Why the Trailblazer Program?
Over the years AHG has been concerned with extending the AHG ministry to military service families, missionary families and girls in isolated areas, or those who find it impossible to join a nearby AHG Unit or Troop because of a medical condition. This program serves these girls and their families and makes sure they don’t have to miss out on any of the faith, service, or fun of AHG!
How does the Trailblazer Program work?
Every girl registering as an AHG Trailblazer must have an adult, age 21 or older, who meets AHG’s adult membership requirements (including agreement with the AHG Statement of Faith ) and agrees to serve as the girl’s Trailblazer Mentor. The Mentor is usually the girl’s own parent but might also be her guardian, minister, or teacher. The Mentor works with the girl member, incorporating AHG’s six Program Emphases into her experience. From Badge work to camping, a Trailblazer can do it all!
A Trailblazer Support Coordinator has been selected to coach every Mentor during the Trailblazer experience. Support is available via email. Additional online resources for the Mentor include:
• AHGsource: Password-protected Leader resource area
• AHGforum: Question and Answer forum for AHG Leaders across the country
• Heritage Headlines newsletter
• Leader Resource Guide
• Leadership Connection
Who can be a Trailblazer?
• Daughters of American citizens who live abroad
• Girls on military bases within the U.S. and abroad
• Exchange students away from the U.S. for a year or more
• Girls with disabilities that might prevent them from attending regular Troop meetings
• Girls who live 60 minutes away from the closest AHG Troop
• Girls who alternate living arrangements with parents who live in different communities
• Girls who are unable to attend AHG Troop meetings because of life-threatening communicable diseases
What are situations that would not fit the guidelines for becoming a Trailblazer family?
As AHG is best experienced within a Troop setting, these situations do not qualify for Trailblazer status:
• Conflict with Troop Leaders
• Church/denomination preference
• Meeting time/day conflict
• Those actively pursuing and in the process of forming a Troop
Can someone be a Trailblazer if there is a Troop in their community?
Yes, but only if they fit the criteria of having a disability or communicable disease that does not allow them to attend AHG Troop meetings. Application and approval is required for membership as a Trailblazer. Final decisions on eligibility belong to AHG, Inc.
Can a past AHG member become a Trailblazer?
Only if the past member has relocated to an area that does not have an AHG Troop within a 60-minute drive time. Contact email@example.com for more information.
I have a girl in my Troop who is moving to an area currently without a Troop. How does she transfer to the Trailblazer program?
Contact the Member Services Department for more information on transferring at firstname.lastname@example.org .
How much does the Trailblazer Program cost annually?
$26 for Mentor registration -- cost includes background check
$46 for girl registration -- cost includes Program Support Fee
Uniforms, Leader Polo, Trailblazer patch, Handbooks, etc. are to be ordered separately though the AHG Leader Online Store or AHG Attic.
Can a girl become a Trailblazer without a Mentor?
No. A Mentor is integral to the success of the AHG Trailblazer program and serves as an accountability partner and encourager to the Trailblazer.
Can a non-parent serve as a Trailblazer Mentor?
Yes; a Mentor does not have to be a parent. If a parent chooses not to serve in this capacity, he/she must approve the daughter’s mentor.
Can a Trailblazer earn Level Awards and AHG’s highest honor, the Stars & Stripes Award?
Yes, a Trailblazer can earn all of these recognitions.
Can a Trailblazer and their Mentor form an AHG Troop?
Yes; a Troop is the ideal delivery system for the AHG Program. Once a Trailblazer and their Mentor become comfortable with the AHG Program and enjoy its many merits, they will want to share the fun with other girls and establish a Troop in their community. Resources for starting a Troop can be found on the AHG website.
Can a Trailblazer visit other Troops or meet other AHG girls?
Yes, part of the initial start-up includes a background check for the Trailblazer Mentor. This manages the risk associated with youth ministry. Here are a few ways Trailblazers can connect:
• Troops may open their activities to “nearby” Trailblazers. Membership cards will be checked at activity, to ensure current registration (and background check for adult participants).
• The National Pen Pal Program allows for long-distance relationships to be formed and nurtured amongst AHG girls.
• Trailblazers may attend AHG summer camps hosted by AHG Troops.
• Nearby Troops can be found by visiting the Troop Locator Map; you can then request contact information through your Trailblazer Coordinator.
• Trailblazers and Trailblazer Mentors are of course invited to AHG’s national events such as Convention (occurs every 5 years for Leaders and girls) and Conference (occurs more often and serves only Adult Leaders).
How does a Trailblazer order Badges, spiritwear, etc.? What if I have lost a piece of the uniform or the handbook?
AHG maintains an online store that is available to Trailblazer members 24 hours a day to place orders for Badges, uniform pieces, spiritwear, etc. Current Trailblazer registration is required when ordering merchandise. Level Awards need to be ordered through the Trailblazer Specialist at the AHG, Inc. office. Trailblazer merchandise should not be purchased through a Troop.
Are there refunds?
No. Considerable time and costs go into the Trailblazer program administration and review process. If you would want to discontinue your membership, at any time, please let AHG know as soon as possible.
Do Trailblazers fundraise?
No. Fundraising is permitted by bona fide AHG Troops only.
Are Trailblazers insured through AHG Liability Insurance?
As members of American Heritage Girls, Trailblazers residing within the United States are insured like other AHG members. However, Trailblazer families residing outside of the United States, including those living on U.S. military installations overseas, are not covered by AHG's liablity insurance.