, faith. The organization embraces faith as the cornerstone of a young woman’s life. (Troops can be chartered by a variety of organizations, churches, schools, or non-profits.) Its oath begins with this sentence: “I promise to love God…” To the AHG, God is a real person.
In contrast, the Girl Scout promise begins, “On my honor, I will try to serve God…” but qualifies that: “The word ‘God’ can be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on one's spiritual beliefs. When reciting the Girl Scout Promise, it is okay to replace the word "God" with whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.” God is reduced to a generic motivational tool.
AHG sees itself simply as a “Christ-centered leadership and character development ministry,” which stands in sharp contrast to the Girl Scouts’ focus on preparing girls for “a new world order of globalization.”
Instead of the Girl Scouts’ politically correct gobbledy-gook, the American Heritage Girls sees its mission as “building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.” (See this comparison chart for the Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls).
Second, principles. AHG takes a stand for the traditional values that most families embrace: its principles emphasize integrity, service, stewardship, and—are you ready for this?--purity. When was the last time you heard the Girl Scouts encourage girls to be sexually pure? They’ve been too busy holding hands with the sex educators, pill-pushers, and feminists.
Third, partners. The AHG walk in the company of good friends. In 2009, AHG and the Boy Scouts of America created an historic partnership between the two groups—the first alliance between the Boy Scouts and any young women’s organization. As a practical matter, this means that sponsoring churches or schools can offer an appealing combination to families--aligned programs for both boys and girls. Check out the list of additional AHG partners here. It’s a wholesome and dynamic selection.
Finally, on a practical level, American Heritage Girls deliver on both fun and friendship. Like the Girl Scouts in better times, the AHG troops meet for fun, service projects, and leadership-building activities. The girls can pursue over 240 age-appropriate badges and outdoor activities.
Parents, I urge you to pray…and then act. There is a better choice for your daughters: check out the American Heritage Girls!