AHG Has Introduced Its Own Catholic Faith Awards Breaking From Awards Used by Girl Scouts of the USA
CINCINNATI, Ohio — American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org), the premier faith-based, scout-type leadership development program for girls and young women ages five to 18, offers hands-on badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, outdoor adventures, and much more—all with an emphasis on Christian values and family participation. But even beyond that, AHG is providing a thriving ministry to its Catholic members—and it’s been doing so during a year that’s already marked by innovation and celebration.
“The AHG program is rooted in Christ,” said AHG Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay. “Through its faith emphasis, AHG hopes that girls will grow in their faith and become lifelong Christ-followers. Girls will understand their identity in Christ and seek God’s will for their lives.”
The AHG Catholic Faith Awards were created for Catholic American Heritage Girls to learn more about their faith and develop a stronger relationship with Christ in a fun and hands-on manner. The Catholic Faith Awards were developed for each of the AHG Program Levels and were granted the Nihil Obstat (certification that a book is free from doctrinal error) by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In each Program Level girls gain a greater understanding of the AHG Oath, Mission, and Creed.
The AHG National Catholic Committee (AHG NCC) developed the Catholic Faith Awards Program to be worked on each year for a better comprehension of the fullness of the faith. Each Award is divided into Segments: one Segment for each year of the Program Level.
TENDERHEART — Deus et Familia Mea (God and My Family)
EXPLORER — Deus et Patria Mea (God and My Country)
PIONEER — Deus et Civita Mea (God and My Community)
PATRIOT — Femina Integritatis (Woman of Integrity)
A girl earns a patch for each Segment she completes. In the final year of a Program Level, a girl who has completed all Segments in that Program Level may earn a medal.
One AHG Troop leader detailed the beautiful and hands-on process through which the girls labored on their Catholic Faith Awards this year: “We scheduled three dates where parents could come with their children and work on the award together, as well as be in the company of other parents and their girls who were doing the same thing. We opened with prayer and a few words about the importance of putting Jesus at the center of everything we do. Then each parent and girl went to a separate area to work together … and (we) closed with prayer.”
An AHG parent shared: “I LOVE this program. Faithfully Catholic and incredibly helpful in teaching Catholicism and helping the girls enjoy learning!”
Added Patti Garibay about AHG and its ministry to those of the Catholic faith, “Many archdioceses across the country have endorsed the AHG Program. It is aligned with the Catholic faith. We were so excited to kick off our new Catholic Faith Awards, since girls as young as five years old and all the way up to age 18 can earn these awards. It’s been a thrill to celebrate our first recipients of these awards and to see the girls grow in their love of Christ.”
At AHG, girls ages five to 18 meet together as a single Troop at the same time. This gives girls the important social experience of interacting with both friends and godly mentors; members also learn leadership skills within a group setting. AHG Troops are located in local communities across the nation. If none exists in a given area, then families can bring the AHG Program to their own area. An American Heritage Girls Troop Development Coach is available to provide resources to potential Charter Organizations and other families in order to form a new Troop.
AHG’s mission is to build women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. Itis dedicated to providing authentic, positive, and values-driven character and leadership development opportunities and outdoor adventure for girls across the nation.
American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a group of parents who wanted a faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters. 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 Raising Godly Girls 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 girls being served in 15 countries around the globe. Girls can join a Troop at any time; if a Troop is not available nearby, they can become a Trailblazer and enjoy the AHG program alongside their parent. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. Thousands of volunteer members across the country are helping girls 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, contactMedia@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096 ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.