By Tara Rappleye, Program Director
A day of international friendship, February 22 is a special day for both Girl Scouts and Girl Guides. While providing an opportunity to connect with 10 million Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in over 140 countries, World Thinking Day is the also the perfect time to learn about and celebrate other cultures, while raising awareness about important issues facing girls and women all over the world.
At the 1926 International Conference of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, held at our own Camp Edith Macy, the idea of World Thinking Day was born. The bond between Girl Scouts and Girl Guides was then and remains to this day one of global sisterhood. With this in mind, the delegates chose February 22 in honor of the shared birthday of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and his wife, Olave Baden-Powell, the founder of Girl Guides.
Ninety years later, the theme for World Thinking Day is “Connect.” Noted American author and scholar, Brene’ Brown writes, “Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.” Girl Scouts are encouraged to create this positive energy by participating in World Thinking Day activities that explore the connections among their individual selves, their friends and the world. Here are a few examples:
- Connect with me: To make a difference in the world and in others’ lives we need to be confident and happy. Make sure you take time on World Thinking Day to connect with yourself! Younger Girl Scouts can draw pictures of themselves doing something each girl is good at or something she loves about herself. Have the girls share their masterpieces with their troop. Always clap/snap when someone shares their drawing. It is important to affirm others for what they love about themselves! For older Girl Scouts, meditation is a great way to relax and de-stress. This mindful practice allows you to spend quality time with yourself, relaxing and de-stressing, which makes a happier you! Here is a quick guide to meditation.
- Connect with friends: Connection and friendship go hand-in-hand. Without true and meaningful connection we can’t be happy in our friendships. Connect with someone you care about by making a friendship stick. Share it with a troop member or a friend you want to invite to join Girl Scouts!
- Connect with the world: World Thinking Day is a time to think about your friends and community locally and globally. Younger Girl Scouts can try playing a game from another country. Check out these great games for a start! Older Girl Scouts can complete the Beauty around the World activity in the Free Being Me Patch Program (pg. 8). Explore and discuss the differences in beauty standards around the world, but also how all women everywhere deal with these expectations.
How will you celebrate World Thinking Day? Don’t forget to share your World Thinking activities and fun experiences using the hashtag #connect10million.