Mothers Upset with Girl Scouts Turn to More Christian-Based Group

( [email protected] ) Mar 23, 2004 04:41 AM EST

CRAWFORD, TX — Many Christian mothers who are upset with recent endorsement of two Planned Parenthood sex education seminars by Girl Scouts are sending their daughters to a newly formed Christian-based group known as American Heritage Girls. Planned Parenthood is a voluntary reproductive health care organization that takes pro-choice stance in abortion.

American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a Cincinnati-area woman and her friends who were unhappy of the decision made by the Girl Scouts to accept lesbians as troop leaders, to ban prayer at meetings and to allow girls to substitute the word "God" in the oath. The group started with 100 members in Ohio but now it has turned into a nonprofit group with 2,800 members in 22 states across the nation.

"I felt like the Girl Scouts' morals were definitely lacking, and the girls needed another choice," said Donna Coody, who recently stopped her two two daughters from continuing membership with Girl Scouts.

Troops must be chartered by a church or private school with the same basic religious beliefs as American Heritage Girls, with people who agree with a statement of faith as the leaders. However, it’s not required for girls to be religious in order to join. Each meeting starts with girls praying, pledging allegiance to the American and organization's flags, then saying the oath while holding up four fingers: symbolizing God, family, community and country.

"It's people who really want a wholesome program for their daughters," Patti Garibay, the founder of American Heritage Girls, said. "They're not religious fanatics."


About American Heritage Girls:

American Heritage Girls is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. The organization offers merit badge programs, service projects, girl leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences to its members. This program of character building has successfully served thousands of girls since its inception and will continue to do so long into the 21st century.

The founders of the American Heritage Girls and the volunteers of today give all credit for the success of AHG to God for His constant hand upon the organization and His unceasing blessings.