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History of AHG

American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 in West Chester, Ohio by a group of parents wanting a wholesome program for their daughters. These parents were disillusioned with the increasing secular focus of existing 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. 

American Heritage Girls began its first year of programming in the fall of 1995 with about 10 troops and roughly 100 members. Most of the troops met in the West Chester area and worked on badges written by the founding parents. Organizational events were started that year which assisted the organization in tying city-wide troops together. 

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 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.

AHG Oath:

"I promise to love God,
Cherish my family,
Honor my country,
and Serve in my community."

You can find out more about each of these by visiting the AHG website at the link above.

Life Skill Enhancement 
through multi-level achievement badge program. 

Girl Leadership 
opportunities at all levels of programming. 

Developing Teamwork and Building Confidence 
through varied outdoor experiences. 

Character Development 
through community service and citizenship programs. 

Social Development 
through organized Special Events. 

Spiritual Development 
through religious awards program.

AHG Creed:

As an American Heritage Girl, I promise to be:

Compassionate - Understanding others in fellowship, empathy, kindness, and caring. Respect others' opinions and emotions.

Helpful - Willingly serve others.

Honest - Always tell the truth and keep my promise.

Loyal - True to God, family, friends, community and country.

Perseverant - Continuing to strive toward a goal despite obstacles.

Pure - Keep my mind and body pure.

Resourceful - Wisely use my time, materials and talents.

Respectful - Honor my country, be obedient to those in authority and courteous to all.

Responsible - Accountable for my own actions. Reliable in all situations.

Reverent - Faithful and honoring to God. Respectful to the beliefs of others.

Program Levels

There are five level divisions in American Heritage Girls. Troops may offer all five levels, if there are girls and leaders available for each. However, it is common for new Troops to begin with only a few levels. Troops range in size from 12 – 100+ girls. 

Pathfinder - Ages 5-6 and in Kindergarten
Girls earn necklace beads for attendance, participation and bible verse memorization while learning the four parts of the AHG Oath. They receive the Fanny Crosby Award for completion of this level. 

Tenderheart - Ages 6-9 and in grades 1-3
A Tenderheart earns Achievement Badges in any of the six Frontiers of Skill and receives activity patches for participating in Troop activities or special events. They earn the Sacagawea Award for achieving the highest level of skill and service at this level. Service Stars are awarded for every 5 hours of community service. 

Explorer - Ages 9-12 and in grades 4-6
An Explorer earns Achievement Badges in any of the six Frontiers of Skill and receives activity patches for participating in Troop activities and/or special events. They receive Service Stars for every 10 hours of community service. The Lewis and Clark Award is earned by those girls who achieve the highest level of skill and service in this age group. Explorers are allowed to participate in overnight camping events as well.

Pioneer - Ages 12-14 and in grades 7-8
A pioneer continues to earn Achievement Badges, Service Stars and activity patches. The highest award level for Pioneers is the Harriet Tubman Award. These girls may also become Camp and Event Aides.  The Pioneer level is where girls really begin to show leadership skills by assisting their leaders with planning, organizing and staffing special events for AHG in the community or within their Troop. 

Patriot - Ages 14-18 and in grades 9-12
The Patriot is the highest program level in AHG. These girls plan and carry out activities with Unit Leaders who function as “facilitators”, allowing girls to make decisions on a regular basis.  As with lower levels, they too earn Achievement Badges, Service Stars and activity patches. Since the girls are older, they are required to demonstrate the highest level of skill in all areas. The level award for the Patriots is the Dolley Madison Award. 

Patriot level girls may go above and beyond to earn the highest award of the American Heritage Girls, The Stars and Stripes Award. This is the most prestigious of awards, and requires a great deal of time, sacrifice and devotion to achieve this award.


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