2Welcome to the American Heritage Girls! A ministry for girlsGlorifies GodLeads to a Godly relationshipWelcome to American Heritage Girls Basic Training. American Heritage is a ministry for girls that has been developed to glorify God and to bring girls into a stronger relationship with him. Over the years, AHG has impacted thousands of girls and families’ lives. You will be an influencer on the lives of the volunteers and girls within the AHG unit and the local ministry. You will be changed forever as you begin and continue to serve in this transforming organization.
3AHG PresentationAs part of our introduction of American Heritage Girls, let’s view the AHG Promotional Video.At the conclusion of the video, encourage your participants to purchase one for future use in promoting AHG to the community, future charter partners and new families.
4Let’s open this training with prayer. [pray] IntroductionsI would like to introduce myself, I am _______________________. I will be your trainer for today. [Tell about your background] Have each participant introduce themselves. After this is complete, officially open the training with prayer.Let’s open this training with prayer. [pray]
6American Heritage Girls History Founded in 1995West Chester, OhioAmerican Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 in West Chester, Ohio by a group of parents wanting a wholesome character development program for their daughters. These parents were disillusioned with the increasing secular focus of existing scouting organizations for girls. They wanted a Judeo-Christian focused organization for their daughters and believed that other parents were looking for the same for their daughters. This became the catalyst for the birth of the organization we have come to know as the American Heritage Girls.
7What is AHG all about?Christ-centered, non-profit character development ministryDedicated to missionSix program emphasesNon-denominationalAHG partners to accomplish its missionAmerican Heritage Girls is a Christ-centered non-profit character development ministry for girls ages 5 – 18, dedicated to its mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. The AHG program is built upon six Program Emphases that address the spiritual, mental, physical and social needs of today’s young woman. The American Heritage Girls is a non-denominational ministry which believes in partnering with local Christian churches, para-church organizations and private schools in order to accomplish its mission.
8The OathI promise to love God, Cherish my family, Honor my country, And serve in my communityThe AHG Oath is, I promise to love God, Cherish my family, Honor my country, And serve in my community.” As you can see the AHG Oath has four parts. When a girl raises her four fingers, each finger represents a part of the oath. Take a moment to say the oath with your four fingers raised. Girls should say the oath at each meeting during an opening flag ceremony. There are some fun ways to help girls learn the oath as part of their activity time. Be sure to look through the Joining Award Leader packet for some suggestions. Ideas can be found in the Unit Leader Handbook or Volunteer area of the AHG website.
9As an American Heritage Girl, I will be: The CreedAs an American Heritage Girl, I will be:CompassionateHelpfulHonestLoyalPerseverantPureResourcefulRespectfulResponsibleReverentThe AHG Creed provides ten character virtues that each girl should strive to achieve as a young woman of integrity. These ten virtues were selected to reflect the ten commandments of the Bible. The Creed should also be incorporated into an opening flag ceremony at each regular Troop meeting. When reciting the Creed, girls stand at attention with their hands at their side. There are many fun ways to help girls learn the creed virtues. They too can be found in the Unit Leader Handbook or the Joining Award Resource packet.
10The Mission StatementBuilding women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.American Heritage Girls mission is to ‘build women of integrity though service to God, family, community and country”. Each Volunteer & girl are encouraged to know the mission of AHG.
11Our VisionAmerican Heritage Girls is the premier national character development organization for young women that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement.American Heritage Girls’ vision is to be the premier national character development organization for young women that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement. The time is ripe in our country to counter the culture and raise a generation of girls who will lead hopeful, joy filled, transformed lives.
12Our Statement of FaithThe AHG Statement of Faith applies to ALL American Heritage Girls’ Charter Organizations, Adult Members and Adult Volunteers.One Triune GodHoly Scriptures are the inspired and authoritative Word of GodEach person is created in His imageMinistry of the Holy SpiritLove the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strengthLive a life of purity, service, stewardship and integrityAHG is a Christ-centered ministry, and just as Jesus carefully chose His leadership, so does the American Heritage Girls. Each Charter Organization, Volunteer agrees to adhere to the AHG Statement of Faith. Providing godly, faith-filled adults to mentor our members is of utmost concern.
13Non-discrimination Policy Girl membership in the organization shall be made available to all without regard to race, color, creed or national origin, under such rules and regulations, not in conflict with the provisions of the AHG Oath: “I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country and serve in my community,” and the Purpose and the Basic Policies of AHG.American Heritage Girls has a non-discrimination policy applicable to its girl members. AHG is open to girls of all faiths, races and socioeconomic status. This policy allows AHG to be an outreach opportunity to the community, allowing any girl to participate in the AHG program. This information can be found in all girl and adult registration material and in all Troop Coordinator and Unit Leader Handbooks.
14Why is AHG a transforming ministry? Spiritual formation responsibility of parentsChurch is integralAHG reinforces values taught by family & church through a fun, interactive ministryAs a para-church ministry, AHG believe that the responsibility for spiritual formation in children lies with their parents. AHG also believes that the Church is best poised to assist parents with spiritual formation rather than just leading the process. Children who are only taught biblical truths at Sunday School and never have those truths integrated into their everyday family life have a more difficult time in maintaining their spiritual convictions as they grow. AHG believes it can help parents reinforce the values they hold dear through a program that complements their family values. AHG is yet another arrow in the quiver of today’s girls useful in countering the culture.
