And Happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and St. Lucia Day and Boxing Day and Saturnalia and Omisoka… whew! There are many, many holidays celebrated during the month of December. Girl Scouts of the USA prides itself on being a diverse and multi-cultural organization and we want to recognize them all!
Every February 22nd, Girl Scouts celebrate World Thinking Day, but why not do it all year round? What holidays do you and your family celebrate? Do you have friends or Girl Scout sisters, maybe even in your own troop, that celebrate differently than you?
Here at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives, we wish you Happy Holidays!
Today, WAGGGS wishes ‘happy World Thinking Day’ to all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts! Up to 10 million girls in 145 countries around the world are spending today reflecting on their international friendships, thinking about the environment, and raising money for the World Thinking Day Fund.
In 1992, the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council (one of our historic councils) reached out to the Republic of Georgia to bring Girl Scouting to that country. Many of our current Archives volunteers such as Sue Belden and Gigi Baroco were involved with this initiative. We are proud to have been part of this effort to introduce more girls to scouting. You can read more about the Georgian Girl Scouts on the WAGGGS website.
Happy World Thinking Day, everyone! What is World Thinking Day, you might ask? (And you might well ask, if you are not familiar with the Girl Scout Holidays.) Here is a great synopsis from the GSUSA website:
Each year on February 22, World Thinking Day, girls participate in activities, games, and projects with global themes to honor their sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in other countries. World Thinking Day is part of the WAGGGS Global Action Theme (GAT) based on the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people. The theme for World Thinking Day 2011 is girls worldwide say “empowering girls will change our world.”
World Thinking Day not only gives girls a chance to celebrate international friendships, but is also a reminder that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a global community—one of nearly 150 countries with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. WAGGGS selected five countries of focus for World Thinking Day 2011 to represent the five WAGGGS regions: Bolivia (Western Hemisphere), Cyprus (Europe), Democratic Republic of Congo (Africa), Nepal (Asia/Pacific), Yemen (Arab Region).
In the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, troops celebrate this holiday in a variety of ways. The Duluth Service Unit holds an annual “International Bazaar,” where each troop represents a country. The girls research the country, and they make snacks or small items for the shoppers to buy. Each participant also has a “passport,” which is stamped at each “country.” The evening begins with a Parade of Nations, celebrating all the countries represented. Two girls from each country hold their flag for all to see. The International Bazaar typically lasts two hours, and everyone has a great time. Even troops who elect not to represent a country are welcome as visitors to shop, have fun, and help a great cause.
The money that is raised through this event is donated to the Juliette Gordon Low Friendship Fund, which supports girls’ international travel and participation in training and other international events. These unique opportunities for fostering international friendships connect Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from 144 nations. This year’s DSU International Bazaar will take place this Friday, February 25, and is sure to be a big success.
There are many badges that Juniors (grades 4-5) can earn that relate to history in their badgebook. One of these is the very first one in their book (Junior Girl Scout Badgebook, New York: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2001) called “Girl Scouting Around the World.”
This badge is a great one for a new Girl Scout to work on, as it gives her a better appreciation of the organization to which she now belongs. It also discusses and lets the girls explore some of the most important traditions within Girl Scouting. The building on the badge is a depiction of The Girl Scouts Chalet in Adelboden, Switzerland, affectionately called “Our Chalet.” To earn this badge, a Junior must finish six of the ten suggested activities.
As a Girl Scout, you are not only a member of Girl Scouts of the USA, but also a member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, known as WAGGGS. As a WAGGGS member, you are part of a sisterhood of millions of girls who share many of your Girl Scout values and traditions. This badge will help you discover the global reach of the Girl Scout community.
- Thinking Day: Thinking Day falls on February 22 each year. Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouting, and his wife, Lady Olave Baden-Powell had the same birthdays on that day, so February 22 was chosen as a time for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to celebrate international friendship and world peace. Plan a way to celebrate Thinking Day that recognizes your Girl Scout connection to girls around the world.
- WAGGGS on the Web: Check out the WAGGGS website to find out about the different countries that are members of WAGGGS, and the projects that are being sponsored by that organization. Share what you learned with your troop, group, or other girls.
- Show the World: Create a display that shows how Girl Scouts are part of a world sisterhood. Exhibit your display for Girl Scout troops or groups, your Girl Scout council, your school, or a local library.
- Connect with Younger Girls: Create a game or storybook for younger Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world. Try out your game or storybook at a neighborhood event, at camp, or at a bridging ceremony for younger Girl Scouts.
- Girl Scout Central: Visit Girl Scouting’s official online site for all things Girl Scout: Girl Scout Central! Click on the link to WAGGGS to find out more about this world-wide organization. Also look at “travel” and check out special international places you and your Girl Scout friends might want to visit.
- Girl Scouting’s Founder: Juliette Gordon Low: Find out about the Juliette Gordon Low World Friendship Fund. What does this fund do? How do girls all around the world benefit from the money in the fund?
- International Expert: Choose one country where Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting exists. Become an expert on that country and the activities girl members can do there. Learn a game, song, craft, recipe, or activity unique to that country and share it with others.
- World Service: Find out about a world problem that affects girls your age. You could think of a problem related to the environment, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, or another issue. Share what you have researched with other girls and think of some ways girls in WAGGGS could help solve this problem.
- Common Roots: Learn about the lives of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. Also find out about how the Girl Guide movement came about. Share your information with members of our troop/group or with a Brownie Girl Scout troop.
- WAGGGS Travel: WAGGGS has four World Centers that any Girl Scout can visit. Find out the following about each of the four centers. Where is it? How can you get there? What types of events and activities can a visitor take part in there? You can find this information online at the WAGGGS web site.