More than 300 people are expected to attend the Cincinnati-based organization’s national conference held through Saturday at Christ Church in Mason.
This year’s conference is the organization’s largest yet, said Jody Token, national public relations coordinator.
AHG has grown by an “unprecedented” 30-50 percent each year since its inception in 1995 and now boasts more than 20,000 members across 47 U.S. state and four countries, she said.
The AHG program was born in West Chester after co-founder Patty Garibay and 26 other Girl Scouts leaders left the organization when it added an asterisk after the word God in the Girl Scout Promise, establishing a “spiritual flexibility” for the word, Garibay told The Enquirer in 2007.
A statement from the Girl Scouts concerning the promise states, “The motivating force in Girl Scouts is a spiritual one, however the Girl Scout organization does not endorse or promote any particular philosophy or religious belief nor do we attempt to dictate the form or style of a member’s worship. Our movement is secular and founded on American democratic principles, one of which is freedom of religion.”
Garibay founded AHG as a “Christ-centered” alternative to Girl Scouts. It now partners with the Boy Scouts and allows girls to earn merit badges, like “Outdoor Skills” and “Our Flag.”
Conference presenters include Garibay and Beth Guckenberger, executive director of Back2Back Ministries, a Mason-based ministry supporting orphans and impoverished children in developing countries.