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Published April 07, 2013, 10:14 PM

Grand Forks woman starts Girl Scout Troop for girls with disabilities

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- A Grand Forks woman is proving that there's more to Girls Scouts than just cookies. When special education teacher Tracy Landis realized there was no local scout group for girls with disabilities, she started one of her own.

By: Kayla Strayer, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- A Grand Forks woman is proving that there's more to Girls Scouts than just cookies. When special education teacher Tracy Landis realized there was no local scout group for girls with disabilities, she started one of her own.

"And to live by the Girl Scout Law."

It's not your typical Girl Scout Group.

Tracy: "Troop 20037."

Is designed for girls with special needs.

Tracy: "We can take anything from autism to multiple sclerosis to down syndrome. We'll take everyone we can. I just want every girl to have opportunity."

And parents say opportunity is exactly what their daughters get.

Cathy Foy: "These girls just do a fantastic job coordinating this group and treating them just like they're anybody else. And they have the same opportunities that any other girl that may want to be in girl scouts has."

For these Girl Scouts, there's always a focus on hands on learning. Today they're exploring a police car, from the sirens to the lights.

"What kind of a person do you think would keep us safe? A police."

Their monthly meetings allow friendships to thrive.

Tracy: "Some of these girls come in and they don't even like to touch anyone else or even be near someone, and then we get out of the car one day at a field trip and one girl gives another girl a hug."

"So high five."

Cathy: "I'm very very proud of her and it just gets to my heart when I get to see her being like a typical kid. She has those opportunities by coming here and doing what she loves to do."

Cathy Foy says her daughter

Brianna loves showing off her sash.

Cathy: "She loves getting the badges. So that's a huge thing for her."

Tracy: "I modify each girls activity for each girls age level and ability level so that they can each feel that sense of accomplishment for earning their own badges."

After their special handshake,

"You get it back, okay and turn."

The girls say goodbye until next time.

It takes a handful of volunteers to help run the group, who say new members are always welcome. And thanks to a grant, registration fees are covered.

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