The American Heritage Girls organization is starting to grow in popularity over the well-known Girl Scouts of the USA after issues concerning spiritual beliefs have arisen.
Issues arose within the Girl Scouts organization in late 2011, when a 7-year-old transgender
girl decided that she wanted to join the group. The organization released an official statement, confirming that anyone who identifies best with the female gender could join.
“We accept all girls in kindergarten through 12th grade as members. If a child identifies as a girl and the child's family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout,” the statement from Girl Scouts of Colorado read.
“Our requests for support of transgender kids have grown, and Girl Scouts of Colorado is working to best support these children, their families and the volunteers who serve them," said the Girl Scouts.
The decision did not sit well with many Christians, causing them to look for other organizations that fell in line with their spiritual beliefs.
Jeff Johnston, a social issues analyst specializing in homosexuality and sexuality in the Public Policy Department of Focus on the Family, said churches shouldn’t follow in the Girl Scouts’ footsteps.
"Churches in general shouldn't cater to the confusion," Johnston said. "It's part of Biblical truth that God made us male and female in his image."
Some people looking for a faith-based alternative to the Girl Scouts of the USA have turned to the American Heritage Girls. In its mission statement, the organization states that it is “a nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.”
In late 2011, it seemed the community was looking for the AHG outlet, and it was named the fastest growing all-girl scout structured organization in the country.
Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of AHG, announced a 50 percent growth in participants who wanted faith at the center of their organization.
Although there are no transgender children taking part in the organization, Garibay said the organization has been blessed by a higher power which has been proven by an increase in numbers.
“The blessings we’re seeing are incredible,” Garibay said. “God had all those fruits in mind.”