Vernon Hills mom starts Girl Scouts troop for her two deaf daughters

VERNON HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- A Vernon Hills mom started a Girl Scouts troop for her two deaf daughters and their friends, which now includes girls from all over the Chicago area.

Tiffany DeYoung wanted her daughters to have the Girl Scouts experience, but she had to figure out how to make it work.

DeYoung started Troop 40735 last fall.

"We have grown as what started as three girls now to 23," DeYoung said.

The majority of the scouts are deaf and hard of hearing.

"We have four hearing girls," she said. "The majority of the girls are from Lake County, Illinois, we have a few further west, further south, we have them in DeKalb, Aurora, Blue Island."

They meet once a month on Saturdays at Fremont Township Building.

"Just because that's kind of centralized for all the girls and it seems to be a good location," DeYoung said.

There is a fee for membership.

"But for girls that cannot afford it, they will waive it," DeYoung said.

DeYoung says all activities are badge-related.

"Girl Scouts USA has set up a traditional guide to guide leaders, yes, you can follow it word-by-word, page-by-page, book-by-book, or you can use it as a guide kind of adjust it as needed," she said.

Funding interpreters is a bit of a challenge, DeYoung said.

"All of our funding so far has come out of cookie money that the girls have earned," she said.

Emily Dillon's seven and a half-year-old daughter Lydia is a troop member.

"It's very important, not only is she able to understand everything with interpreter but she also sees other little girls that are similar to her and she gets excited when she sees other girls wearing hearing aids or cochlears," Dillon said.

Lynette Hernandez, 8, is a new member.

"My favorite thing to do is, I have to say, playing toilet tag is fun," Hernandez said.

The troop is gearing up for this coming year.

"Let them experience everything they can experience and let them learn Girl Scouts," DeYoung said.

To learn more about Troop 40375 and how you can get involved, email www.gstroop40735@yahoo.com.
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