World Thinking Day is an annual day of celebration for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides. Some boy-associated organizations also celebrate it. It takes place on February 22. Girls are encouraged to learn about other cultures, issues shared by women and global impact of the organization.
1. February 22.
The day celebrates the birthday of Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of both Scouting and Guiding. His wife, Olave, also shared his birthday. Though it is “World Thinking Day” for this badge program, it is also called “Founder’s Day” or “B.P. Day”. Learn about Lord Baden-Powell, his wife and their influence on the world through scouting.
The idea of a day to celebrate internationally was first discussed in 1926 at the Fourth Girl Guide / Girl Scout International Conference. Explore how this discussion at the present day Edith Macy Conference Center started the holiday.
3. World Thinking Day Fund.
As part of the holiday, Lady Olave Baden-Powell asked girls to help donate to support the Scouting / Guiding movement. The monies collected help spread the program worldwide. Find more about the fund.
4. GAT themes.
Starting in 2008, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), started using themes to help bring issues such as empowerment, disease awareness and ending poverty / hunger. These Global Action Themes were based on United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals to end extreme poverty by 2015. Explore the materials online. Is this something that your troop would enjoy doing?
Here are a few traditions you might explore to celebrate this holiday:
- Chat on “ScoutLink”
- Pair with another troop and share activities
- Send postcards and letters to other troops
- Place a lit candle at dusk in the window
- Explore WAGGGs through activities and games
- Honor a country of your choice
- Collect donations for the Fund
Currently, there are 146 countries that make up Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. This makes it the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and women in the world. Find out about the organization, volunteer opportunities and how it helps our girls to become more complete members of the world community.
One way to celebrate World Thinking Day is to explore one or more of the 146 countries where fellow scouts also participate. If you go on Pinterest, you’ll find all sorts of ways people explore other countries. Some ways might include:
- Geographical location on a map or globe
- Natural things that make the country different (land-locked, mountainous, weather, etc.)
- Political landscape
- Economic policies including export and import of materials
- Listen to stories from people in your community that used to live in the country
- Explore customs and ideals of the country
- Learn songs / dances
- Holidays they celebrate and how
- Crafts and / or art
- Recipes and foods enjoyed there
- Modes of dress (cultural and modern)
- Popular games and sports
- Museums or other historical buildings
- Famous men and women of that country
As part of learning about the countries, you can also show others what you learned about your country. For many years, my service unit hosted an event for each troop to bring information from their country as well as tastes (small samples of food), crafts and even entertainment. Need some ideas? Here’s some things my troop has done or seen done by others.
- Ireland / Irish dancing presentation
- Egypt / cartouche with girls writing names in heiroglyphics
- Russia / troop displayed matryoshka dolls they painted
- Kenya / wore clothing the people there would
- Germany / played a game where layers were unwrapped until chocolate was found inside
- England / served tea
- Any / SWAPs
Creating a booth is more than having an activity, sharing food or exchanging SWAPs. A booth allows you to share what you learned so others can get a glimpse of your country. Your booth can include:
- Plastic tablecloth — makes clean-up easier at the end of the event
- Display board or poster with information
- Country’s flag
- Examples of crafts traditionally made — whether or not you intend others to make them
- Attire that might be worn or displayed from your country — traditional or modern
- Uniforms Girl Scouts / Girl Guides wear in that country
- Props from the country including money / coins, souvenirs, postcards, postage stamps, newspapers, masks, jewelry, etc.
- Food samples — request an area with electricity if you want to keep food hot
- Drink samples — often overlooked
- Plates, cups, napkins, plastic silverware or other items to distribute your tastes
- Games you can play
- Stamp / ink for passport
- Container to collect money for tastes, etc.
- Garbage bags and wet wipes to clean your area
- Water for those working the booth
- Camera for pictures of your girls at the event
10. Experience it.
Find other troops, areas or service units which have hosted a World Thinking Day event. This might be images online or visit in-person. See what others have done and take notes about the things you like.
11. Do it.
You can start small with only your troop or do this as a large event for multiple troops. Get help setting it up, brainstorm with others and make this event a reality!
Sites to Explore
To download a PDF of this badge program, click here: EP_World Thinking Day