15Program Levels Pathfinder – 5 years old and in kindergarten Tenderheart – 6 years old and in 1st through 3rd gradeExplorer – 9 years old and in 4th through 6th gradePioneer – 12 years old and in 7th through 8th gradePatriot – 14 years old and in 9th through 12th gradeAmerican Heritage Girls program strives to offer a well-rounded program to its members. A successful Troop offers a variety of activities and opportunities that embody all six program emphases and all five levels. Each program element is important and together they provide a well rounded, transformational experience to its members.
16Organizational Troop Structure Charter OrganizationCharter RepresentativeTroop BoardTenderheart UnitPathfinder UnitExplorer UnitPioneer UnitPatriot UnitThe Troop Structure includes a charter organization, a charter representative who is the Troop’s support person at the charter; the Troop Board and each program level. This structure allows the workload of the program to be spread out to many adult volunteers, allowing for effective program delivery.
17Roles of AHG Inc. / Area AHG, Inc. Area Branding & Marketing Training DevelopmentDevelops Volunteer Support ToolsDevelops and Evaluates programInsures Fiscal ResponsibilityRisk ManagementProcures, maintains and fulfills merchandise needsDevelops Strategic PartnershipsCreates Strategies for Future GrowthTracks training, advancementAreaPublicityNew Troop Start UpsCreates local program opportunities leveraging local resourcesImplement area volunteer trainingsOrchestrates Area wide service projectsProvides Troop and volunteer supportManages riskThe AHG Inc Office is headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, the birthplace of AHG. The National Staff is led by the National Executive Director who reports to the National Board of Directors. AHG, Inc is the entity who reviews and grants Troop Charters. AHG Inc., Office is responsible for Branding & Marketing; Training, Volunteer Support, Researches, develops and evaluates program, fiscal responsibility, risk management, merchandise and future growth.
18Charter Organization Legal & spiritual authority of the Troop Owns the AHG ProgramProvides insurance, conflict resolution assistance, performs background checks and provides a meeting placeTroop should nurture relationship through communication of activities and their impact on girls.Each AHG Troop is legally chartered through a local Christian organization. This legal charter allows for ownership by the charter organization of the AHG program in their building. The charter partner is the legal and spiritual authority for the Troop and offers insurance, conflict resolution, background checks, and a meeting place as part of their charter agreement with AHG, Inc.The AHG Troop owes much to their Charter Organization as they have decided to expand their youth ministry or extracurricular offerings to include the American Heritage Girls program. The Charter Organization should be aware of the activities of each Troop and the personal growth of each girl. The Charter Organization should also be made aware of many resources available to them through the American Heritage Girls.
19AHG Troop Ministry Team Troop BoardCoordinatorVice-CoordinatorTreasurerTroop ShepherdCharter RepresentativeUnit Leader (s)Other PositionsLeadership TeamUnit LeadersAssistant Unit LeadersThe Troop Ministry Team is the main group of volunteers which provides direction and leadership for the local AHG Troop. It is important to the success of the AHG Troop that a committed, godly Ministry Team is recruited.Two Groups of volunteers make up the Troop Ministry Team, The Troop Board and the other Volunteers. The Troop Board works together to govern the Troop and to establish goals for the Troop. They are responsible for, among other things, developing the local Troop’s policies and guidelines.The Troop Volunteers, which are comprised of Unit Leaders, Assistant Unit Leaders and other designated adult Troop positions, are to be major contributors throughout Troop Ministry Team meetings and during any decision making processes.
20The Ministry Values of AHG Each person is a child of God and made in His image. Each person is to be treated respectfully and fairly whether they are a Christian or not. The dignity of each girl and volunteer must be maintained despite her/his background, past experiences or socioeconomic group.AHG is designed to protect the innocence of children. Media of all types must be chosen with purity, age appropriateness, and God’s glorification in mind.The AHG Ministry Values listed, in addition to those values included in the American Heritage Girls’ Oath and Creed should be reflected in all AHG activities. These values can be found in the Troop Coordinator (pg. 9)and Unit Leader Handbooks ( pg. 9) for future reference.Trainer: Highlight a few of these.
21The Ministry Values of AHG AHG’s program is developmentally appropriate and does not intend to “hurry” a child in mastery but to enjoy the process and learn along the way. The program is progressive in nature encouraging each girl to become competent in a manner which encourages development but not rush it.AHG believes that one can only lead others to a stronger relationship with Christ if the leader is also maturing in relationship with Christ as evidenced by godly attitudes, behaviors and personal spiritual growth.
22The Ministry Values of AHG AHG believes that one’s service to the AHG ministry should be of excellence and that befitting our Lord.AHG believes that financial stewardship and organizational integrity is of utmost concern and a direct reflection of Christ through His ministry. AHG believes in the importance of godly governance and encourages transparency with the work of its directors.AHG believes that strategic alliances are important and vital to the success of the ministry. With this in mind, alliances must be carefully chosen and reflective of the Mission, Statement of Faith and the values found in the AHG creed.
23The Ministry Values of AHG AHG believes that through a longevity of experience, consistency in messaging and a modeling of Christ’s love through the AHG program, that the culture can be countered, raising up godly women leaders for the coming generations.AHG believes that each person is created in His image and desires to commune with and seek God’s will for their life. The vocation that God has revealed to each one is of great merit, despite societal messaging, for we are not of this world but in this world.
24Getting StartedAs a new Troop or a new volunteer in an existing Troop, you may be wondering where to start. Reading through your handbook, prayer and consulting with your Support Services Coordinator are some of the things you should do first.On pg. 17 in the Troop Coordinator Handbook and on pg. 24 of the Unit Leader Handbook, you will find valuable check lists to help you get going. (Stop and take a look at these pages)The following program slides will help give you an overview of the program.
25Recruiting, Selecting & Approving Adult Volunteers Recruiting VolunteersSelection of VolunteersApproval Process for VolunteersInclude screening process – background checks, references & personal interviewTraining of VolunteersThe Charter Organization’s values and the mission of AHG are reflected through the Troop’s leadership. With the support of the Charter Organization, the Troop Board and Leadership Team will effectively carry out the AHG program as they deal directly with the girls and other adult volunteers. The AHG ministry Team will influence the life of every girl and family in the Troop. Since the Troop Ministry Team plays such a vital role in the character, nature and spiritual direction of the Troop, it is the responsibility of the Charter Organization to recruit, select and approve all Troop leadership. The Charter Representative should assist the Troop Coordinator in identifying and recruiting volunteer leaders at all levels within the Troop.More discussion about the recruiting, selecting, approving and training aspect of adult volunteers will be covered in the Troop Coordinator breakout training or can be found on pg. 27 of the Troop Coordinator Handbook.
26Managing Risk AHG Group Insurance Troop Transportation Registration Health & SafetyAdult/Girl RatioTwo Deep LeadershipPathfinder 6 girls / 1 LeaderTenderheart 6 girls / 1 LeaderExplorer 8 girls / 1 LeaderPioneer 10 girls / 1 LeaderPatriot 12 girls / 1 LeaderRisk Management is a necessary and important consideration when working with girls. Health and Safety guidelines are only one piece of Troop Risk Management. Other areas of risk management include:Insurance - Each registration received in the AHG office provides group liability insurance coverage that provides protection from lawsuits involving bodily injury such as “slips and falls” and damage to physical property. It covers claims resulting from bodily injury or property damage arising from Troop activities. All registered members of AHG (both girl and adult) are covered by AHG’s new Group Insureance.Troop Transportation – It is the policy of American Heritage Girls that all vehicles used in the transport of girls for Troop sponsored activities be properly insured, registered and operated by adults (21 and over). For specific guidelines, refer to pg of the Troop Coordinator Handbook and the Health and Safety Guidelines on the Unit Leader Handbook CD.Registration – AHG member registration is vital for both the individual Troop and the American Heritage Girls organization. Individuals are not considered members until their paperwork is received in the AHG, Inc. Office. All Troop members must be registered with AHG, Inc. prior to attending any Troop meeting or activity.One of the “key” components in the Health and Safety Guidelines is to make sure that the Troop adheres to the adult/girl ratio and ALWAYS maintains two deep leadership.Two deep leadership is defined as two registered adults for each activity.Resource: Pg. 47 Unit Leader Handbook, Pg. 38 Troop Coordinator Handbook & Health & Safety GuidelinesGirl/Leader RatiosPathfinder 6 girls per 1 registered LeaderTenderheart 6 girls per 1 registered LeaderExplorer 8 girls per 1 registered LeaderPioneer 10 girls per 1 registered LeaderPatriot 12 girls per 1 registered LeaderAdditional Health and Safety Guidelines will be discussed later in this training.
27Program Emphases Life Skill Enhancement Girl Leadership Developing Teamwork and Building Confidence (through Outdoor Skills)Character DevelopmentSocial DevelopmentSpiritual DevelopmentAmerican Heritage Girl strives to offer a well-rounded program to their members. A successful Troop offers a variety of activities and opportunities that embody the six program emphases. When possible, Leaders should strive to incorporate all six program emphases into each AHG activity they plan. Progression charts are available as suggested guides in providing progressive & appropriate activities. AHG offers Volunteers a variety of resources for creative and effective implementation of the program emphases.The quarterly Volunteer Resource Guide and the AHG Volunteer site are full of great ideas and resources.
28Life Skill Enhancement Badge FrontiersFamily LivingScience & TechnologyPersonal Well – BeingThe ArtsHeritageOutdoor SkillsThe Badge Program is designed to teach life skills through a multi-level program. Badges can be earned at the Tenderheart through Patriot Levels. AHG offers six areas of skill, called Frontiers that contribute to the well roundedness of a young woman. As you can see by viewing the Girl Handbook, each badge is progressive in nature. A Tenderheart badge will require a very basic skill level, while a Patriot will have progressed to a much higher skill level to complete. Each girl must complete all requirements marked with the appropriate uniform icon and specific optionals. For more information, please see the Girl Handbook Badge section. We encourage Troops not to plan more than 2-3 badges a year so that other activities can also be planned. Girls may earn badges on their own. It is important to note that if a girl earns a badge on her own, that the Unit Leader allow some time for the girl to make a brief presentation to the Troop or squad, being able to “show or demonstrate” a skill that she learned from this activity. Badge completed activities should be logged in the Troop or unit’s advancement system and in the girl handbook.
