American Heritage Girls: Leading with Integrity and Humility

The AHG Stars and Stripes Award Teaches Girls Perseverance, Self-respect, and a Strong Feeling of Satisfaction

April 12, 2021

CINCINNATI, Ohio At a time when national headlines include stories of teen girls committing violent crimes such as carjacking and murder, many parents find  peace in knowing that American Heritage Girls (AHG, is continuing its mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country.

In addition to integrity-building badge and patch programs, AHG offers level awards for their participants that demonstrate special recognition earned from the girls’ dedication to learn and participate in the AHG program. The Stars and Stripes Award is the highest recognition available to an American Heritage Girl. This award teaches girls perseverance, self-respect, and a strong feeling of satisfaction.

“The Stars and Stripes Award is earned by a small percentage of girls in comparison to the number of girls eligible,” stated Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of AHG. “This pinnacle award is not for the faint of heart, and that is really purposeful. While it is not meant to be an impossible task, it takes the candidate on a meaningful and challenging journey. Girls really must want to earn this award because of an inward motivation rather than external pressure from her parent or a sibling. Over the last two decades, I have noticed that girls who work to earn the award due to a ‘real calling’ rather than ‘an expectation’ have experienced the greatest lessons that I am sure will last a lifetime.”

In addition to badges, references and personal reflection, Stars and Stripes Award candidates complete a substantial service project, which they plan, lead, and implement. Girls pursuing this award are given the opportunity to exercise servant leadership, project management, communication skills, time management, and organization while blessing their communities in truly amazing ways.

Through the process of earning the Stars and Stripes Award, candidates gain a first-hand understanding of the servant’s heart required to lead with integrity and humility, preparing girls for responsibility as they transition to adulthood. To be considered for Stars and Stripes Award candidacy, a girl must have earned all level awards, and be more than six months away from her 18th birthday.

American Heritage Girls has made an incredible impact in my life,” said Mary, a Stars and Stripes Recipient from Virginia. “It has made me into a woman of God, given me lifelong friends and has taught me new skills from camping to sewing a quilt. AHG has made me a leader, a public speaker, and an ambassador for Christ. I would not trade my twelve years of memories and character building in American Heritage Girls for anything. It means everything to me to not only complete my years in AHG with this last and highest honor, but to fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a Stars and Stripes Award Recipient.”

American Heritage Girls was founded by a group of parents wanting a faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters in 1995. American Heritage Girls across the nation and the globe participate in badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, and outdoor experiences, all with an emphasis on Christian values and family involvement.

In addition to the biblically based parenting advice shared in the Raising Godly Girls blog and radio features that are heard on 770 radio stations, American Heritage Girls provides a community experience in a Troop setting. Girls benefit from Christ-centered friendships and mentors to assist them in becoming Godly girls.

Today there are Troops in all 50 states and in 15 countries around the world through the Trailblazer Program. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. There are thousands of volunteer members across the country helping girls to grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, enjoy the great outdoors, and have more fun than they can imagine.


To schedule interviews with Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls (AHG,, contact, Marjorie Pratt, 610.584.1096, ext. 107, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.