Saturday, May 19, 2012

American Heritage Girls

This blog post is in response to never end questions about what AHG is, why we left GSUSA, and what we think of AHG.

1) I am going to answer the Girl Scout question first.  Why did we leave?

  • We had many reasons for leaving.  GSUSA has become all about girl empowerment.  If you have ever met my daughters you will realize that they are empowered enough! They need to learn humility.  
  • We left because we moved away from our troop, and comfort zone. I figured if we had to meet all new people, we may as well try out a Catholic troop.
  • We left because of a connection between GSUSA, WAGGGS, and Planned Parenthood.  Once my girls knew that PP performed abortions, and that GSUSA has been associated with them, my girls were done with GS.
  • I could have mostly ignored ALL of those reasons.  The REAL reason we left GSUSA is because they insulted Catholics when they released the Junior Journey called aMUSE.  In that book they reference a play called "Simply Maria."  Yes, they only mention the name of the play and the author.  Yes, they use the author as a role model for girls.  Simply Maria sounds like a wonderful play.  I could see Diva asking to find it and read it. When she sees a play she wants to do, we try to read an excerpt to find out what it is about before pursuing it.  This is what I found as an excerpt from it.
    • PRIEST. Dearly beloved, we are gathered here, under the Catholic church, in the holy house of God, to unite these two people in holy matrimony. Marriage is sacred. It is the unification of a man and a woman, their love and commitment, forever, and ever, and ever, no matter what! Well, then let's begin.María, do you accept José Juan Gonzalez García López as your lawfully wedded husband to love cherish, serve, cook for, clean for, sacrifice for, have his children, keep house, love him, even if he beats you, commits adultery, gets drunk, rapes you, lawfully, denies your identity, money, and in return ask for nothing? (MARIA thinks about it and then turns to her parents who mouth to her "I do.")
  • I do not want my CATHOLIC girl to read that.  She is gentle, sheltered, loving, and so much more.  I do not want her to read a play that makes fun of one of the most sacred aspects of my life.

2) What is AHG? To me, AHG is a Christian, our troop is Catholic, scouting program for girls.  We do all the things that you would expect a scout troop to do.  We perform service. Our troop, collectively, performed over 400 hours of service this year. (I will update with an exact total later, the paper is in the van, it is midnight, and I am in my PJs).  Our troop changes the missals at the sponsoring church as needed, we make and deliver cards and gifts to a local nursing home, we make layered cookies in a joy for the firefighters  The girls can earn patches!  Not for talking about our feelings like  you do in the Daisy Journeys.  Nope, my girls earned many patches, for Theater, Dance, Music Appreciation, Cooking, Outdoor Skills, World Heritage, Travel, Sewing, Computer Fun, and more.  We also take field trips.  We have seen the inner working of a bank and an airport.  We have toured Sinsinawa Mound and learned about Fr. Mazzuchelli.  All in all, AHG to me, is an organization that encourages service to others, learning new things, going new places, and making new friends.

3) Do we love it?  YES!  All 4 girls and myself love it.  We have so much fun.  I am the new Outdoor Coordinator.  I am planning 3 day camps.  Each camp is 2 days long.  The girls will learn about birds, insects, fire safety, how to build a fire, how to cook on the fire, how to use a pocket knife.  They will go on hikes, whittle a bar of soap, feed the troop, dissect owl pellets, make a nature journal, and start a bird life list. But most of all, they will have fun, make friends, and learn new things.


at the Right to Life Chili Luncheon


 learning so much about Fr. Mazzuchelli


Angie said...

At what age can you start with AHG?

4 is crazy said...

AHG is for K-12th grades. Out troop has 1 incoming kindergartener up through 6th grade, for next year.

Mimi said...

We also left GS, it is just not what it used to be! I

neanerbean said...

If you go go to the NFCYM website and look at the communication between NFCYM and GSUSA you will see what has transpired between The Catholic Church and GSUSA. and they have, if I remember correctly the " Simply Maria" play from the Journey book. Jump the gun a little? And we need girl empowerment. GSUSA has always been about enlisting girls in all form including humility, why do you think GS does community service, to show the girl who are less fortune then yes. Yea, I am a cradle Catholic!

RAnn said...

Looks like you found a good fit for your girls.

Welcome to the Catholic blog directory. I'd like to invite you to join us for Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival which is a weekly gathering where Catholic bloggers share posts with each other. This week's host post is at

4 is crazy said...

nearerbean - thank you for your insight NFCYM and their relationship with GSUSA. This does not change the fact that GSUSA thought it was okay to publish the Journey with the Anti-Catholic content in the first place.

We found a Catholic AHG scout troop, which has been a Godsend for my girls. They are allowed to pray the Rosary, make sacramentals, and have a priest on the board. This is the perfect troop for our family.

I am glad that you have found something that works for your family too.

RAnn - thank you, I will check out the Carnival

ExpressJodi said...

Great expectations

Life is full of surprises, particularly if you are a newly - wed . Expressjodi you a glimpse into the future and tells how to be prepared to face married life

Love is all about romance whereas marriage is a lot about responsibility. When two different individuals from different backgrounds live together, differences of opinion on things like spending habits, career, having and raising a baby, sharing household responsibilities etc, are bound to crop up, the key is to broaden your outlook and accept all the changes that marriage brings, and to remember that marriage is a momentous change for you and your spouse. And, fear not, over a period of time, you will find a way to make it work.