29Developing Teamwork and Building Confidence Importance of TeamworkProviding Progressive Outdoor ProgrammingNote: AHG Health and Safety Guidelines should be consulted for specific activity guidelines and procedures.Working as a team is important to any Troop. Teamwork skills are enhanced at each meeting as girls work together to achieve common goals. The outdoor experiences intrinsic to the AHG program create an exceptional environment for girls to accept challenges, achieve goals and build confidence and self reliance.AHG’s progressive outdoor program provides girls with an opportunity to explore the outdoors in a manner that is often not available at home or school. Successful Troop’s include exciting outdoor opportunities. These opportunities should be progressive in nature, helping to build anticipation, as well as meeting the development needs of girls.Example:Pathfinder/Tenderheart introduced to the out of doors through a Troop picnic or hike.Explorer may be ready for an overnight camping trip in cabins.AHG has developed a model suggesting how a girl should progress through outdoor experience. Review the model on pg. 32 of Unit Leader HandbookResource – AHG Outdoor Activity Progression Chart – pg. 32 of Unit Leader HandbookCoordinator/ Unit Leader Resource CD’s
30Social Development Special Events Creating Community Note: AHG Health and Safety Guidelines should be consulted when planning social activities.Girls love to have fun and rate “time with friends” as the main reason they love AHG. The secure setting of an all girl environment supervised by trained, adult mentors allows for life-long friendships to develop and grow. Social development can be fostered through a number of avenues, included special events and Troop community activities.Review Resource: Social Development Progression Chart, pg. 33 of Unit Leader Handbook
31Girl Leadership Girl Leadership at all Levels Girl Leadership should be ProgressiveWomen have a unique role in society. They are the great “influencers” and provide leadership at a number of levels throughout their lives. AHG strives to offer leadership opportunities at every level of AHG program. Through many successful experiences, leadership becomes a lifestyle to the AHG members.Review Girl Leadership Progression Chart – pg. 35 of Unit Leader HandbookShare sample Tips for Nurturing Girl Leadership (pg. 33 Unit Leader Handbook)More discussion on girl leadership will take place in the Unit Leader Breakout
32Character Development Character Development ProgressionCircles of CharityHands – on CharityWitnessed CharityVicarious CharityAbstract CharityInstilling PatriotismThe AHG Oath and Creed provide the cornerstone of values that personify the AHG experience. AHG’s strong service program encourages girls to put “legs on their faith” and put their values into action. AHG girls have an outward focus toward others’ needs rather than always seeking benefit to self. AHG offers experiences and opportunities for girls to have the right tools to make sound, moral decisions today and in the future.Review the Circles of Charity Chart (pg. 37 in Unit Leader Handbook)AHG also seeks to teach girls what it means to be an active citizen of the United States. Through a variety of citizenship programs girls can begin to understand the great blessing that it is to live in the United States.Review the Character Development Progression Chart on pg. 36 Unit Leader HandbookGirls earn service stars based on the number of hours served.Tenderheart – 5 hours of serviceExplorer – 10 hours of servicePioneer – 15 hours of servicePatriot hours of serviceReview Service Idea Chart on pg. 38 of Unit Leader HandbookDiscuss sample service ideas
33Spiritual Development AHG encourages each girl to grow in their faith and relationship with God.Troop Shepherd Adult Volunteer PositionSpiritual Development ProgressionAHG Religious Award ProgramsPRAY ProgramNFCYM AwardsAHG encourages each girl to grow in her faith and relationship with God.Each AHG Troop has a special Troop Shepherd who seeks to get to know each girl and pray for each girl. The Troop Shepherd, along with other Troop Leadership are key in encouraging girls to grow their faith. Whether through Troop meeting prayer, Unit Bible studies, or modeling Christ-like behavior, Adult Volunteers can have an eternal impact on the lives of girls.Review Spiritual Development Progression Chart ( pg. 41 of Unit Leader Handbook)AHG also emphasizes the value of the religious recognitions program and is honored to offer to Protestant girls the PRAY program and to the Catholic girls the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) medals program. PRAY workbooks are available to all levels, through the National AHG Attic and the Catholic workbooks are available through NFCYM.Religious recognitions are important throughout all levels of AHG programming but are integral to the earning of AHG’s highest award, the Stars & Stripes Award.
34Level Structure Tenderheart Unit Tenderheart Squad Once girls have been registered, it is time to determine how girls and their leaders should be organized. This chart represents the Tenderheart Level. The Tenderheart unit can often be the the largest unit in the Troop. It is suggested that once you reach the adult/girl ratio that you divide the girls and their leaders into squads. This can be accomplished several ways. You can divide the girls by grade or other ways that would be determined by the leadership team.
35Squad Structure Unit Leader Girl Squad Leader Girl As girls progress through the program, it is important to be sure to develop girl leadership roles. The girl – led squad structure is ideal for Explorer, Pioneer, Patriot Units and allows for girl leadership to flourish.
36Age Group Characteristics American Heritage Girls program offers 5 levels of programming. Program levels are divided by age and grade. Troop are to be comprised of multi-levels. It is common for new Troops to only have a few levels but they should strive for all five.
37Pathfinder LevelGirls at least 5 years old and in Kindergarten at time of registrationEarn necklace beadsLearn four parts of the OathReceive the Eliza Shirley AwardEach Program Level of American Heritage Girls has unique characteristics and look.Review the characteristics of the Pathfinder Level:Girls at least 5 years old and in Kindergarten at time of registration.Earn necklace beads for attendance, * participation and verse memorization.Learn about the four parts of the AHG Oath.Receive the Eliza Shirley Award for completion of the level.
38Tenderheart LevelGirls at least 6 years old and in grades 1st through 3rdEarn badgesReceive activity patchesSacagawea AwardService Stars: Blue star = 5 hours serviceDenomination’s religious awardsReview the characteristics of the Tenderheart Level:Girls at least 6 years old and in grades 1st through 3rd.May earn badges in any of the 6 Frontiers of Skill. **May receive activity patches for participation in Troop activities or special events.May earn the Sacagawea Award for achieving the highest level of skill and service.Service Stars (blue) are awarded. One star for every 5 hours of community service given. **May earn denomination’s religious award.
