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American Heritage Girls challanges Girl Scouts "moral relativism"
The Cincinnati Enquirer ^ | Monday, March 22, 2004 | Karen Vance

Posted on 03/22/2004 7:23:30 AM PST by yankeedame

Monday, March 22, 2004

Scouting alternative based in Springdale

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

SPRINGDALE,OH - A controversy surrounding a Girl Scout council in Texas is drawing new interest to a faith-based organization for girls that was created in Greater Cincinnati nearly a decade ago.

A Brownie troop leader in Crawford, Texas, recently decided to disband her Girl Scout troop and start an outfit affiliated with the American Heritage Girls, a group formed in 1995 by a handful of West Chester Township parents.

"I was brainstorming about how to go about starting my own scouting organization," said Donna Coody, leader of the disbanded Troop 7087. Coody decided to pull out of the Girl Scouts after learning the area council in Texas endorsed a sex education class with what she calls "pornographic" materials. "We were praying about it, and I knew we needed to do something."

The controversy began to unfold in February when a local anti-abortion activist started running ads on Christian radio stations urging people to boycott Girl Scout cookies because of the Texas Bluebonnet Council's relationship with Planned Parenthood. Coody became concerned after learning that the council also recommended a sex education class by Planned Parenthood that included graphic materials.

Since the controversy began, American Heritage Girls, which has its offices in Springdale, has been receiving about 50 phone calls a day asking for information.

"This is not an isolated incident," said Patti Garibay, the founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls.

Garibay was a leader for two troops, recruiter of troop leaders and a day camp director for the Girl Scouts. Then in 1993, she was concerned about changes in the Girl Scout promise and what she calls "moral relativism" in the handbook.

She started the non-denominational Christian American Heritage Girls, and the organization now has 3,000 girls in 95 troops in 22 states; 60 of the troops are in Greater Cincinnati. The group grew 45 percent last year and expects to get even bigger this year, Garibay said.

"I've never encouraged boycotting cookies or anything like that," she said. "I just want to make it so parents can be aware of what's going on and make the best decision for their children."

Locally, the Three Rivers Council of the Girl Scouts, which serves 23,500 scouts in nine counties in southwest Ohio and southeast Indiana, has no affiliation with Planned Parenthood. The organization leaves sex education up to individual troops' discretion, said Melissa Wisby, communications director for the council.

For local troop leader Patti Diersing, the decision to leave Girl Scouts and join American Heritage Girls was because of more emphasis on service and patriotism.

"As soon as I heard about them, I looked into it and I loved the program," said Diersing, of Troop OH802 at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Delhi Township.


For more information

For more information about American Heritage Girls,

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; Philosophy; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: americanheritage; amheritagegirls; girls; girlscouts
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To: NYer
We've got something even better here in Philadelphia - its a Catholic Girl Scouting organization called the Little Flowers. The focus is specifcally Catholic. My oldest daughter (3 years old) will enroll next year.
21 posted on 03/22/2004 9:29:13 AM PST by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Guillermo
Here's another story I found by the AP about Donna Coody and the American Heritage Girls-- linked from


Some Unhappy With Girl Scouts Form Group



CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - Donna Coody disbanded her 7-year-old daughter's Brownie troop and took her 9-year-old daughter out of another Girl Scout troop because she was upset over the organization's endorsement of two Planned Parenthood sex education seminars.

But Coody didn't want her daughters and their friends to miss out on camping trips, educational activities and service projects. So she decided in March to start a troop affiliated with the Christian-based American Heritage Girls.

"I felt like the Girl Scouts' morals were definitely lacking, and the girls needed another choice," Coody said.

American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a Cincinnati-area woman and her friends who were unhappy that the Girl Scouts accepted lesbians as troop leaders, banned prayer at meetings and allowed girls to substitute the word "God" in the oath.

What started with 100 girls in Ohio has turned into a nonprofit group with 2,800 members in 22 states - with a 40 percent enrollment boost since the fall, founder Patti Garibay said....


22 posted on 03/22/2004 7:54:57 PM PST by zipper (Don't Tread On Me)
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To: Guillermo
They beter not get to big, otherwise they'll become a target for vicious attack like the Boy Scouts have become.

Let them get big so that they can fend off the vicious attacks just like the Boy Scouts. (Guillermo, I know you really wish the same for them.)

This is great news. I am sad that the Girls Scouts have become so infiltrated by Leftists that I won't even buy their cookies.

I wish the best for the Christian American Heritage Girls.

23 posted on 03/22/2004 8:33:45 PM PST by Barnacle (A Human Shield against the onslaught of Leftist tripe.)
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