Founder of American Heritage Girls Patti Garibay reflects on the origins of AHG

Serving girls ages five to 18, AHG has grown to become one of the largest Christ-centered scout-type organizations in the world

March 22, 2022

CINCINNATI, Ohio Many organizations and schools have focused on indoctrination rather than the betterment of girls across America, with parents and guardians flooding school board meetings in order to make their concerns heard. However, the gradual indoctrination of America’s children is not a new concept, but one that American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org) founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay has been fighting for over 28 years. As AHG celebrates Women’s History Month, Garibay reminisces about the passion that burned inside a small group of people who listened to God in order to help young girls grow into remarkable women, and references many of America’s great and godly women in the process.

In 1993, Garibay saw that a shocking agenda was beginning to poison the minds of young girls across the country. She decided to take a stand against the Girl Scouts of America in what would amount to an intense battle that she and her family weren’t prepared for. But they were resolute and passionate—and they knew God was leading their lives. Today, what began as a gathering of concerned parents around a small kitchen table in Ohio years ago has grown into American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org), the premier faith-based, scout-type leadership development program in the U.S. for girls ages five to 18.

Garibay writes about her dramatic, God-led journey in her book,Why Curse the Darkness When You Can Light a Candle? In engaging prose, Garibay shares her experiences as a young wife and mother, including the struggles she endured and the joy she felt at finally seeing the providential hand of God help her and others create AHG. “Parents have a God-given responsibility to know what their children are being taught,” she shares in her book, adding, “Truth is the only way to freedom. Sometimes, there are dark things that people try to hide. However, God always sees.”

Today, AHG has been active and innovative on so many fronts, offering programs that honor and celebrate some of America’s greatest women in history through various level awards, hands-on badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, outdoor adventures, virtual connections, and so much more. All throughout, AHG has emphasized Christian values and family participation as it promotes a healthy sense of community and connection for girls. Its parenting resource platform, “Raising Godly Girls,” also taps into AHG’s rich history of working with thousands of girls and their families nationwide by sharing guidance and biblically based advice on key issues girls face in today’s culture.

Notes Garibay, “I am always amazed at the way the Lord lights up our lives when we let Him. Over the years, I have learned there really are no coincidences, only God instances.” Garibay’s important book,Why Curse the Darkness When You Can Light a Candle?,can be purchased here.

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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