With marriage comes a whole lot of responsibility. "From the time you ger married, the decisions you make will not be yours alone, but your partner's as well. This is because your choices will impact both of you. But this doesn't mean that you're tied to a ball and chain. "It only means you have a companion with you for life. In fact, in your capacity as a spouse, you become your partner's caretaker, friend, confidante and even punching bag etc.


Arguments over money are bound to happen, so be prepared for it. And unless you establish some ground rules for dealing with financial issues, you will continue to have these arguments. Bear in mind that you are now a part of a unit, and no longer flying solo.

In - laws or outlaws?

if you thought that marriage is all about sharing your life with your significant other, think again, and this time, factor in your in - laws into the equation. When you're used to a particular lifestyle, moving in with your in - laws can be a rude shock. You will be required to make changes in your daily routine. Like waking up a little earlier to help around the house or rescheduling your plans on weekends or even modifying some of your eating habits. these might seem like an additional burden, particularly if you are a working woman. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to handling your in - laws. They may be rigid in their ways, but there is always a way to work out a compromise.

Sharing space

Marriage involves sharing everything - whether it is sadness or glad tidings, chores or finance, which can be a difficult task. This is why marriage necessitates an equal contribution from both side. " Sharing is absolutely essential for a happy marriage,. Besides making it easier to run the show, it also brings you closer to your partner, and cement a bond in a way that only experience can.
Differnces of opinion

Shaadi brings two different individuals together, as well as two sets of arguments for everything. Remember that your husband is as new to the marriage and the relationship as you, and he is facing the same issue for the first time as well.Irrespective of the nature of the relationship, any two people are bound to have differences of opinion at some point of time, It is how you handle these differences that mtters. The best antidote for deviant interest lies in adapting to the situation. "Be carteful not to retaliate for the sake of it,"

Planning for the future

As a single independent working woman, you may be used to your lifestyle, going on holidays or splurging on the latest pair of Jimmy Choos. But married life is a journey and you need to plan carefully to get to your destination. "Planning is the key. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page as far as long - term goal are concerned," "Whether or not you plan to have a baby or deciding on investments for the future and are thing that you should discuss in advbance, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises in you married life,"

ExpressJodi said...

Brahmin Shaadi
Historically, the Brahmins in india were divided into two major groups based on geographical origin of the people. The Brahmin groups that lived to the north of the vindhyas were referred to as Dravida Brahmins. Each group was further divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement.

The Sagaai or the engagement ceremony symbolises commitment However, the South Indian Brahmin do not lay stress on the presence of bride and the groom in their Sagaai, rather it focuses on commitment between the parents of the groom and the bride. 'Latto' i.e., 'engagement plate' Which consist of coconut, flowers, turmeric, betel leaves and betel nuts hold more importance, in their engagement ceremony. The Maithil Brahmin bride of bihar makes her wedding affair stand apart by receiving the blessing from the Dhobi's (washerman's) wife - a compulsory tradition in the Bihari Brahmin wedding.

In Haldi ceremony turmeric powder is mixed with milk, almond oil and sandalwood and applied to the bride and the groom. In Kashmiri Pandit this ceremony has a twist becuase cold, white yoghurt is poured on the bride as an alternative to haldi. ritual is followed by a special custom called Shankha (shell) Paula (coral) in bengali Brahmins, where seven married women embellish the bride's hand with red and white bangles, the shell is supposed to calm the bride and the coral is believed to
be beneficial for health. Mehndi is also applied on every bride's hands during the Mehndi ceremony. However, a Bengali Brahmin bride applies alta (red dye).

After the ceremonious arrival of the groom, the garlands are exchanged between the groom and the bride, while the priests chant mantras. Jaimala is the symbol of unifying two souls into one. But in tamil nadu, "Oonjal", a unique jaimala ceremony is performed and could be best decribed as a tug of war. In this ceremony, the women sing songs to encourage the bride and groom to exchange the garlands while the uncles persuade the soon to be couple not to Exchange the garlands.Before the ceremony of jaimala, the bride makes a majestic entry in Bengali weddings.

Mangal Phere
Fire is considered the most pious element in the Brahmin weddings and seven circles around that fire holds the seven promises that the nuptial couple make to each other amidst the Vedic mantras. The Brahmin wedding is deemed incomplete without the seven rounds around the sacred fire. Unlike other Brahmin weddings, in Gujarati weddings only four pheras are taken which are called the mangalpheras where the pheras represent four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Miksha (religious, moral, prosperity and salvation). Likewise in Malayalee Brahmin weddings, pheras are taken only thrice.

Post wedding ceremony vidaai
After pheras, the bride's family and friend bid her teary vidaai (farewell). The Kashmiri pundits make their vidaai even more special. their charming ritual, "roth khabar" is performed on a saturday or tuesday after the wedding. In Roth
khabar, the bride's parents send a roth (bread decorated with nuts) to their son - in - law's family. But the bride accompanies She stay with her parents and returns only when someone from in laws comes to fetch her back.

Griha pravesh
The new bride is greeted by her mother - in - law with Arti and tilak. The bride, who is regarded as the Goddess laxmi, enters the groom's house after the groom's house after kicking rice - filled pot. In Kannada Brahmin marriages, the groom changes the name of his wife in the name change ceremony where he decides a name for his wife and inscribes it on a plate containing rice with a ring. In Bihar, a very strange ritual is performs at the groom's place.

Marybeth said...

LOVE the post (even if I am 2 years late in reading it!) I 'googled' Catholic American Heritage Girls for the AHG National Catholic Committee Facebook page to see if there were any articles of interest to post.... I hope that your daily - and your Troop - are still flourishing!!
Marybeth Slocumb
Chair, National Catholic Committee
American Heritage Girls