Any girl age 5-18 can be an American Heritage Girl. Girls of all different backgrounds are welcome in AHG and are encouraged to join at any/every age! You don't have to start as a Pathfinder (age 5) in order to gain the benefits from participating in the AHG Program.
AHG has a multi-level structure, which means that girls from all levels comprise ONE Troop and meet together as a single Troop on the same night. Badgework and certain activities are done within age appropriate groups (units).
There are five level divisions in American Heritage Girls. Troops may offer all five levels, if there are girls and leaders available for each. However, it is common for new Troops to begin with only a few levels. Troops range in size from 12 – 100+ girls.
Pathfinder - Ages 5-6, typically in Kindergarten
Girls earn necklace beads for attendance, participation and Bible verse memorization while learning the four parts of the AHG Oath. They receive the Fanny Crosby Award for completion of this level.
Tenderheart - Ages 6-9, typically in grades 1-3
A Tenderheart earns Achievement Badges in any of the six Frontiers of Skill and receives activity patches for participating in Troop activities or special events. They earn the Sacagawea Award for achieving the highest level of skill and service at this level. Service Stars are awarded for every 5 hours of community service.
Explorer - Ages 9-12, typically in grades 4-6
An Explorer earns Achievement Badges in any of the six Frontiers of Skill and receives activity patches for participating in Troop activities and/or special events. They receive Service Stars for every 10 hours of community service. The Lewis and Clark Award is earned by those girls who achieve the highest level of skill and service in this age group. Explorers are allowed to participate in overnight camping events as well.
Pioneer - Ages 12-14, typically in grades 7-8
A Pioneer continues to earn Achievement Badges, Service Stars and activity patches. The highest award level for Pioneers is the Harriet Tubman Award. These girls may also become Camp and Event Aides. The Pioneer level is where girls really begin to show leadership skills by assisting their leaders with planning, organizing and staffing special events for AHG in the community or within their Troop.
Patriot - Ages 14-18, typically in grades 9-12
The Patriot is the highest program level in AHG. These girls plan and carry out activities with Unit Leaders who function as “facilitators”, allowing girls to make decisions on a regular basis. As with lower levels, they too earn Achievement Badges, Service Stars and activity patches. Since the girls are older, they are required to demonstrate the highest level of skill in all areas. The level award for the Patriots is the Dolley Madison Award.
Patriot level girls may go above and beyond to earn the highest award for American Heritage Girls, The Stars & Stripes Award. This is the most prestigious of awards, and it requires a great deal of time, sacrifice and devotion to achieve this award.