American Heritage Girls is all about “building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.” The AHG program is built around 6 key components, called the AHG Program Emphases to achieve this mission.
In July 2017, AHG issued a revised version of the AHG Program Emphases that addresses the needs of a young woman in today’s world and that more clearly lays out the goals of the program – that American Heritage Girls become Christ-following servant leaders who are honoring, relational, anchored in Christ, and competent: women of integrity.
An American Heritage Girls is:
- A Christ Follower – Submits to Christ and seeks God’s will for her life. (Faith)
- A Servant Leader – Follows Jesus’ model of leadership by putting others first. (Leadership)
- Honoring – Cares for her community as an active citizen. (Citizenship)
- Relational – Invests in positive and loving relationships with others. (Social)
- Anchored – Clings to Christ even when emotions try to take control. (Emotional)
- Competent – Enjoys mastering new skills and applying them in her life. (Life Skills)
This update from AHG National happened at the same time that we were praying about what our goals were for this Program Year. We have felt that we have been more focused on building Competent women (badges & awards) and not enough focused on the rest. This, in addition to feedback from girls, families, and leaders, has shaped what our vision is for this year.
We want to return to the roots of the program and focus more time on pursuing the 6 program emphases by:
- Unit Devotional Time
- More leadership opportunities for girls at all levels.
- More service opportunities for girls at all levels.
- Intentional relationship building through unit & troop games and social times & events.
- More outdoor and team building activities.
- Dialing back the badgework
But in order to do this, we need volunteers to step up. The AHG program is not just about the girls, it’s about their families, it’s about you. I can speak from personal experience that, while the focus is on building up these young women, I have been positively impacted in many ways.
Adult Volunteer Roles
Here are some volunteer opportunities available:
- Assistant Troop Shepherd – assist the Troop Shepherd with the intent of becoming Troop Shepherd next year.
- Assistant Treasurer – assist the Treasurer with the intent of becoming Treasurer next year.
- Service Team Member– work with other volunteers & girls to identify areas where girls can be of service in the community, both during meeting times (ie. cards for soldiers) and during special events (ie. food drive)
- Special Events Team Member– work with other volunteers & girls to organize special events (ie. Lockin, Mother-Daughter activity, Father-Daughter activity, etc.)
- Unit Leaders & Assistant Unit Leaders – work with other Unit leaders and the girls to plan and implement the AHG program on a unit level. Unit responsibilities can be delegated as needed (ie. a Unit Advancement Lead, Unit Shepherd, Gamemaster, etc. )”Many hands make the work lighter.”
- Badge Helpers – teach a badge to a Unit.
- Pathfinder Unit Leaders – We haven’t had a Pathfinders unit (5 yrs old & in kindergarden) in years because we haven’t had enough leaders for all of the other Units & because we haven’t had enough interested girls. If you are interested in being a leader for this group, let us know!
Why do we need volunteers? The AHG program is useless if we can’t ensure the health and safety of the girls. In order to do so, we need Adult Volunteers who are willing to be present and active & who are willing to do Youth Protection Training, First Aid/CPR/AED training, and AHG Basic Training.
What happens if we don’t have enough volunteers? Without volunteers, the troop can not operate fully. Every unit needs a certain number of Registered Adult Leaders present every Monday night in order to function as a Unit; without those leaders, we would have to close down that unit. That’s what happened to the Pathfinders Unit. We need volunteers to help with various aspects of the program, from records keeping to organizing events.
We are also looking at other areas where we can have improvement. A lot of those improvements are dependent on getting enough parent involvement. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments.