Checking the American Heritage Girls

The American Heritage Girls (AHG) has been recently slammed by Dalrock and promoted by Boxer. Both have valid-sounding points so it’s time for my own look into the organization.

Believe it or not, I was an assistant leader in a Christian substitute for the Boy Scouts after they Converged, for a year or so. It wasn’t a natural fit. I don’t understand kids and am uncomfortable around them, but the local church had no other use for me and it’d have been hypocritical to refuse.

So I turned out for it, and it went tolerably well for the most part. The kids liked me more when I was my sarcastic normal self than the well-mannered role model I tried to be, and even more when I reluctantly let them play with matches. One kid was a bad apple and I tried to get him removed, only to be told by senior pastor (who himself had had enough encounters with the brat to roll his eyes at the name) that he needed our influence, being fatherless. My response that he needed a parole officer instead wasn’t well received. I wasn’t joking, either.

So, I had no actual authority with which to control the group, neither was the formal leader a strong authority, so it was just a hang-out group for the most part. Never more than 10 kids. The end came when the sponsoring church appointed female leadership and my frustrations with its blue-pill management became intolerable.

Anyhoo, the AHG was created specifically as a Christian alternative to the ultra-feminist Girl Scouts. That needed doing but that also probably means they’re Cuckservative, since I haven’t noticed any pogroms against healthy girls in the headlines. But let’s have a look, starting with their merit badges as a gauge of their priorities:

Together as a Family Badge

Together As A Family Badge. Sounds promising.

Sewing and puppetry, good. Robotics, that stinks of “Go into STEM!” manipulation. And I get grief everywhere for believing women shouldn’t train with weapons. They’re prey animals and need to behave accordingly.

Mostly okay. I’m uncomfortable with teaching leadership skills to girls but cannot deny that Scripture requires the older women to teach the younger. It’s a bit hypocritical to have physical fitness badges and social media badges simultaneously.

While I can’t give a specific objection, most of these sound more appropriate to boys’ curriculum.

Holy Fu-u-u-nk. That’s “holy smelly”, kids. Don’t curse like Uncle Q until you’re 18 and don’t make dick jokes until you’re 21. But Josh, can you teach me that naughty limerick first?

AHG doesn’t publish much material for the general public to view for free so let’s go to a devil’s advocate for a remarkably funny and complete overview of their basic program.

Fed Up With the Slutty Girl Scouts? Meet the Conservative Alternative.

https://jezebel.com/tired-of-those-slutty-girl-scouts-meet-the-conservativ-1531412704

By Kelly Faircloth, 6 March 2014

Kelly Faircloth, Jezebel

Yes, that Trigglypuff with optional Skrillex will make an ideal devil’s advocate.

Want your daughter to learn all about camping, sewing and car repair, but with a heaping helping of Jesus? You could try to find a local Girl Scout troop with an especially Bible-thumping troop leader. Or you could just skip straight to the American Heritage Girls, conservative Christianity’s very own copycat.

It’s a common trope on the far-right that the Girl Scouts have become an out-and-out liberal organization with ties to Planned Parenthood. (The national organization patiently continues to insist they have no formal relationship.)

There’s a difference between “having ties” and “having a formal relationship”. Click the following for more.

Girl Scouts Join Planned Parenthood at Huge Pro-Abortion Conference

This year, the barrage has intensified, thanks to a ginned-up controversy about the Girl Scouts of America supposedly tweeting support for Wendy Davis. (Not really true, but why let the facts get in the way of a boycott?)

Not REALLY true because they only discussed making her Woman of the Year.

And so, amid the bombardment, right-wing media outlets are trumpeting an alternative, called the American Heritage Girls. While much smaller—something like 30,000, compared to 2.3 million Girl Scouts—they’re held up as a competitor. A columnist at fire-breathingly conservative outlet Breitbart, recently cheered: “AMERICAN HERITAGE GIRLS OFFERS FAITH-BASED PATRIOTIC ALTERNATIVE TO DECAYING GIRL SCOUTS.” Glenn Beck’s site, The Blaze, did their second piece on the group, following a 2012 intro. The National Review ran a Q&A between founder Patti Garibay and Kathryn Lopez, carrying the headline, “Good American Girls.”

So what’s a gal gotta do to qualify as a “Good American Girl” these days? This video from September 2012 provides a nice introduction. The group paints itself as a force “countering the culture,” which “provides girls the necessary tools to defend their faith and to live righteously despite the mixed messages of a culture devoid of a moral code. …

The group was founded in 1995, when Girl Scouts began allowing members reciting the organization’s Promise to replace “in God” with alternatives like “Allah” or “my creator.” You know—dogs-and-cats-living-together level stuff.

The last time I saw a catty female make that much noise, her owner needed acetone to clean the furball off the carpet.

So: What does this “Christ-centered,” anti-abortion alternative to the Girl Scouts look like? I ordered a copy of the group’s handbook to find out. (You can’t order through AHG’s online story unless you’re a registered member, so I turned to Amazon’s marketplace.) And, well, imagine a bizarro version of the Girl Scouts from a parallel universe where Mike Huckabee got elected president in a landslide.

Their uniforms look like Girl Scout uniforms, complete with sashes, except they’re red, white and blue. Proper treatment of the flag gets 7 pages. Girl Scouts rise through the ranks as Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors and finally Ambassadors, while AHG goes a little more Captain America: Tenderheart, Explorer, Pioneer and Patriot. Each is associated with a person who’s “made a positive impact on our country.” Examples include Harriet Tubman and Dolley Madison—as well as Eliza Shirley, who founded the first Salvation Army Corps in America.

I’m not pleased with those examples, either, TBH. Maybe they also reference Florence Nightingale but the reason I went to a devil’s advocate is to be confident she pulled the most devout and feminine role models in the handbook.

Compare the groups Oath to the Girl Scout Promise, which goes:

On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

AHG’s update is damn near identical, except God is presumably obligatory: “I promise to love God, Cherish my family, Honor my country, And serve in my community.” And religiosity pops up constantly. The welcome letter of the group’s handbook sets the tone:

“Welcome to the American Heritage Girls! I hope that you find your time in AHG to be filled with adventure and fun. The AHG program will help you learn many things about yourself and about God’s purpose for your life. May your times be memorable and may you truly become a woman of integrity who loves God, cherishes her family, honors her country and consistently gives service to others.”

Like most of Cuckservatism, what it says is not as objectionable as what it doesn’t say. It’s not possible to be a woman of God without being under a man’s authority. It’s good to teach a mother to cherish her family now that they increasingly murder their own kids, but more important is that she honors and obeys her husband specifically… not “others” generally.

The American Heritage Girls’ Creed lists 10 “traits of a girl of integrity,” including:

Compassionate
Helpful
Honest
Loyal
Perserverant
Pure
Resourceful
Respectful
Responsible
Reverent
Each is illustrated with a Bible verse. The badge program features lots of relentlessly practical skills that’ve got nothing to do with religion, like fire-building, cake-baking and money management. But they’re often illustrated with tangentially related Bible verses.

A good list. Christians don’t make a sharp distinction between religious and secular behavior. Most other religions don’t, either. But atheism does. “Believe whatever you want but do as you’re told.”

It’s the “Personal Well-Being” frontier that’ll really make you feel like Alice tumbling through the looking glass. Sure, there are badges about stamp collecting and personal style, for instance. “All God’s Children” teaches about the disabled, but it’s often through Bible verses. “Best Me I Can Be” crams in hand-washing and dentistry, plus manicures (“visit a nail salon”) and modesty (“Consider visiting a modesty website such as Pure Freedom to learn more about this important value”).

Described elsewhere as “head, shoulders, knees and toes.” A profitable message to all young ladies.

There’s a “Bible Basics” badge (“God has given us a wonderful gift — an instruction manual on how to live our life according to His will”). Girls are encouraged to read the books of Ruth and Esther, in particular.

Good as far as it goes. Did they read the part where Esther abandoned her people to die rather than risk her own safety? And do they read about Sarah’s loyalty to Abraham?

Perhaps the most fascinating is “Daughter of the King,” which delves into a personal relationship with God. Tasks include talking to a mom or mentor about what “purity and self-respect” mean to her and considering “what should you think about during your next shopping trip to make sure that your clothing is pleasing to God?”

Protestants take that “personal relationship” thing way too far even in the context of men. God is not your friend. He has sworn to kill you. You won’t go far into Christian mysticism before realizing that God is occasionally a real piece of work, able to help but not willing.

Scouts are encouraged to visit the Creation Museum to complete the badge. The group has also launched a “Respect Life” badge, the Blaze has reported, and according to their press releases, recently sponsored a Youth Rally at the March for Life. (It’s not strictly an evangelical group—there are largely Catholic troops, for instance.)

It’s natural for parents to want to raise their children in a way that reflects their own values. But it seems pretty obvious that the American Heritage Girls is pushing an agenda far harder than the Girl Scouts of America.

My stunt double drinks your salty tears, Trigglypuff. Your values can’t reflect a Stairmaster, let alone the God of Creation.

So, is AHG a beneficial organization? It’s obviously a Cucked organization, which makes it unreliable at the national level and unlikely to long endure. But local implementation can certainly be beneficial. Research for this post has found material ranging from outrageous “father-daughter” dances to much-needed teachings upon modest clothing.

 

7 thoughts on “Checking the American Heritage Girls

  1. ” And I get grief everywhere for believing women shouldn’t train with weapons. ”

    Interesting viewpoint. Can you clarify the extent of ‘train’?

    Women shouldn’t even touch a weapon, women should know only basic fundamentals/safety/marksmanship, women should know and built confidence enough to protect the family when daddy is at work?

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  2. “So, is AHG a beneficial organization? It’s obviously a Cucked organization, which makes it unreliable at the national level and unlikely to long endure. But local implementation can certainly be beneficial.”

    It’s an organization obviously superior to the Girl Scouts, but not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. This is why I described it thusly:

    “…an anti-feminist organization whose worst crime is not being amazing at teaching theology”

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  3. What I see is geared to developing future church ladies. A church lady in my experience generally looks like a woman but often acts and speaks like a man. One has to account for an exaggerated level of cynicism on my part, plus my selective cut and paste from the AHG website, but the emphasis in program goals seems clear to me (my bolding):

    – the five Program Levels of AHG exist to guide a girl towards pursuing Christian leadership opportunities

    – Pathfinder. Ages 5-6. These girls begin the AHG Program with experiences in life skills, outdoor adventures, leadership,…

    – Tenderheart. Ages 6-9. This Program Level encourages girls to set goals and teaches them about dedication and perseverance.

    – Explorer. Ages 9-12. As Explorers progress through the AHG Program, they will have greater opportunities for service, leadership,…

    – Pioneer. Ages 12-14. The Pioneer Level is where a girl’s Christian leadership skills accelerate

    – Patriot. Ages 14-18. Teenage girls learn life skills vital to adulthood through Troop activities and Girl Leadership opportunities.

    I don’t know why Tenderhearts got left out of the leadership theme, but when I see so much emphasis on leadership I see future women that will be looking for a good wife amongst the men that are being told their emphasis should be on serving her. Maybe it will all work out in the end.

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  4. “Women shouldn’t even touch a weapon, women should know only basic fundamentals/safety/marksmanship, women should know and built confidence enough to protect the family when daddy is at work?”

    The first one. Women simply aren’t able to fight off a male attacker without serious training and that kind of thing masculinizes the few who actually try. The better path for them is to learn how to recognize and avoid trouble: awareness, traveling in groups, having a protector nearby. When women aren’t taught to act like the herd animals they are, this happens:

    https://gunnerq.com/2018/06/22/eurydice-dixon-died-stupid/

    The worst combination of self-esteem and reality.

    Your self-defense training should be based on your natural instincts. It’s much easier than training to overcome your instincts. Men are aggressive; we carry guns because our natural instinct to being attacked is to attack right back. But women are naturally avoidant, motivated by fear not risk. They should train to run fast or avoid dangerous situations. Even a coward should run instead of standing his ground. The time to overcome his cowardice is not in the heat of the moment.

    I’ve never seen an unescorted woman at the range and they tend to keep that .38 where they aren’t likely to get it out before Dindu Man is there to help. If she even remembers that it’s there in the adrenaline rush. It’s false security.

    My mother once taught me that if I’m ever attacked, I should throw my wallet on the ground to distract him while I flee. We then had an argument which was the “genders reversed” of men teaching their women to shoot the bastard dead. Even if her advice is reasonable, that is simply not what I’m going to do at fight-or-flight.

    Lastly, teaching women to shoot is the same tired Cuckservatism that I see everywhere. Women can be homemakers but should also have a career just in case her husband doesn’t earn enough; women should be submissive but also have leadership authority just in case her husband isn’t up to the job; women should be feminine helpmeets but also be able to kill at a moment’s notice just in case she’s attacked with nobody useful around.

    We should follow Christ but also worship the devil just in case Christ doesn’t show up when we need Him.

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  5. Good catch by Lost Patrol. I don’t know any AHG groups, but I would be cynical about such an organization, and the factual emphasis on leadership is all I needed to confirm my initial prejudice.
    After seeing the Boxer point of view, that this organization is being wrongly picked on, I believe that if it was doing Lori Alexander-like teaching, then we’d not see the wordly inclusion of leadership repeatedly in their purpose statement.
    If Boxer is correct, and this is a submissive organization that is helping us in the fight against feminism, and it only should be mildly and quietly notified of its errors, then hopefully my cynicism will be corrected by an AHG leader with a statement similar to Gunner’s about self-defense, or some other demonstration of submissiveness.

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  6. My very conservative PCA church is so sold out to girl power that I just can’t get to the place Derek and Boxer are at, that this is a beneficial organization. I hope you are right about them Derek.
    If my church put together such a group, it wouldn’t be anything other than a reflection of their crossdressing viewpoint, so I don’t see a group really fighting to train women to be slim, pretty, debt- and tattoo-free.
    If they are, then Boxer and Derek are correct, they need encouragement, not open rebuke.

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  7. GQ, thank you for the fullness of your reply.

    I’m of two minds.

    The false question is ‘what happens if she never marries?’ The true question is ‘what if she does?’ I fully agree: train for what you will be doing, for what you should be doing.

    On the other hand, all units in the military train in small unit tactics. Knowing common functionality is essential for the support elements to better support the main effort.

    Perhaps my mindframe on the matter is ‘exposure, not training’. Valuable also that she doesn’t succumb to the hive-think of liberal wimminz in voting away gun rights.

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