By: Tara Rappleye, Program Director
In the midst of the Girl Scout Cookie Program is World Thinking Day, an important Girl Scout tradition. World Thinking Day, a celebration of international sisterhood and friendship, is observed annually on February 22. Girl Scouts and Girl Guides gather on this day to learn about the culture of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) members across the globe.
Ninety-one years ago, World Thinking Day came to be at Camp Edith Macy in New York. Girl Scouts and Girl Guides were gathered together in fellowship when it was decided to have a day of celebration in honor of global sisterhood. The date of February 22 was picked as it is the birthday of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts and his wife, Olave Baden-Powell, the founder of Girl Guides.
This year WAGGGS selected “grow” as the theme of World Thinking Day 2017. As Girl Scouts celebrate World Thinking Day this year they will grow in their leadership, their cultural knowledge, and the Girl Scout movement.
To earn the 2017 World Thinking Day Award, girls must complete the 3 steps listed below. To assist troops in earning the award, we’ve highlighted a few activities that can be done to complete each step.
1. Make new friends
Make new friends inside and outside of Girl Scouts this February and celebrate World Thinking day together.
- Invite a friend to join Girl Scouts – Share your love of Girl Scouting with someone who isn’t currently a Girl Scout. Invite a non-Girl Scout to join your troop or simply attend a Girl Scout event with you.
- Host a World Thinking Day celebration – Gather together your friends and family to learn about the culture of other countries from around the world. Pick a few countries to highlight and make displays, food, and crafts from those countries for your celebration.
- SWAPS exchange – SWAPs (also known as Special Whatchamacalits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere) are a Girl Scout tradition connecting Girl Scout troops locally and globally. Create World Thinking Day inspired SWAPs to exchange with fellow Girl Scouts and then play a few games or have a milk and cookie reception as a way to spend time with new Girl Scout friends!
2. Share the fun
We all have different reasons for why Girl Scouting is fun. Some get excited to go to canoeing and camping, others have fun when they are serving their community through a Take Action Project, and some Girl Scouts have the most fun taking on new challenges as they develop their leadership skills. Sharing the fun is all about sharing with others why you enjoy being a Girl Scout. Be sure to include non-Girl Scouts in all these fun activities!
- Younger Girl Scout Activities:
- Snowball fight – This snowball fight is different than most. After this snowball fight, there will be a lot more kindness and character development. See this sheet for instructions.
- International games – Play one or both of these international games. It is a fun way to learn about the culture of another country.
- Older Girl Scout Activities:
- Snow survival – What happens when your troop wanders into a harsh winter storm and gets lost? Can they survive? Test out your communication, teamwork, and survival skills with this activity.
- Fax machine – This game is not only a hoot, but a really great communication exercise. Instructions and supplies are minimal! Your troop will learn how important clear communication is while laughing along the way.
3. Plant a tree
What is a better representation of new friendship and sisterhood than a tree! Gather with friends old and new to celebrate friendship by planting a tree.
- Plant a Loblolly Pine – The Loblolly Pine is commonly grown in North Carolina. The care and maintenance of the seeds is easier than many other trees. Purchase some seeds, soil, and pots and follow allow with the attached instructions to plant your friendship Loblolly Pine. When you are planting your tree, be sure to share with each other what you’ve learned about while working on your World Thinking Day Award.
- Kraft paper tree – For those won’t don’t have a green thumb you can still “plant a tree.” A neat way to get creative with “planting your tree,” is to make a tree out of kraft paper. To decorate, have Girl Scouts write what they learned on a paper leaf and place it on the tree. You can search online to find different ways to make a paper tree.
Don’t forget to share your World Thinking Day adventures with the rest of the Girl Scout community. Use the hashtags #LetsGrow and #WTD2017 to share your photos with other Girl Scouts and Girl Guides!