Local Girl Scouts recently spent an afternoon celebrating international friendship. World Thinking Day is celebrated around Feb. 22 by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, as they are known internationally, in 146 countries throughout the world. First observed in 1926, World Thinking Day brings girls together to take part in events and activities that promote making the world a better place.
Over 220 girls, troop leaders and parents from the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland Community 653 recently gathered at Reservoir High School to learn and share about other countries. The community is made up of troops from schools in Clarksville, Atholton, Clemens Crossing, Dayton, Fulton, Pointers Run and Triadelphia.
“This year, we had 11 countries represented at our Service Unit’s World Thinking Day Celebration: Mexico, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Thailand, India, Haiti, Egypt, Chile, Morocco and America in Colonial and Revolutionary War Times,” said Didi Cross, the local World Thinking Day manager.
Troops of experienced Scouts researched the countries in preparation for hosting booths. Each station featured an informational display about the culture as well as a variety of crafts and activities. For example, when girls visited the Ivory Coast exhibit, they could make dresses for paper dolls, paint pictures of animals with pretend mud or participate in a traditional song and circle game. When visiting other countries, girls had the opportunity to make pomander balls, color intricate mandalas, receive henna tattoos and dress up in native outfits.
“For a number of the booths, parents and family from the country being showcased were at the event, sharing their experiences with the girls, which really makes each culture come alive,” said Cross, who also leads a Girl Scout troop.
The event gives older Scouts, such as Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors, an opportunity to mentor younger girls who are in Daisy and Brownie troops. At the same time, the event promotes independence and collaboration, as girls learn how to make decisions and navigate spaces on their own and as part of a small group.
“What strikes me each year, is that not only girls and troop leaders, but also parents and families put so much work and thoughtfulness into making Thinking Day a success,” said Cross. “We are fortunate to have so much diversity in Howard County—and that diversity is shared first-hand during Thinking Day.”
For a service project, girls brought non-perishable snack items that were collected and donated to Bernadette’s House, a nonprofit in Laurel that provides a safe after school environment, help with homework and mentoring for at-risk pre-teen and teenage girls in Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.
Other local Scouting groups will be conducting a food drive. Be on the lookout for a Scouting for Food “hang tag” at your home requesting food donations. Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturing Crew members and Girl Scouts will return on Saturday, March 23, to collect bags of food. The donations will be delivered to 25 food pantries throughout Howard County, which are in great need of supplies to restock their shelves for local families. For more information, contact email@example.com.