GREENFIELD — This year’s Leadership Hancock County program kicked off last week with a two-day retreat aimed at introducing members of the class to one another and the organization through team-building exercises.

Group activities focused on teaching students how to collaborate and overcome the fear of failure through effective communication, an overarching theme of the program that celebrated its 20th anniversary in June.

Leadership Hancock County is a program that cultivates leadership by providing a series of experiences and training designed to familiarize local residents and workers with the county they serve. Participants meet monthly, and each session focuses on a different theme.

The nonprofit group calls residents to brainstorm options for tackling community issues while utilizing their leadership skills, and groups within the program take on projects each year aimed at bettering the community.

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The organization was formed in the 1990s with the mission to inspire residents to foster the traits needed to take on positions of leadership within the community.

This year’s classes begin Oct. 5 with History Day, which showcases interesting people, places and events in Hancock County history.