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Founder Patti Garibay: ‘We are proudly empowering girls by teaching them the importance of rooting themselves in Christ and bearing godly grit’

October 24, 2022

CINCINNATI, Ohio American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org) — one of the world’s largest Christian, scout-type organizations — has long dedicated itself to building young women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. AHG offers hands-on badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, outdoor adventures and more, all while emphasizing Christian values and family participation.

One such program that helps to raise godly girls into women of integrity is the innovative curriculum program, G.R.I.T. with Grace. Designed to teach Christ-centered leadership skills, Girls Rooted and Impacting Tomorrow (G.R.I.T.) with Grace seeks to empower young women to root themselves in Christ in a world looking to indoctrinate them with unbiblical ideologies.

AHG Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay said of G.R.I.T. with Grace, “In today’s world, servant leadership is not easy. It’s gritty, messy, and challenging. Servant leadership is not self-centered but Christ-centered, and it can feel uncomfortable at times. AHG developed this curriculum to teach girls to have both the grit and the grace to trust God — and to help them learn to lean into His power to lead others well, too.”

Garibay added, “We are proudly empowering girls by teaching them the importance of rooting themselves in Christ and bearing godly grit, so that the fruit of the Holy Spirit is evident in their leadership style.”

G.R.I.T. with Grace is a robust AHG leadership program specially designed for its members. Concepts are presented in “sessions,” or units of study and activities based on topics pulled from AHG’s Biblical Leadership Badge (one of its many outstanding badge offerings). G.R.I.T. with Grace is not a classroom-based learning plan, however — it’s fun, interactive, and memorable for all members. Each lesson is taught with the understanding that leadership requires godly grit to persevere through hard tasks and uncomfortable situations. The lessons also remind girls of the importance of demonstrating a compassionate, grace-filled view of those they lead. It can be implemented in an event setting of each AHG Troop’s choosing, such as a retreat or campout. Each relatable session has been created in “plug and play” format, so that AHG leaders can select and use the topics that best meet their Troop’s specific needs.

Introductory session topics for AHG’s G.R.I.T. with Grace curriculum include the following:

Garibay noted, “Each year, we plan to grow these selections with more topics that are fresh and relevant. This year, we added topics such as ‘Interpersonal Communication,’ ‘Servant Leadership,’ ‘Circle of Influence,’ and more!”

AHG has already been hearing positive feedback about this program.One Troop Unit Leader commented, “I am so excited about this fun new curriculum. It includes games, breakout sessions, crafts, themed snack ideas, even supply lists. It’s all ready to go and our Troop can do little spotlights and perhaps even a leadership retreat. Our girls are going to love this!”

American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 when Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay became concerned with the direction the Girl Scouts of America was headed. Garibay, along with a group of concerned parents, wanted a faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters, and American Heritage Girls was born. 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. 

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.

AHG’s “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 1000+ Christian radio stations across the country.