Bulloch County Families have discovered a new extra-curricular organization for their daughters called American Heritage Girls. AHG is a faith-based character development program for girls ages 5-18 dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.
Founded in 1995 in Cincinnati, Ohio, AHG has grown from 10 troops and 100 members to more than 50,000 members across 15 countries and in 50 states. Members participate in badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences, all with an emphasis on Christian values and family involvement. Girls can acquire life skills through many aspects of the AHG program, especially badge work. Badge work covers the six frontiers: Heritage, Family Living, Arts, Outdoor Skills, Personal Well-Being, and Science & Technology. AHG badges are age-appropriate and multi-level, allowing girls of all ages to work together at an appropriate pace. The outcome of this program emphasis is a competent girl who enjoys mastering new skills and applying them to her life.
AHG Troop GA0337 is the first AHG troop in Bulloch County, and it is chartered at Brooklet United Methodist Church. As the troop coordinator, Elizabeth McBride attempted to launch this program two years ago, but COVID shut the effort down.
“After many prayers, and continued searching for support in the community, we were able to launch this year and now have 14 girls,” she said.
The troop is broken up into units according to age, with each unit mentoring younger unit members. Each girl is expected to take leadership roles in the troop and help build nurturing relationships.
McBride says that as a troop, they are focused on collective service through initiatives such as making thank you cards for first-responders to the Pembroke disaster, cleaning up trash on shorelines, making toys for animal shelters and passing out flyers at the Herschel Walker gathering.
Future plans are in the works for the troop to adopt a nursing home to deliver monthly letters and pictures to the elderly, scheduled baking deliveries to various fire departments, and continued efforts towards finding opportunities to partner with other organizations that serve people in need. Also, since the troop is a patriotic organization, with its colors being red, white and blue, they will be pursuing activities that allow the girls to speak at various civic events, exercising respect and honor for country and the American flag.
“This organization is a whole family scouting program. AHG dad is a thing! Fathers are encouraged to serve and lead in our troop, as well as mothers are required to do ministry alongside their daughters,” McBride said. “I know first hand that as a mother to an AHG girl that I too have become one. We play together, pray together and serve together. It really is a beautiful thing to watch a girl laugh and giggle as she watches her mother play like a little girl. Honestly, that is my favorite part of the entire experience. It is amazing how a mom can become the cool girl at camp when she can do something as simple as a dive in the pool. The girls are so easily impressed by us moms. But that is what it is all about: Casting vision for the girls.”