One Mom’s Search for Kindergarten Social Activities

What a difficult decision! I want more good adult influences on my Kindergartener, and reinforcement of her Catholicism. The main groups suggested by other home school moms are Girl Scouts (GS), American Heritage Girls (AHG), and the Little Flowers.  The last has no group here. Leaving Girl Scouts and American Heritage Girls as the sole options at this time.

Girl Scouting, at the national level, holds many positions and alliances with which I do not agree. I will leave the listing of them up to other persons. On the up side, the local troop is run by Catholic Moms, meets weekly at a Catholic school, meetings are well organized, the noise level is managed, and the first part of every meeting is a lesson on a Saint or on the Rosary!  The good order and resulting calm made it possible for my daughter to connect with other girls and have a nice play time at the end of the meeting while the moms talked. So at the local level, the Girl Scout troop has the edge in being a better atmosphere and Catholic.

American Heritage Girls is focused from the national level down to the local on being Christian and supporting the moral and ethical ideals of our Constitution and Christianity. However, the organization is non-Catholic, and in some locations the local troops are run by persons who are viciously anti-Catholic. Our local AHG seems to be inclusive. It meets every other week. Whole families attend with the boys team going one way and the girls troop going the other. The facility is spacious, but the noise levels are unpleasant, the chaos makes making friends more difficult than it needs to be, and our being Catholic could cause some families to steer clear.  Nice people, but I am not sure the atmosphere is good for my girl.

I like the adults in both groups.  So for this year, at least for the first semester, we joined both. I don’t know where it will go, but it is an experiment worth having now.

Dear Lord, please help me be wise in my choices of social groups for my child. +Amen.



One Mom’s Search for Kindergarten Social Activities — 1 Comment

  1. I actually got a call from the AHG and an email. The nice lady was quite insistent that AHG is not non-Catholic.

    I think she misunderstood the MEANING of the word non-Catholic. I did not say ANTI-Catholic, for if the group were anti-Catholic I would have nothing at all to do with it. I said NON-Catholic and facts are facts. I have a graduate degree in theology. I’ve studied and analyzed many creeds and, unobjectionable to a Catholic as the AHG creed is, the AHG creed is not a Catholic creed. For a Catholic, there is a difference between a creed which is not AGAINST our Faith, and one that is OF our Faith. AHG’s creed contains nothing that a Catholic may not afirm– but being OK doesn’t change that it is a non-Catholic creed.

    It is a fact that AHG is non-sectarian. That is what makes it possible for the particular charism of the particular group who starts a troop to be used to build the spiritual aspects of the group. This is also why a Catholic who is joining, say, a local home school oriented troop will need to be alert. It is a fact of life that there are MANY differences between Catholic theology and the theology held by the average non-Catholic Christian in our community.

    At the national level, AHG is inclusive of all Christ-based religious traditions. They carefully crafted their creed to reflect a generic enough Christian base to allow that inclusiveness. This is one of the reasons why I believe them to be a good group, worthy of consideration for my Catholic Child.

    I also know that a friend had a BAD experience at one troop because after the leader had assured her that they were fine with Catholics coming, the first Bible lesson was a scree against Catholic forms of devotion. This is not the fault of AHG national but an unfortunate side effect of their otherwise GOOD decision to be non-sectarian and let the local Church that started the troop be where the decisions about religion for the group are made. This is a good over-all– but it also means that when there is not an option for starting a troop at one’s parish (and some of us are struggling just to fit everything we must do into our day as it is) the savvy parent is going to join a troop knowing there will be some differences and hoping that those differences will be minor enough, or not emphasized, so that the group that already exists will be OK.

    Just be aware. The theology of the AHG troop is going to follow that of the Church supporting the troop.

    Our troop is based in a home school co-op. The likelihood of there being a problem is slim since there are so many variations in theological belief represented that to get too specific in the devotions would likely split the group. Nobody wants that.