- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

AUBURN, Ind. (AP) - With Girl Scout cookie season in full swing, it’s no surprise to see two local Girl Scout leaders stand out.

Helen Dickman and Linda Adams of Auburn, two longtime Girl Scout leaders, have been part of the organization for more than 50 years combined. Linda Adams‘ involvement with the organization goes back 36 years. Three generations in her family have been involved in the group.

Adams‘ own daughters all were part of the organization, one for as long as 10 years. Another daughter chose to become a Daisy group leader and worked with girls, ages kindergarten through first grade, for a few years. Just this year, Linda’s first granddaughter became a Daisy Scout. Adams is happy to be involved with her granddaughter’s troop as well; she helps them mostly with cookie sales.

Helen Dickman’s involvement dates back 17 years. She has worked with two different groups of girls. Her current group consists of 13 girls, all middle school ages. Her troop goes camping two to three times a year and also tries to incorporate field trips.

Both leaders love being involved with the the Girl Scouts. Adams‘ favorite part of being involved in the Girl Scouts is “enjoying the girls’ company.”

“I have a good group of girls”, Adams says. Her troop, which consists of three girls in high school, goes camping five to six times a year. The girls, two ninth-graders and one 10th-grader, are always ready for the next activity. The troop even has an upcoming three-day trip planned to Mackinaw Island in the first week of June; they are looking forward to it.

The group took a previous trip down to southern Indiana last year. The troop meets twice a month, accommodating the girls’ various extracurricular activities as they get older.

Dickman’s own daughter was involved in the organization until her senior year. As a leader, Dickman’s favorite part is “enjoying the girls’ company and getting to experiencing things together that they normally wouldn’t be able to do.” For example, the troop went zip-lining together and had a blast, she said. Both leaders and Scouts were able to experience something entirely new together.

When Linda Adams‘ troop isn’t camping or meeting, they focus on completing badge work. Currently, Linda’s troop is working on the paint badge. The project they chose consists of wrapping a canvas in yarn, then spray-painting it. Another Scout took crayons, glued them to the top of a canvas, then applied heat to create a melted-crayon collage.

The creativity level of these Scouts knows no limits. Scrapbooks are another project the troop focuses on. It’s important for the Scouts to make these, in order to document their work and progress. Each girl can then look back at what she has accomplished throughout the year.

Helen Dickman’s troop took a trip to the Jiffy food factory in Michigan when the girls were working on the food badge. They’re currently completing the animal badge and had a K-9 officer speak at one of their meetings. The girls are planning a service project to either make an item or a monetary donation to the local humane shelter.

According to Adams, most of her Scouts end up becoming leaders themselves. This is important, she said, as one problem the organization seems to face is a lack of willing leaders.

Angela Bohne and Elaine Jones, leaders of another local troop, are proud of their Scouts. Their unit, Troop 20343, includes two girls from the Auburn area.

When asked what her favorite part of the Girl Scouts is, Julia Till, a Scout in Troop 20343 stated, “I definitely like this group that I’m in; it’s like this cool, second family. All the trips that we get to do are also really fun.”

What her fellow Scout Cassie Bohne enjoys most is “always being able to hang out with my friends and going to neat places around the country and soon, all over the world.” Another Scout in the group, Bridget Stafford, said she is “proud to be able to say that I’m a Senior in Girl Scouts.”

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Source: Kendallville News-Sun, http://bit.ly/2kl8aF3

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Information from: The News-Sun, http://www.kpcnews.com

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