Stars and Stripes expanding circles…

The American Heritage Girls ‘Stars and Stripes’ award…

For those of you who are not familiar with it, this is the highest award in AHG. It takes a considerable amount of work and dedication to receive it but the ranks are expanding these days.

The first Stars and Stripes ceremony I went to was my daughter’s. Everything lined up just right so that it was not only on her Birthday, but the founder, Patti Garibay was in town so she could present the award to Lydia personally. It was a wonderful evening with multiple troops and other groups present and participating. Lydia was number 81… that was a couple of years ago. I was, and still am, extremely proud of her.
Lydia was called upon to issue the charge to the next Stars and Stripes recipient whose ceremony I got to attend, just a couple of weeks back. A friend of hers from another troop had also attained that high rank and bestowed the honor of administering the charge to my daughter. I was quite moved and proud again.. for her continued involvement and commitment. The ceremony was different but touching as well. I suspect that they will all be different, reflecting the individual young ladies that they are honoring.

Today we went to the Stars and Stripes ceremony for another of her friends. I believe she is number 144… a number that is climbing fast. Participating as one of the honor guard escorting her to the platform was my daughter. Another young lady, another fabulous project for a community, another award ceremony that was a bit different…

Different yet good, and with a memory trigger that actually sparked this post… coming back around to when my daughter was working on her project. She had been thrown from a horse and just had surgery on her hand when a multi-troop camp was scheduled….
Ellen Samek had asked that I make a couple dozen Native American style flutes for the older girls and my world was in such an uproar that I was still making them on delivery day, finishing a couple of them at the camp. You see, Lydia wanted to go and be there at least for a while, in spite of the pain she was in. Flutes delivered and mostly forgotten… until today. One of my flutes was on that young lady’s table at the ceremony. It just sort of reached out and slapped a little reality on me….

The things we do touch people and lives.. and that’s one of the things that the American Heritage Girls is about. Touching and changing lives for the better. For those of you who have reached this crowning award; the Stars and Stripes…. I know how hard you have worked. I know because I had a front row seat as my daughter did some amazing things.. BUT…. it’s not over now Ladies. Not even close. Help the other girls, spread the flames throughout the ranks of AHG and encourage all to strive for their Stars and Stripes. Don’t stop with your own troop either, there are troops out there without anyone that has made it yet. Be available to go visit them and talk to their girls. You are ambassadors of the highest rank now.. Shine brightly and encourage all of the girls to reach for the Stars!

Lydia’s Dad