39Explorer LevelGirls at least 9 years old and in grades 4th through 6thEarn badgesActivity patchesLewis and Clark AwardService Stars: Red star = 10 hours serviceDenomination’s religious awardReview the characteristics of the Explorer Level:Girls at least 9 years old and in grades 4th through 6th.May earn badges in any of the 6 Frontiers of Skill. **May receive activity patches for participation in Troop activities or special events.May earn the Lewis and Clark Award for achieving the highest level of skill and service.Service Stars (red) are awarded. One star for every 10 hours of community service given. **May earn denomination’s religious award.
40Pioneer Level Girls at least 12 years old and in grades 7th and 8th Badges and Activity patchesCamp and Event AidesAssist Unit Leaders with planning, organizing and staffing special eventsHarriet Tubman AwardService Stars: White star = 15 hours of serviceDenomination’s religious awardReview the characteristics of the Pioneer Level:Girls at least 12 years old and in grades 7th and 8th.May earn badges in any of the 6 Frontiers of Skill. **May receive activity patches for participation in Troop activities or special events.May be Camp and Event Aides. May also assist Unit Leaders with planning, organizing and staffing special events for all American Heritage Girls in their community or Troop.May earn the Harriet Tubman Award for achieving the highest level of skill and service.Service Stars (white) are awarded. One star for every 15 hours of community service given. **May earn denomination’s religious award.
41Patriot Level Girls at least 14 year old and in grades 9th - 12th Badges and Activity patchesCamp and Event AidesAssist Unit Leaders with planning, organizing and staffing special eventsDolley Madison AwardStars And Stripes Award (highest honor available)Service stars: Yellow star = 20 hours of serviceDenomination’s religious awardReview the characteristics of the Patriot Level:Girls at least 14 year old and in grades 9th through 12th.May earn badges in any of the 6 Frontiers of Skill. **May receive activity patches for participation in Troop activities or special events.May be Camp and Event Aides. May also assist Unit Leaders with planning, organizing and staffing special events for all American Heritage Girls in their community or Troop.May earn the Dolley Madison Award. May also choose to earn AHG’s highest honor, the Stars And Stripes Award for achieving the highest levels of service and skill.Service stars (yellow) are awarded. One star for every 20 hours of community service given. **May earn denomination’s religious award.May serve on local Council’s Board of Trustees.
42Progressive Programming Girl Development Girls with Varying Abilities Working with GirlsProgressive ProgrammingGirl DevelopmentGirls with Varying AbilitiesIt is important that when programming, we do so in a progressive nature. Programs should involve girls at the skill and understanding levels they are capable of handling. AHG utilizes a progressive program, so that girls can become competent in a manner which encourages development, rather than rush it.The way in which a girl progresses through the AHG program should be based upon a girl’s physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual maturity. Programs should meet girls where they are developmentally, in order for them to learn and mature effectively. For instance working with Pathfinders will be very different than working with Patriots and the planned activities should reflect this different.For developmental characteristics of girls in each program level, review pg. 28 & 29 in the Unit Leader Handbook or on the Coordinator Resource CD. Developmental characteristics will be discussed more fully in the Unit Leader Breakout trainings.It is crucial not only in fulfilling the mission of American Heritage Girls, but also in fulfilling the Great Commission, that AHG create an inclusive program, in which abilities can actively participate. AHG asks that each Troop leadership work to create an environment in which all girls can feel welcome, grow and experience a level of independence. You are encouraged to work closely with parents to make the most of each girl’s AHG experience.AHG has a number of resources available to assist you in this process. They are available on the leader resource of the AHG website. Beginning in 2009, AHG will be offering a leadership training experience focusing on working with girls with special needs.
43UniformsPathfinderThe American Heritage Girls is a uniformed organization. Members wear their uniform to all AHG Activities. Wearing the AHG uniform gives its members a sense of identity and equality, encourages good behavior and allows the community to recognize the ministry which it represents.Guidelines regarding uniform pieces can be found in the AHG Guide to Ordering Merchandise available on the Coordinator CD, AHG website or the AHG Girl Handbook on pg. 20. Badge and insignia placement standards can be found on pg. 24 through 27 of the Girl HandbookPathfinder Uniform consists of:Official Pathfinder T-ShirtOfficial Pathfinder NecklaceNavy slacks* Slacks should be dress slacks, with no pockets on legs.
44Uniforms Tenderheart Tenderheart Uniform consists of: Official AHG White Polo or long sleeved mock turtleneckOfficial AHG Navy Neckerchief and knotted with a square knot at first button on the poloOfficial Red Vest, with proper insignia placementNavy Skort or navy slacks*/skirt* Slacks should be dress slacks, with no pockets on legs.
45Uniforms Explorer Explorer Uniform consists of: Official AHG White Polo or long sleeved mock turtleneckOfficial AHG Red Neckerchief and knotted with a square knot at first button on the poloOfficial Blue Vest, with proper insignia placementKhaki Skort or Khaki slacks*/skirt* Slacks should be dress slacks, with no pockets on legs.
46Uniforms Pioneer Pioneer Uniform Consists of: Official AHG White Polo (collar may be unbuttoned) or long sleeved mock turtleneckOfficial AHG Navy Sash with proper insignia placementKhaki skirt or slacks** Slacks should be dress slacks, with no pockets on legs.
47Uniforms Patriot Patriot Uniform Consists of: Official AHG Red Polo (collar may be unbuttoned) or long sleeved mock turtleneckOfficial AHG Navy Sash with proper insignia placementKhaki skirt or slacks** Slacks should be dress slacks, with no pockets on legs.
48Uniforms Leader Uniform The AHG Volunteer Uniform consists of: Official AHG Red or Navy Adult Polo with correct insignia placementNavy or Khaki Slacks or Skirt* Slacks should be dress slacks, with no pockets on legs.AHG offers an extensive Adult Recognitions program. Volunteers may display their achievements on their AHG Polo Shirts. Diagram can be found on pg. 52 of the Unit Leader Handbook.
49Merchandise Ordering & Online Store AHG AtticMerchandise Ordering & Online StoreUniforms, badges, awards and insignia can be ordered through the AHG Attic using the merchandise order form. The AHG Attic also provides a one-stop shop for spiritwear items, gifts and collectibles on line at Next time you’re looking for a Leader thank-you or a birthday present, be sure to visit the online store, open 24 hours a day!
50Troop Finances Income Sources Registration Setting Troop/Squad Dues Troop Fundraising ActivitiesAllowed 3 fundraisers per yearSpecial Event IncomeMerchandiseThe AHG Troop receives its funding sources through Troop dues, fundraising and direct fees (special events). These sources provide the AHG Troop with operational monies to implement the AHG program at the Troop level.
51Troop Finances Expense Charter Fee Registration Merchandise Supplies Postage/ShippingProgram Support FeeIt is very important that each Troop develop and utilize a Troop Budget annually. Full disclosure of the financial expectations of the parents is important at the beginning of the Troop year. A financial report should be available also for any parents at their request if questions may arise.The following categories can be set up within a treasurer’s accounting software, such as Quicken, Quickbooks or TroopLedger which aids in the tracking of income and expenses.A budget is based on all girls participating and reaching the Troop goal for fundraisers. The budget will be adjusted if this goal is not met.Review Income sources
52AHG Ministry to GirlsOnce adult volunteers are in place and recruitment plans are underway, the planning and organizing of Troop meetings should take place.Troop meetings should be run according to each Troop’s individual Troop Policy manual. Meetings should be from 1-2 hours in length with shorter time periods for younger girls and longer time periods for older girls. Meetings may be weekly or bi-weekly depending on the needs and interests of the girls. Activities, badge work and service projects may be selected by the girls, Unit Leaders and families.The quarterly Leader Resource Guide is full of great ideas to use within your meeting time. This resource guide is available through monthly mailings, or on the AHG volunteer protected site.
53Meeting Structure Set Up Opening Sharing/Business Major Activity/Small Group TimePlanningClean UpClosingResource: Troop Meeting Planning SheetMeetings should include:Set Up timeOpening prayer and flag ceremonyAHG Oath, AHG creed and songTroop business and announcement timeActivity, Badge work, or Service projectClean up timeClosing Activity.Additional information on each of the above can be found on pg of the Unit Leader HandbookA Troop Meeting Planning Sheet can assist you with using the program elements to accomplish your Unit’s plans.This is available on the Unit Leader Resource CD and the Leader area of the AHG website.
54Level Awards Overview Joining Award Level Awards Pathfinder – Eliza ShirleyTenderheart – SacagaweaExplorer – Lewis and ClarkPioneer – Harriet TubmanPatriot – Dolley MadisonLevel Award Board of ReviewPlanning Troop activities will include the facilitation of Level Awards.Joining Award – This is the first Award an American Heritage Girls (except for Pathfinders, whose level award is their Eliza Shirley Award) earns, despite her age. The Joining Award can be earned within a Troop/Unit or independently. If a girl joins, and the majority of her Troop has already earned their Joining Awards, her Unit Leader along with the Parent can assist the girl in earning the requirements within one month of joining. Requirements for the Joining Award can be found in the Girl Handbook. This award should be earned within the first quarter of membership. A Joining Award Resource Packet and sample ceremonies can be found on the Leader Resource Area of the AHG website.Each Level in American Heritage Girls provides the opportunity for each girl to earn their Level Award. Level Awards are designed to give the girls a well rounded program and provide all six program emphases within a specific time frame. Girls earn their level award in the last year of the program level. Each girl must participate in a Level Award Board of Review prior to her recognition ceremony. Level Award recognition should be provided through a ceremony, typically at the end of the year where girls are ceremoniously moved up through a “crossing over or bridging up” ceremony. The Unit Leader Handbook and leader area of AHG website has ceremony samples. As a reminder the level awards are not a requirement to continue in the program. You may find girls entering the AHG program at 3rd, 6th or 8th grade that will not have an interest or the timing is too short to accomplish the requirements. That is perfectly acceptable. Girls may work on requirements through the Troop setting and on their own with parental support if there is an interest by the girl and the parent to accomplish this recognition.AHG has developed sample “pathways” to assist Leaders in helping girls accomplish Level Award.Review Level Award Pathways on pg. 65 – 68 in the Unit Leader Handbook for suggested ways to implement the Level Awards.Board of Review – Each girl earning their Level Award must participate in a Board of Review, organized at the Troop level, at the end of their level year. Pathfinders do not need to participate in a Board of Review. Information on how to set up a Board of Review along with sample questions are on pg. 70 – 72 of the Unit Leader Handbook and on the Troop Coordinator CD.
