Mike Corthell

Mike Corthell
Editor & Publisher at Fryeburg Free Press MEDIA

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Girl Scouting for God

The American Heritage Girls, which unlike some other groups centers its program on the promise “to love God,” experienced a phenomenal 40 percent growth over the last year.
And the forecast for the coming year? 100 percent growth.
Among the reasons for concern is society’s advocacy for actions and behaviors that previously were abhorred.“I think that our growth is largely from people of faith that are just now learning about the Heritage Girls, while at the same time growing concerned with the Girl Scouts,” founder Patti Garibay told WND in an interview.
She saw it coming in the 1990s when she attended a Girl Scouts conference in Minnesota.
“A proposal was offered at that national conference suggesting that girls be allowed spiritual flexibility when it came to the Girl Scout Promise,” Garibay told WND. “This opened Pandora’s Box. The Girl Scout leadership wanted girls to be able to substitute whatever they happen to believe in, in place of God.”
The Girl Scout Promise still contains a pledge to God, but Garibay told WND that the girls can opt out of saying “God” or say something else.
The promise: “On my honor, I will try: To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.”
The move to endorse alternatives to God and the biblical values on which the nation was founded is clearly in evidence. Among recent developments are General Mills’ endorsement and promotion of homosexual marriage, support by the Susan G. Komen Foundation for abortion and the working relationship between the once-cherished Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood, the biggest player in the nation’s abortion industry.
Regarding the Girl Scouts, recent headlines have included “Bishops challenge Girl Scouts,” “Girl Scouts denies tied to Planned Parenthood,” “Guess who created Indiana Girl Scouts sex-ed program,” “Christian Alternative to Girl Scouts grows,” “Pelosi: Girl Scouts-Planned Parenthood relationship ‘very valuable,’” and “Girl Scouts go ballistic over pro-life T-shirt.”
However, the American Heritage Girls has been run specifically to follow biblical precepts. The group has been named a “cultural warrior” by a leading Catholic publication, the St. Louis Review.
Garibay tells WND that it was at that Minnesota conference when she made a personal decision: The Girl Scouts no longer reflected her values, and maybe she could start an organization that helped girls grow into women, while keeping God No. 1.
American Heritage Girls was founded around her kitchen table to encourage faith  in children’s lives, and it has long since outgrown that venue.
“Our simple goal of ‘Faith – Service – Fun’ reflects our desire to help these girls have a positive impact on their communities, in a Christ-like way,” Garibay said.
The aim, she said, is “to put legs on their faith, to love one another as Christ has loved us.”
Garibay told WND that’s been the simple focus as the American Heritage Girls has reached into 46 states with more than 425 troops and more planned.
She told WND that every time the Girl Scouts do something to make news, the American Heritage Girls see a surge in new membership.
WND previously documented Girl Scout ties to the leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, which the organization vehemently denies, despite an admission by former GSUSA CEO Kathy Cloninger on the “Today” show.
WND has also reported on the numerous “whistleblower” forums that strive to expose the truth behind the Girl Scouts agenda. One website, SpeakNowGirlScouts.com, says, “This is not your mother’s Girl Scouts any longer,” while documenting the perversion young girls are now being exposed to as Girl Scouts.
The website, developed by two disheartened former Girl Scouts, informs readers about the “say one thing and do another” attitude with the top leadership in the Girl Scouts.
The site pointed to a recently launched Girl Scouts “Healthy Media” initiative, with the following as part of the Girl Scouts stated goal:
Recognizing media’s role in influencing a child’s growth and development, the Healthy Media Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls supports efforts to increase the number of female characters in the media and ensure that female roles, images, and portrayals are authentic, balanced, and healthy.” Flyer for Girl Scouts Healthy Media Campaign
The irony of such a campaign lies in the fact that Girl Scout CEO Anna Maria Chavez followed this “healthy media” campaign with an appearance in the March 2012 Marie Claire Magazine. She even promoted the purchase of the magazine to the nation’s Girl Scouts on the official Girl Scout blog, complete with hyperlinks for the girls to follow to the MarieClaire site.
That issue featured a young female model wearing only a pair of jeans, while the link took girls to a page promoting numerous “sexual position” articles, complete with graphic photos.
The website also points out that one of the Girl Scouts-selected commissioners for the Healthy Media Campaign is the editor-in-chief of Seventeen Magazine, Ann Shoket.
SpeakNowGirlScouts.com would like the Girl Scouts and Shoket to explain the ability of Seventeen Magazine to promote healthy media images for girls, while their website promotes teens in bed together and a crotch shot of a young girl in her underwear holding a condom.
Christy Volanski, a mother turned Girl Scout truth-seeker asks, “Is this healthy media?”
Each time a new controversy erupts for the Girl Scouts, the phone begins to ring at the American Heritage Girls.
“These past few months, our staff has been extremely busy,” Garibay told WND.
She’s careful to stress there is no ill will toward the 100-year-old Girl Scouts organization, but she wishes the organization would more honest with the public about its change in values.
Garibay also expresses concern for something she’s observed with the Girl Scouts.
“I think that especially with the younger girls, they leave God in the oath, but as the girls get older, an asterisk suddenly appears next to the word God,” she said. “Our membership department says that people are very upset with the Girl Scouts when they call our organization.”
She’s also grateful that more and more church leaders are realizing just how radical the shift within the Girl Scouts has been and how the values of the church may no longer match with the century-old Girl Scouts.
She told WND that many church leaders are taking a closer look at the culture shift occurring in the Girl Scouts while forming new alliances with the American Heritage Girls.
As for the American Heritage Girls pledge, it’s simple: “I promise to love God, cherish my family, honor my country and serve in my community.”
The mission is: “To build women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country.”

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