Impressed is an understatement for how I felt after interviewing this American Heritage Girls Troop Coordinator. She is God-led, humble and sincere. Her mission to train girls to be leaders will ignite your heart. She is a woman with a God-given and the fruit of the vision has surpassed any and all expectations she dreamed of.
Her name is Cindy. Happily married for 15 years and a mother of five (4 girls and 1 little boy). She is a homeschool mom devoted to following Christ with a passion for raising girls up to be leaders. Not just any kind of leaders, but girls of good character who live by faith and know the word of God. She leads the largest American Heritage Girls troop in Northern California. With just over 75 girls and a waiting list for others who want to join.
In high school youth group, Cindy was asked a question. Her answers would take years to come to fruition. The question, “Imagine that Jesus brings you something…what would that be?” Cindy imagined Jesus bringing her a box with a key in it. Not knowing exactly what this meant, she tucked that thought away, never forgetting it and knowing in time she would understand. Years passed. She got married and had children. The seed planted that day was getting ready to sprout.
Having four girls, Cindy had a desire to provide a positive, like-minded and safe place for her girls to connect with other girls. She sought out organizations like Girls Scouts but she wanted a group with a focus on the Word of God and knowing their identity in Christ. Having heard of American Heritage Girls, she began her research. It was still in its infancy and the website was less than impressive. She saw great potential in American Heritage Girls but at that time, there weren’t any local groups. The only option was to start a troop of her own.
Time passed and Cindy attended a Beth Moore bible study called Esther. Inspired by this scripture Esther 4:14b, “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” The scripture spoke directly to her heart…she could take a chance and start an American Heritage Girls troop. Though she had no idea what would become of it…she took comfort in knowing that God did.
Cindy needed to build a team to Start a Troop. This team would need:
As Cindy followed God’s leading, time and time again she was amazed at God’s provision. God brought like-minded women to get the troop off the ground. Together they developed the foundation on which the troop would stand on…a scripture they would commit to. A scripture that became the prayer of their hearts -to start a troop built by God or don’t build at all.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vein. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vein.” Psalms 127:1
Part of getting the troop off the ground included visiting other troops and attending American Heritage Girls official trainings. During the first leader training, troop leaders were taught that they hold the sacred key to providing a safe place for girls and that their impact would be eternal. Cindy…stopped dead in her tracks! Her vision of Jesus giving her a box with a key in it came full circle. Without a doubt this was confirmation that God had not only called her but he purposed her to start this troop!
Cindy had considered becoming more involved in the children’s ministry at her church before taking on the call of leading an American Heritage Girls troop. At the time, she was reading, A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George and it made her think deeply about what she wanted to specialize in. She knew her calling was specific to girls of all ages and their moms. Her passion was to teach purity, modesty and the beauty of a quiet, gentle spirit. Because she was following God, she knew her purpose…to impact the world by training girls to lead with Christ-like character. One of Cindy’s favorite quotes:
“From all that I had read of history and government of human life and manners, I had drawn this conclusion, that the manners of a woman were the most infallible barometer to ascertain the degree of morality and virtue of a nation.” John Quincy Adams
American Heritage Girls provides the platform to teach leadership skills, Christ-like character and servanthood. Earning badges is an important and fun part of the troop too! Furthermore, Cindy has implemented additional leadership growth-opportunities. Giving girls of all ages the opportunity for leadership roles and allowing the older girls to lead the younger girls. Also, Cindy created a “Girls Leadership Program” that is in its infancy, but she plans to continue to develop it. Interested girls meet an additional six times a year to discuss leadership, challenges and problem solving.
Cindy takes to heart this quote by Alistair Begg, “Any dead fish flows with the current, it takes a live fish to swim against the stream. ” …Cindy said, “this quote is a great illustration of how we are trying to raise up girls who are alive to Christ and swim against the stream of our culture.”
Lastly, Summer Camp is another important aspect of troop leadership and plain old fun. She said, “I am Chickening IN. This is outside of my comfort zone and I am not a big outdoors person. But God has called me to coordinate a summer camp based on faith and friendship.” This year will be her third camp.
Cindy has personally grown and been blessed in many unexpected and exciting ways:
With just over 75 girls and many volunteers, American Heritage Girls Troop 1271 is at full capacity. Currently there is a wait list for girls ages 6-11. God’s plans for this troop have far surpassed Cindy’s original vision!
Also as a side note, my daughter and I are part of Troop 1271. It has been an wonderful addition to our homeschool activities, character building and leadership training. I highly recommend joining a local troop!
There is a need for more troops. If God is nudging at your heart and you are interested in starting a troop, here is Cindy’s guidance: