My whole family is involved with American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA. We love these programs for our kiddos. We love that our kids are involved in these Christ-centered ministries where they get to grow in their faith, grow in fellowship with one another, and grow stronger relationships in their families. I love that Trail Life is an outdoor-focused program for my boys--one that connects the outdoors directly to the Creator. It also walks alongside the parents, and reinforces ideas such as respect for the outdoors, respect for one another, respect for authority, and serving one another, like Christ served.
One of my favorite things about AHG, as a parent, is the girl leadership opportunities. AHG encourages girls to ease into leadership, but to begin leading from their very first days as tiny Pathfinders (5 year olds). Leading a prayer, participating as Color Guard in our opening flag ceremonies, or choosing which activity they want to do first, are just some of the ways that our youngest girls are encouraged to begin leading. By the time girls are Patriots (14-18 year olds), they are not only choosing their own badges, they are choosing which parts of the badge they want to complete, how to do it, they all but run their own camping trips (I still lead new skills activities--because I LOVE camping and the confidence the outdoors instills in kiddos), and when we are hosting recruitment or fundraising events, I can actually walk away to walk around or go take of other business momentarily, and I know the big girls have it handled--even the money.
On Saturday, we had an opportunity to host a recruitment booth at the city of Boyd's Car Show, hosted to benefit disabled veterans within Wise County. I got to watch my oldest daughter--a Patriot--strike up conversations with complete strangers and ask them about their day. I watched her help other vendors set up, or pick up items that fell over due to the wind. I got to watch my Patriot-level daughter, my Pioneer-level daughter (she's 12), and another Patriot in our troop lead the event in the Pledge of Allegiance. And I got to watch them accept worn-out flags to be properly and respectfully retired.
Tonight, we are packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child, spreading love and hope to kiddos around the globe.
Our family has been blessed through the AHG and TLUSA programs. Our kiddos get to be a part of these organizations that prioritizes leadership through serving our God, our Country, our families, and our communities. They get to camp. They get to work on all kinds of badges from Women Inventors to Horsemanship to learning about our Military Heroes. They get to play games that reinforce concepts like teamwork, obedience, and respect for each other. They get to celebrate holidays together. They get to just be kids, succeeding, failing, learning, and growing together, in a safe, faith-filled environment. That makes this momma's heart happy!