GREENFIELD — Dee Dellacca is a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts. She has been involved in the organization since she was young, earned her Gold Award in high school and started volunteering as a troop leader once she started college.
It’s a passion she’d like to share with others for the organization, which is seeking additional troop leaders to boost the current roster.
Today, Dellacca is the mother of two daughters who are scouts and serves as the treasurer of the Girl Scouts of Hancock County Service Unit, which oversees all the troops in the area.
As a parent, Dellacca understands how busy life can be, shuttling children back and forth among activities. But she has made time for the Girl Scouts because she said she believes the organization is worth the extra time and attention.
“I had such awesome experiences with my troop and when I had girls,” she said. “I was so excited for them to be scouts. I want them to have the same experiences that I did. It’s such a precious group.”
Now, she and other leaders within the Girl Scouts of Hancock County are looking to bring more volunteers into the fold.
Typically, the Girl Scouts of Hancock County requires two registered volunteers to work with each troop, Service Unit’s co-chair Tiffany Diefenderfer said. This year, however, organizers are having trouble placing younger girls into troops because not enough adults are stepping forward to lead.
Parents often say they are willing to help at meetings or events but do not feel they have the ability to take on the troop full-time.
But volunteers are essential to the Girl Scouts’ mission and account for 98 percent of staffers within the organization, said Deana Potterf, who works with the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.
To ease the burden for busy parents, troops are now opting to divide responsibilities among a group of volunteers rather than assigning a single troop leader to oversee activities.
Girl Scout troops across the country have adopted this committee leadership style, Potterf said, and the change is apparent in Hancock County as well.
“Evolution happens for a reason,” Potterf said. “(The Girl Scout organization) is committed to providing quality experiences for girls, so if our model needs to evolve, then that’s what we need to do.”
Many troops around Hancock County now divide duties among several adults by asking parents to commit to planning one meeting a month rather than every meeting of the year, Diefenderfer said.
These helpers provide assistance in many ways, including overseeing troops during meetings, chaperoning outings and preparing or providing materials for activities. The best scout leaders, Dellacca said, are patient and step back when they can to allow the girls to grow and think for themselves.
Any community member is welcome to volunteer, whether they know a girl involved in scouts or not, Diefenderfer said, explaining that she plans to stay involved with scouts even after her daughters have outgrown the program.
“This is a great organization,” she said. “Girls get to do so many things they wouldn’t usually get to.”
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Girl Scouts of Hancock County is now seeking troop leaders. Leaders are not required to lead and plan for every meeting; responsibilities can be divided among co-leaders.
To volunteer with any Girl Scouts chapter, an online application and registration form must be completed.
All applicants are required to pass a background check and pay a $15 membership fee.
Some additional training is required.
For more information, visit HancockCountyGirlScouts.org or GirlScoutsIndiana.org.