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Welcome to the official website for AHG Troop AL1128 

in Birmingham, AL
 

About AMERICAN HERITAGE GIRLS


Mission

"Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country."

Vision

American Heritage Girls (AHG) is the premier national character development organization for young women (ages 5-18) that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement. 


Inclusion Policy

All biological girls of any color, creed, race, national origin and socioeconomic status who agree to live according to the standards of the AHG Oath and the AHG Creed are invited to be members of American Heritage Girls.  


AHG Oath

“I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country, and serve in my community.”


AHG Creed

“As an American Heritage Girl, I promise to be compassionate, helpful, honest, loyal, perseverant, pure, resourceful, respectful, responsible, and reverent.”


Structure

There are five Program Levels in American Heritage Girls: Pathfinder (ages 5-6), Tenderheart (ages 6-9), Explorer (ages 9-12), Pioneer (ages 12-14), and Patriot (ages 14-18).  This multi-level structure allows girls from all Program Levels to meet together as a single Troop, but split into separate Program Levels (units) for age-appropriate activities. It also offers many opportunities for girls to experience different leadership roles.  As a girl ages through the program, her leadership opportunities and responsibilities increase accordingly. These lessons carry through to all areas of a girl’s life.


Emphases

The AHG character development program focuses on girl leadership, building teamwork and confidence, social and spiritual development, and life skill enhancement through the earning of AHG badges from six different “frontiers” - Our Heritage, Family Living, The Arts, Outdoor Skills, Personal Well-Being, and Science & Technology.  AHG’s badge program is multi-leveled to continuously build on existing skills and create confident, well-rounded young women.  Each Frontier Badge can be earned at three different program levels (Tenderheart, Explorer, and Pioneer/Patriot).  This also provides opportunities for girls to interact across age groups, as older girls can earn badge credit for mentoring younger girls in specific areas, as the troop works together to earn a badge for girls at all levels.


Other Awards and Service

Girls also have the option to earn Sports Pins for sports programs they are already participating in, and are expected to earn at least one service star per year.  As girls move up in age and program levels, the number of hours required to earn a service star increases.  Patriot Level girls may go above and beyond to earn the highest award for American Heritage Girls, the Stars and Stripes Award. This is the most prestigious of awards, and it requires a great deal of time, sacrifice and devotion to achieve.  As leadership awards go, it would be recognized as the equivalent of the Girl Scout Gold Award.  


Church and Family Involvement

American Heritage Girls recognizes the importance of the role of church and family in the character development of young girls. Spiritual development is promoted through various religious patches and recognition programs, as well as troop activities.  While some activities offered may be limited to registered troop members only, many other activities encourage family participation. For example, our troop families took trips to Rickwood Caverns and the US Space and Rocket Center, and had an All Saints Day party last fall.  We plan to host several more activities this spring and summer for our Troop families, including a Mardi Gras Party in February, our 3rd annual Raingutter Regatta in March, a Family Fishing Day in April, our Mother/Daughter Tea in May, and our Father/Daughter Luau in June. Most of these activities are offered at low or no cost to our Troop families.



Troop AL1128 at OLV

American Heritage Girls Troop AL1128 was chartered by Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church on June 30, 2017, under Family Life Ministries, and is advised by Deacon Bob Martin and AHG’s National Catholic Committee (NCC). “AL” represents our state of charter; “1128” represents the scripture Luke 11:28, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  The Troop Leadership Team chose this verse because we feel that God has called us to make this transition into a faith-based scouting program for our girls.  AHG embraces and supports ALL Christian denominations and religious affiliations.  While Troop AL1128 is a Catholic Troop, Troop members are NOT required to be Catholic.  However, girls and parents should be aware that all girls will be exposed to Catholic teaching and will be invited to participate in Catholic faith-specific activities, as well as broader Christian activities.  We are blessed to have another Catholic AHG Troop at OLS, who has provided invaluable mentorship to our leadership team, and with whom we try to coordinate some of our activities.  We have also networked with other AHG troops in our area, and hope to begin coordinating some activities with them in the future.


Meetings and Troop Activities 

Troop AL1128 holds formal meetings at OLV once a month on a Sunday afternoon, where we practice flag ceremonies, pray, and work on various badges together.  We also typically offer at least one additional troop activity and/or unit activity per month.  Last fall our Pioneer girls planned and executed our fall Troop campout, working on their camping, fire safety & fire building, and outdoor cooking skill badges, which they will continue working on at our spring Troop campout in April.  They have also been working on their Emergency Preparedness badge, and became AHA-certified in CPR/AED.  Our Explorers earned badges last fall in Physical Fitness, Our Heritage, and Living & Working in Space; they also took a trip to the Pioneer Museum in Troy.  Our Tenderhearts have worked on several badges and fun activities as well, including Our Heritage, Let’s Talk, and Money Management.  Other activities planned for our Troop members include a self-defense class, a trip to the Cook Museum, a lock-in for our younger girls, and a high-adventure weekend camp for older girls from AHG troops all over the Southeast.  In addition, AHG is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer with a National Girl Convention in Cedarville, Ohio.


