Many young girls across the country participate in the Girl Scout tradition, joining troops where they get to learn about leadership and friendship. Much like the unique girls who make up each troop, no two troops are the same.
In Naperville, Illinois, Troop 200 is made up of Girl Scouts who range in age from 7-17 and all have different disabilities. Many of the activities are modified specifically to their special needs. The girls go on many field trips and attend meetings, just as in any other troop.
The troop leader started Troop 200 for her own daughter who has autism. After believing that her old troop was not meeting her needs entirely, she decided that she wanted to start her own, and gear it specifically towards special needs girls.
Members of the troop follow the same rules and guidelines as any other troop, earning patches, attending events and providing community service as a group. Family participation is also a big part of Troop 200 and really helps the girls form friendships and enjoy their time together.
The troop currently has 13 members and is hoping to expand into northern cities in the near future. More troops like this one will help other special needs children participate and enjoy their times as a Girl Scout.
The troop provides a time and a place for the girls to be themselves. They get to learn from one another and form bonds with other children who are just like them.
For more information, please visit the Western DuPage Recreation Association.