55Stars & Stripes Award AHG’s Highest Honor Steps include: Badge work Religious award recognitionLeadership opportunities100 hr. service projectRequirements & Board of Review must be completed by 18th birthdayAmerican Heritage Girls’ highest recognition is the Stars and Stripes Award. This is a multi-faceted award that honors girls who epitomize the Oath and Creed. The award incorporates Badge work, religious award recognition, service and leadership. This award takes a lot of hard work and may take a few years to achieve. Patriot girls wishing to achieve AHG’s highest honor must exemplify the qualities of the creed and represent what the Lord desires of His people. Requirements must be met by the girls 18th birthday.To begin this journey, a girl must purchase the Stars and Stripes Application binder from the AHG Attic. Once a girl has decided to begin the journey to Stars and Stripes, she must notify the National AHG Inc., Office for approval. After completion of the application, the girl must participate in a Board of Review. Once the Board of Review has deemed her qualified, she may receive her award at a Stars and Stripes ceremony provided by her family and the Troop.Patriot Level Unit Leaders must be familiar with the Stars & Stripes Award requirements and should also complete the Stars & Stripes Workshop Training available on the Volunteer area of the AHG website. For Stars & Stripes Board of Review guidelines, contact the Local Council/AHG, Inc. Office.
56Ceremonies Ceremonies should be: Time of Year: Organized Timed Planned Girl participation in helping plan and implement ceremoniesTime of Year:Joining Award/DedicationCourt of AwardsEnd of yearFlag EtiquetteSome of the most memorable times for a girl in American Heritage Girls are during special ceremonies. There are many reasons for a Troop to conduct a ceremony. Whether it is to dedicate a commitment to AHG for another year (a dedication ceremony), receive badges and awards (mid year Court of Awards), give praise to the Lord for His blessings in our life and in the life of AHG (Scout Sunday), honor the symbol of our country (a Flag Ceremony) or celebrate advancement to a new level (Crossing over or Bridging), a ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate and commemorate important events. Ceremonies should be well organized, timed, planned and memorable.Ceremony ideas can be found on the Unit Leader CD and leader resource area of the AHG website.
57Nurturing the AHG Troop As your Troop matures and grows, the Troop leadership and families will become more comfortable with the program elements allowing the membership to grow and be nurtured by the adult volunteers.
58Spiritual Development of Unit Leadership The spiritual development of AHG ministry Volunteers is integral to the success of the Troop.The spiritual development of AHG ministry Volunteers is integral to the success of the Troop. It is AHG’s belief that spiritual development must be disciplined and intentional. By making your time with God a habit that is planned and frequent, your relationship with Him will deepen and you will realize God’s great glory.It is often said AHG is not just a ministry for girls; it is a ministry for women. Consistent, intentional spiritual growth will make your AHG journey a true blessing to yourself, those you encounter and to our Heavenly Father.Troop Boards and their Shepherds often engage in Troop Bible Studies or book clubs. They encourage one another through Board praise and prayer reports. If the leadership truly cares for one another, so will the girls. Creating women of integrity requires strong spiritual growth growing women of faith.
59Succession PlanningSelect Adult Volunteers based on their gifts and TalentsUse a Spiritual Gift AssessmentAt some point in time, you may decide that it is time to change your volunteer position, as a Troop Coordinator, Unit Leader or other key adult volunteer position. In order to continue the dedication and effective leadership style you developed, it is most important to pass the baton to someone capable of continuing the vision that was started.Carefully selecting adult volunteers based on gifts and talents is the most effective way to have volunteers that serve passionately allowing them to provide meaningful contributions to the Troop.Resources to help in selection include:Charter organization spiritual gift assessment classes
60“Seven Practices of Effective Ministry” Succession Planning“If you fail to develop a strategy to replace yourself, you willForce talented individuals to remain in the wings.Cause potential volunteers to exit the organization.Stifle needed insight from valuable team members.Hinder your ability to recruit volunteers.Limit the growth of your programs and ministries.”Andy Stanley“Seven Practices of Effective Ministry”At some point in time, you may decide that it is time to change your leadership position, as a Troop Coordinator, Unit Leader or other key adult volunteer position. In order to continue the dedication and effective leadership style you developed, it is most important to pass the baton to someone capable of continuing the vision that was started.Carefully selecting adult volunteers based on gifts and talents is the most effective way to have volunteers that serve passionately allowing them to provide meaningful contributions to the Troop.Resources to help in selection include:Charter organization spiritual gift assessment classes
61Troop Recognitions Honor Troop HUGS Patch Program Annual Family StewardshipGirl Activity PatchesAmerican Heritage Girls offers several Troop recognition patch programs.The Honor Troop is a Troop’s highest honor. Troops that fulfill the requirements will receive the Honor Troop patch and yearly rocker bar for each girls uniform. The application can be found on the leader area of the AHG website and the Coordinator CD. This award takes an entire year to complete and is not recommended for first year Troops.AHG’s service arm – HUGS (Heritage Girls United Giving Service) provides a service patch program, called the HUGS Patch. Troops that sponsor three or more service projects may purchase for a nominal fee the patches by using the merchandise order form. These are typically ordered for the End of Year Ceremony.PFP (Providing For the Promise), an AHG family donation campaign also provides an opportunity for a patch. Troop’s that have over 80% of their families making a contribution can receive complimentary activity patches.Girls may also earn activity patches for the various activities they attend through the local Troop, community events etc. If you plan on providing a special event such as a Mother-Daughter activity or a Dad & daughter activity, why not include a patch with that activity. Activity patches can be purchased through various internet patch companies.
