American Heritage Girls teaches leadership
for a lifetime: ‘God can work in ways I did not expect’ says a Stars & Stripes Award recipient  

AHG offers significant opportunities for spiritual growth and leadership ability

May 16, 2022

CINCINNATI, Ohio Multitudes of parents already know that American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org) is the premier faith-based, scout-type leadership development program for girls ages five to 18, offering hands-on badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, and more. One such leadership opportunity is the Stars & Stripes Award, the highest recognition available to an American Heritage Girl. Those who earn this award put months of work into a leadership-building service project, which they plan, direct, and implement. Candidates gain a key understanding of the servant’s heart required to lead others with wisdom and humility—preparing them well for the responsibilities of adulthood.

Says AHG’s Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay, “Our goal is to equip young women with the tools they need to grow from godly girls to women of integrity—and the Stars & Stripes Award is a prime example of that goal. It teaches girls perseverance, self-respect, and a strong sense of satisfaction.”

Garibay shares the story of one accomplished Stars & Stripes Award recipient: “Lilly went through the award process with her fantastic idea to create and update the outdoor playground for the YMCA in her community that serves 800-1,000 children each year. She raised the funds, secured the volunteers and put together a phenomenal plan for the playground. It was a huge undertaking and Lilly said that her spiritual strength was tested and stretched. She saw that God can work in ways she did not expect and it was even more difficult for this dear girl as she struggles with ADHD and dyslexia. But that didn’t stop her for a minute!

“Lilly told us that she has developed a deeper relationship with God than she’s ever had before, and that the whole project and its success would not have been possible without the people God put in her path to help her. The process taught her to trust in God during times of stress and tension. She sees the importance of persevering, waiting for God’s timing and how to have patience to know that everything will fall into place exactly as it should—something we should all trust will happen in our own lives!”

AHG’s Stars & Stripes Award allows young women the opportunity to: identify a need in their community and create a plan to achieve it; lean into God through prayer, seeking Him for strength, insight, and passion; show what it means to create a worthy experience for their peers; and put their time, hard work, organizational skills, and determined commitment to use for an outcome for which they and their families can be proud of for many years to come. Achieving this Award consists of earning a minimum of 16 badges, holding a Girl Leadership Position, earning a Faith Award, and completing a life ambition essay and resume, all in addition to the major service project.

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 this faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters. At AHG, girls ages five to 18 meet together as a single Troop at the same time and then break out into Units by Levels. This gives AHG girls the important social experience of interacting with friends and godly mentors of various ages; 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, 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 to form a new Troop. To hear more about the purpose, mission, and vision of AHG from Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay, click here.

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. 

The “Raising Godly Girls” radio feature and Raising Godly Girls blog shares guidance and biblically based advice on many key topics affecting girls today—from bullying and identity to anxiety and body image issues. It gives parents, educators, and faith community leaders a set of tools, resources, and Scripture-based advice to assist in raising girls after God’s own heart. The “Raising Godly Girls Minute” with Patti Garibay airs on 900+ Christian radio stations across the country. 

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