Juliette Low had chronic ear infections as a child, which made one ear deaf. A grain of rice thrown at her wedding lodged in her other ear, which was punctured by the procedure to remove it.
Juliette Low’s father, a U.S. Army General, was previously a Civil War Confederate captain. In the Spanish-American War, Juliette Low and her mother organized a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers returning from Cuba. After her husband’s death in 1905, Juliette Low traveled to England where in 1911 she met Boer War hero Sir Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. His sister, Agnes Baden-Powell, was the leader of Girl Guides, which Juliette Low became involved with, forming a troop near her home in Scotland.
Juliette Low brought Girl Guides to America, starting the first two troops in Savannah, Georgia, on March 12, 1912. The next year, she changed the name to Girl Scouts. Dying of breast cancer in 1927, she was buried in her uniform.
The original Girl Scout promise was: “On my honor, I will try: to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people at all times, to obey the Girl Scout laws.”
In recent years, the Girl Scouts have been mentioned in news stories relating to topics of promiscuity, sexual orientation, gender identity, abortion and Planned Parenthood.
On Feb. 18, 2016, Archbishop Robert J. Carlson released a letter: “For several years, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been investigating concerns regarding Girls Scouts USA. … This is especially troubling in regards to sex education and advocacy for ‘reproductive rights’ (i.e. abortion and contraceptive access, even for minors). … In addition, recent concerns about GSUSA and their position on and inclusion of transgender and homosexual issues are proving problematic. … The Girl Scout program … is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values.
“We must stop and ask ourselves – is Girl Scouts concerned with … forming the spiritual, emotional, and personal well-being of Catholic girls? … In ‘Renewing the Vision,’ the US Bishops’ framework for Youth Ministry, we read: ‘All ministry with adolescents must be directed toward presenting young people with the Good news of Jesus Christ and inviting and challenging them to become disciples.’ … I continue to be concerned of messages at odds with our faith that our youth are receiving from GSUSA. … Therefore, I am asking each pastor that allows Girl Scout troops to meet on parish property … to review these concerns and discuss implementing alternative options for the formation of our girls. … Several alternative organizations exist, many of which have a Catholic or Christian background. … For more information on each of these organizations and a more detailed listing of ongoing concerns, please visit archstl.org/scouting. I ask that you … strongly consider offering one of these programs in your parish instead of Girl Scouts. Effective immediately, I am disbanding the Catholic Committee on Girl Scouts.”
Franklin Graham responded March 1, 2016: “Archbishop Carlson is exactly right – the ‘ways of the world’ are incompatible with biblical values. More church leaders need his boldness in speaking the truths that set those who follow God’s Word apart from the rest of the world. … He told church members and scout leaders that the Girl Scouts is wrong in their support of transgender rights and homosexuality and is not aligned with the teachings of his church. The archdiocese also revealed that a Girl Scout troop in Utah was formed specifically to reach out to transgendered youth and that the Girl Scouts celebrated the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage on its Instagram and Twitter accounts. … The Girl Scouts organization sure isn’t what it used to be! … I don’t know about you, but I won’t be buying any Girl Scout cookies this year.”
In 1995, parents in West Chester, Ohio, explored the idea of a new organization for their daughters. This led Patti Garibay to found the family-friendly “American Heritage Girls,” a non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country.
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American Heritage Girls offers badge programs, service projects, girl leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences. American Heritage Girls has rapidly grown to serve thousands of girls with troops in nearly every state.
With wholesome role-models, character building, traditional Judeo-Christian morality, focusing on “Faith, Service and Fun,” the American Heritage Girls’ Oath is: “I promise to love God, Cherish my family, Honor my country, and Serve in my community.”
Dr. James Dobson, Founder, Focus on the Family, stated: “I recommend American Heritage Girls enthusiastically to parents who want their daughters involved in a traditional, Christian-based program that will reinforce what they are trying to teach at home.”
Dr. Alveda C. King, niece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stated of American Heritage Girls: “They do address all the ethnic communities knowing that there’s only one human race. And so any little girl, no matter what her background happens to be, can find the delight of girlhood while she’s learning character traits that she’s going to need. That’s very encouraging to me.”
When asked what motivated her, American Heritage Girls’ founder Patti Garibay told the National Review Online, Feb. 22, 2014: “Girls discovering that they are made in the image of God, that the Father has a great plan and will for their lives, and that, by discovering this plan, they can have great influence on their families, their churches, their communities, and their world. I love to see a girl go from a backward, shy state of being to a confident, God-loving woman of influence in a short amount of time.”
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