Trail Life USA, American Heritage Girls announce formal alliance – Groups offer Christian-based alternatives to Scouting

The leaders of Trail Life USA (TLUSA) and American Heritage Girls (AHG) announced Thursday that they have entered into a formal alliance. Both groups are Christian-based and offer alternative programs to Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and Girl Scouts of the United States. Under the terms of a Memorandum of Ministry Alliance, each organization has agreed to support the other in their shared missions for spiritual and character development of youth through Christ-centered programming, said TLUSA Chief Executive Mark Hancock and AHG Executive Director Patti Garibay. The alliance will continue the “phenomenal growth” of both organizations by allowing troops to operate side-by-side with a shared Charter Organization, typically a church, they said. The signing took place at AHG’s 20th Anniversary National Convention on the campus of Anderson University in Anderson, Ind. “Maintaining our unique identities while leveraging the synergy between the two ministries promises to be an exciting journey,” Ms. Garibay said. “It’s a natural and spiritual connection that will enhance each of our missions. We couldn’t be happier,” said Mr. Hancock, whose organization was formed 18 months ago, after BSA leaders voted to admit openly gay youth as members. TLUSA says it has nearly 25,000 members. It is open to boys and youth of any age, but its leadership is all-Christian. AHG has over 40,000 members. Separately, leadership of the century-old BSA said in May it is now considering opening its adult membership to gay adults.

Very interesting… The growth exponentially of these two organizations, and other similiar organizations, can be directly attributed to recent decisions by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and the Girls Scouts of the USA, with respect to their admission of gay youths and leaders. Both of those organizations were founded on certain, overt, Christian principles. It wasn’t even subtle. And, most scouting troops were sponsored by churches and such. That’s all changed in the last couple of years, and the folks are looking for alternatives like Trail Life, USA and American Heritage Girls. The pendulum is swinging…again. Definitely something to keep an eye on…