Service

We strive to serve God, our community, and our country through service projects and activities that reflect our love and honor of our Catholic faith, parish, and country.  Our Explorer girls have helped plan and execute 3 community service projects so far this year, including making DIY pet toys for animal shelters and making yarn wigs for kids with cancer to be distributed through The Magic Yarn Project. We also serve our parish by helping and supporting other organizations with their service efforts in our parish.  Each December, we honor our fallen heroes by laying wreaths on graves of US veterans at Alabama National Cemetery, and help spread Christmas cheer by caroling and visiting with the memory-impaired elderly at Lakeview Estates.  


Fundraising

Last fall we held our first car wash fundraiser; we also helped gather sponsors for wreaths to be lain at the Wreaths Across America remembrance ceremony (mentioned above).  Both of these fundraising efforts helped support our troop’s operating budget, and also helped lower the cost of our “pay to play” activities for troop families. Selling baked goods at the OLV Lenten Fish Frys will be our last fundraiser of the program year.  Proceeds from these sales will go to the different unit levels, for unit leaders and girls to decide how best to use the funds at the unit level.  We are grateful for all of the support we have received from parish members in our fundraising efforts, and pray that you all will continue to support us in this way. As always, we covet your prayers for our troop girls and leaders above all.


Membership

OLV’s AHG Troop AL1128 currently serves 29 girls, aged 5 to 14, from 23 families. We are prepared to serve girls up to age 18, and with the continued support and prayers of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church and its parishioners, we hope to expand our membership and program to build up more young Catholic women of faith, strength, and character to be leaders in our parish and community. 

AL1128 also has adult volunteer positions currently available for both men and women.  Volunteering with our troop is a great way to make an impact in the lives of growing Catholic women within our parish community.  Please contact Kristen Belcher, Troop Coordinator, for more information.  ahgkristen@gmail.com 205-306-8578


Welcome to the official website for AHG Troop AL1128 

in Birmingham, AL
 

About AMERICAN HERITAGE GIRLS


Mission

"Building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country."

Vision

American Heritage Girls (AHG) is the premier national character development organization for young women (ages 5-18) that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement. 


Inclusion Policy

All biological girls of any color, creed, race, national origin and socioeconomic status who agree to live according to the standards of the AHG Oath and the AHG Creed are invited to be members of American Heritage Girls.  


AHG Oath

“I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country, and serve in my community.”


AHG Creed

“As an American Heritage Girl, I promise to be compassionate, helpful, honest, loyal, perseverant, pure, resourceful, respectful, responsible, and reverent.”


Structure

There are five Program Levels in American Heritage Girls: Pathfinder (ages 5-6), Tenderheart (ages 6-9), Explorer (ages 9-12), Pioneer (ages 12-14), and Patriot (ages 14-18).  This multi-level structure allows girls from all Program Levels to meet together as a single Troop, but split into separate Program Levels (units) for age-appropriate activities. It also offers many opportunities for girls to experience different leadership roles.  As a girl ages through the program, her leadership opportunities and responsibilities increase accordingly. These lessons carry through to all areas of a girl’s life.


Emphases

The AHG character development program focuses on girl leadership, building teamwork and confidence, social and spiritual development, and life skill enhancement through the earning of AHG badges from six different “frontiers” - Our Heritage, Family Living, The Arts, Outdoor Skills, Personal Well-Being, and Science & Technology.  AHG’s badge program is multi-leveled to continuously build on existing skills and create confident, well-rounded young women.  Each Frontier Badge can be earned at three different program levels (Tenderheart, Explorer, and Pioneer/Patriot).  This also provides opportunities for girls to interact across age groups, as older girls can earn badge credit for mentoring younger girls in specific areas, as the troop works together to earn a badge for girls at all levels.


Other Awards and Service

Girls also have the option to earn Sports Pins for sports programs they are already participating in, and are expected to earn at least one service star per year.  As girls move up in age and program levels, the number of hours required to earn a service star increases.  Patriot Level girls may go above and beyond to earn the highest award for American Heritage Girls, the Stars and Stripes Award. This is the most prestigious of awards, and it requires a great deal of time, sacrifice and devotion to achieve.  As leadership awards go, it would be recognized as the equivalent of the Girl Scout Gold Award.  