62Adult Volunteer Recognitions Recognizing your Volunteers is important for the morale of the Troop and also for improved volunteer retention.Adult Recognitions include:Gem of A LeaderJewel of A CoordinatorTroop Volunteer AwardAHG offers an extensive Adult Recognitions program. Volunteers may display their achievements on their AHG Polo Shirts. Applications and information regarding the recognitions program can be found on the Volunteer resource area of the AHG website and the Coordinator CD.
63Steps to Resolving Conflict: Step 1: Seek Biblical guidanceStep 2: Understand the uniqueness of each volunteerStep 3: Honor the feelings of each volunteerStep 4: Retrace the loopStep 5: Deal with conflict in a timely mannerStep 6: Do not let the conflict steal your joy of servingConflict is inevitable. God has designed each person unique. The uniqueness may cause relational stress because of the misunderstanding of another. If everyone was created in exactly the same manner, sharing exactly the same beliefs, sharing exactly the same experiences, one may experience less conflict but wouldn’t life be boring?Conflict will happen. Conflict can significantly impact the effectiveness of a Troop and in turn effect the girls. The following steps to resolution can assist you in resolving conflict in a biblical way.Review resources in the Unit Leader Handbook (pg. 79 – 82) and Troop Coordinator Handbook (pg. 68 – 70)Website resources:
64Growing Your AHG Ministry In response to the Great Commission, one of AHG’s goals is to reach as many girls as possible with the ministry and message of AHG. This is best accomplished at the local level through existing AHG Troops who wish to grow the program throughout their community. There are a variety of ways in which to expand the AHG Ministry, but two highly effective methods include the “Each One Grow One” program and individual Troop growth.The “Each One Grow One Program” is a program designed for an existing Troop to plant another Troop and mentor them through start up.Another way is by building up your own Troop membership through girl recruitment efforts.
65Recruiting Adults Recruiting is an “Ongoing Process” Welcome new familiesPersonal Invitations for helpMentor FamiliesProvide recognitionAdult RecruitmentIt is important when starting a Troop in a new community, that parents are engaged and their participation is encouraged from the start. This can be difficult as many parents tend to be skittish and unwilling to agree to important volunteers tasks if they are unfamiliar with the program and future expectations.Review suggested tips for recruiting adult volunteers pg. 88 (Unit Leader) and pg. 76 (Coordinator)Girl RecruitmentIt is most important that as a Troop grows, that the Troop Ministry Team develop an annual recruitment plan. This plan should include various ways to recruit new girls to the program. One of the most effective ways to recruit is word of mouth, personal invite. Many successful Troops have recruited many girls by providing a “Bring a friend” activity as part of a regular Troop meeting or a special event such as a bowling activity.Review resource tips on pg. 89 (Unit Leader ) and Coordinator (pg. 76)Ask audience for any good tips
66Develop an annual recruitment plan Bring a friend event Recruiting GirlsDevelop an annual recruitment planBring a friend eventAdult RecruitmentIt is important when starting a Troop in a new community, that parents are engaged and their participation is encouraged from the start. This can be difficult as many parents tend to be skittish and unwilling to agree to important volunteers tasks if they are unfamiliar with the program and future expectations.Review suggested tips for recruiting adult volunteers pg. 88 (Unit Leader) and pg. 76 (Coordinator)Girl RecruitmentIt is most important that as a Troop grows, that the Troop Ministry Team develop an annual recruitment plan. This plan should include various ways to recruit new girls to the program. One of the most effective ways to recruit is word of mouth, personal invite. Many successful Troops have recruited many girls by providing a “Bring a friend” activity as part of a regular Troop meeting or a special event such as a bowling activity.Review resource tips on pg. 89 (Unit Leader ) and Coordinator (pg. 76)Ask audience for any good tips
67Promoting AHG In Your Community Publicity and public relations play a vital role in the growth and health of the AHG ministryResource: AHG Publicity GuidePublicity and public relations play a vital role in the growth and health of the AHG ministry. Publicity is a powerful tool that God can use to help build the ministry of AHG.Publicity efforts can be as simple as sharing with your friends, co-workers, etc. and why you love the AHG ministry. Each Troop should plan intentional public relations opportunities.Resource: AHG Publicity Guide – Unit Leader Handbook Resource CD
68Working with Other Troops To enhance the AHG experience, it is beneficial to connect with other Troops in the area or in a nearby state.To enhance the AHG experience, it is beneficial to connect with other Troops in the area or in a nearby state. Girls will greatly benefit from meeting other girls in AHG, allowing them to feel as they are a part of a bigger organization.Summer months are ideal to band together and coordinating a camping or outdoor experience.Be sure to visit the AHG website’s Troop Locater page to find Troops nearby.
69Each One Grow One Campaign To assist in AHG Ministry Expansion, current Troops are challenged to mentor a new Troop every yearSpecial recognitionEach and every day Troops are forming and bringing the AHG ministry to even more girls.To aid in this expansion, current Troops are challenged to “grow” one new Troop during every program year.Each Troop that sponsors one new Troop will receive special recognition in the AHG Heritage Headlines newsletter and at the National Convention (if there is one that year).If your Troop wants to join in this challenge, please contact the Membership Development Department.
70Using AHG as an Outreach Ministry Inviting members’ friends and neighbors who do not know Christ to an AHG meeting is encouraged.AHG offers an effective vehicle for bringing un-churched families into the church through its well rounded appealing character development program.Inviting members’ friends and neighbors who do not know Christ to an AHG meeting is encouraged. Bringing parents into the AHG family is vital and seeking help from the Charter Organization is beneficial.
71Stay Tuned for Part B Health and Safety BreakStay Tuned for Part BHealth and Safety