It’s January and we’re back to work and back to school, and I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of a little something to look forward to. Luckily, my favorite Girl Scout holiday* is just around the corner: World Thinking Day! Dating back to the 1920’s, World Thinking Day is a special day for Girl Scouts right here in the Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys to connect with their 10 million sisters around the globe.
On February 22 each year (or whatever day works for your troop families), Girl Scouts and Girl Guides explore, learn, and take action to celebrate what it means to be part of a global sisterhood.
*Although Cookie Go Day (February 11, 2017) is not technically a ‘holiday,’ I personally think it should be!
How to Celebrate!
Many service units put on World Thinking Day events in their communities, so be sure to check there first. They may have booths where troops can teach and learn about different countries and cultures, performances by traditional dance groups, an international potluck, or a guest speaker. Last year, I was invited to one to talk to girls about my experience living abroad and it was so much fun!
You can also do any of this at the troop level (just scale it down a bit). For food, ask each family to bring a dish from a culture they belong to or feel connected to. For a speaker, ask around to see if anyone has connections to someone who has experience abroad, check with local organizations, or reach out to the Peace Corps to invite a returned volunteer to speak at your troop or group about their experience. For the performance, if you can’t find a professional to teach them, have the girls learn a traditional dance from a YouTube video!
How to Earn the World Thinking Day Award
If you’d like to celebrate and earn the World Thinking Day award as a troop, check out the requirements for your program grade-level (girls only need to complete one of the choices listed to earn their award) and get creative! The theme this year is “Grow.”
My favorite option is the make-your-own-music-video one. Daisies through Juniors can watch the “When We Shine” song (created by Girl Guides in India), make up their own dance, and perform it for families and friends to celebrate. Cadettes through Ambassadors are invited to create their own music video for the song to show the world what Girl Scouting looks like where you live – and enter the “When We Shine” video contest for a chance to attend an event at one of our World Centers in Madagascar or India!
However you celebrate, I hope you and your troop take some time this February to recognize your place in the larger sisterhood of Girl Guide and Girl Scouts who are doing amazing things all over the world, just like you. Don’t forget to share your stories and photos with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide by using #WTD2017 on social media. Happy World Thinking Day!
Natasha Brownlee – Natasha is a Program Coordinator at River Valleys, where she develops and leads awesome Girl Scout events – and runs the In the Loop blog! Her background is in curriculum development, programming, and creative writing. She has BA’s in Peace Studies and French and a MSc in Gender, Development & Globalization and has worked with various girl-centered organizations in the US and abroad. Natasha loves traveling around the world, practicing yoga, and hanging out with her dog, Rooney!