Church and Family Involvement

American Heritage Girls recognizes the importance of the role of church and family in the character development of young girls. Spiritual development is promoted through various religious patches and recognition programs, as well as troop activities.  While some activities offered may be limited to registered troop members only, many other activities encourage family participation. For example, our troop families took trips to Rickwood Caverns and the US Space and Rocket Center, and had an All Saints Day party last fall.  We plan to host several more activities this spring and summer for our Troop families, including a Mardi Gras Party in February, our 3rd annual Raingutter Regatta in March, a Family Fishing Day in April, our Mother/Daughter Tea in May, and our Father/Daughter Luau in June. Most of these activities are offered at low or no cost to our Troop families.



Troop AL1128 at OLV

American Heritage Girls Troop AL1128 was chartered by Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church on June 30, 2017, under Family Life Ministries, and is advised by Deacon Bob Martin and AHG’s National Catholic Committee (NCC). “AL” represents our state of charter; “1128” represents the scripture Luke 11:28, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  The Troop Leadership Team chose this verse because we feel that God has called us to make this transition into a faith-based scouting program for our girls.  AHG embraces and supports ALL Christian denominations and religious affiliations.  While Troop AL1128 is a Catholic Troop, Troop members are NOT required to be Catholic.  However, girls and parents should be aware that all girls will be exposed to Catholic teaching and will be invited to participate in Catholic faith-specific activities, as well as broader Christian activities.  We are blessed to have another Catholic AHG Troop at OLS, who has provided invaluable mentorship to our leadership team, and with whom we try to coordinate some of our activities.  We have also networked with other AHG troops in our area, and hope to begin coordinating some activities with them in the future.


Meetings and Troop Activities 

Troop AL1128 holds formal meetings at OLV once a month on a Sunday afternoon, where we practice flag ceremonies, pray, and work on various badges together.  We also typically offer at least one additional troop activity and/or unit activity per month.  Last fall our Pioneer girls planned and executed our fall Troop campout, working on their camping, fire safety & fire building, and outdoor cooking skill badges, which they will continue working on at our spring Troop campout in April.  They have also been working on their Emergency Preparedness badge, and became AHA-certified in CPR/AED.  Our Explorers earned badges last fall in Physical Fitness, Our Heritage, and Living & Working in Space; they also took a trip to the Pioneer Museum in Troy.  Our Tenderhearts have worked on several badges and fun activities as well, including Our Heritage, Let’s Talk, and Money Management.  Other activities planned for our Troop members include a self-defense class, a trip to the Cook Museum, a lock-in for our younger girls, and a high-adventure weekend camp for older girls from AHG troops all over the Southeast.  In addition, AHG is celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer with a National Girl Convention in Cedarville, Ohio.


Service

We strive to serve God, our community, and our country through service projects and activities that reflect our love and honor of our Catholic faith, parish, and country.  Our Explorer girls have helped plan and execute 3 community service projects so far this year, including making DIY pet toys for animal shelters and making yarn wigs for kids with cancer to be distributed through The Magic Yarn Project. We also serve our parish by helping and supporting other organizations with their service efforts in our parish.  Each December, we honor our fallen heroes by laying wreaths on graves of US veterans at Alabama National Cemetery, and help spread Christmas cheer by caroling and visiting with the memory-impaired elderly at Lakeview Estates.  


Fundraising

Last fall we held our first car wash fundraiser; we also helped gather sponsors for wreaths to be lain at the Wreaths Across America remembrance ceremony (mentioned above).  Both of these fundraising efforts helped support our troop’s operating budget, and also helped lower the cost of our “pay to play” activities for troop families. Selling baked goods at the OLV Lenten Fish Frys will be our last fundraiser of the program year.  Proceeds from these sales will go to the different unit levels, for unit leaders and girls to decide how best to use the funds at the unit level.  We are grateful for all of the support we have received from parish members in our fundraising efforts, and pray that you all will continue to support us in this way. As always, we covet your prayers for our troop girls and leaders above all.


Membership

OLV’s AHG Troop AL1128 currently serves 29 girls, aged 5 to 14, from 23 families. We are prepared to serve girls up to age 18, and with the continued support and prayers of Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church and its parishioners, we hope to expand our membership and program to build up more young Catholic women of faith, strength, and character to be leaders in our parish and community. 

AL1128 also has adult volunteer positions currently available for both men and women.  Volunteering with our troop is a great way to make an impact in the lives of growing Catholic women within our parish community.  Please contact Kristen Belcher, Troop Coordinator, for more information.  ahgkristen@gmail.com 205-306-8578

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