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World Thinking Day 2014- Girl Scout Style

Daion Taiko Traditional Japanese drumming group
Daion Taiko Traditional Japanese drumming group
Laurel Morey

Each year on February 22 Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world celebrate World Thinking Day. The World Thinking Day description on the Girl Scouts USA website is; "Each year girls participate in activities and projects with global themes, to honor their sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in other countries. World Thinking Day is part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts 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".

Girl Scout Troop 1671 at their Thinking Day booth
Girl Scout Troop 1671 at their Thinking Day booth
Laurel Morey

The theme for World Thinking Day 2014 is "Girls worldwide say: Education opens doors for all girls and boys." "This theme is based on the United Nation's Millennium Development Goal 2, which is to achieve universal primary education, and is especially focused on making sure girls have access to education,. Educating girls is one of the most powerful and effective ways to reduce global poverty." Hopefully these educated girls get out there and change the world!!

Girl Scout Troop 169, under the direction of leader Janis Rizzutto planned and hosted our local 2014 World Thinking Day event this past March. The purpose of the event was to teach Girl Scouts about different cultures and celebrate the common goal of uniting girls around the world through Scouting. 150 girls of all ages, from local troops attended. The event featured 10 country booths, planned by the troops that participated. Countries represented were France, Holland, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Venezuela, Scotland and Russia. Visiting Girl Scouts learned about the different cultures by tasting food samples, doing crafts and viewing informational displays. The theme they chose for this event was "Educating Girls Around the World", which goes along with this years United Nation's goal. Another troop, Junior Troop 1671 set up a display table with information, photos and handouts relating to the theme. They also decorated the gym with colorful drawings of symbols representing various world cultures and set up a mural area where every attending girl had an opportunity to write a "Wish for the World". Expressions such as "No Bullying", "Enough Food so no-one Goes Hungry" and "Everyone Be Kind to Everyone Else" covered the walls, along with lots of happy faces and hearts. The event began with opening ceremonies led by Troop 169. The ceremony included flags from all the countries represented and also a wonderful performance by the Anaheim-based Daion Taiko traditional Japanese drumming group. (10 Cadette and Senior Girl Scouts perform in this group.) The day ended with a Troop 169's closing ceremony and a performance by Ballet Forklorico, a group of 15 Girl Scouts of various ages.

As a result of completing their World Thinking Day project, the girls from Troop 169 will be receiving the Bronze Award, which is the first of the three highest Girl Scout awards. They learned several event planning skills including assessing past events, deciding what to include in their own event and assigning jobs to share the work load. They rehearsed the opening and closing ceremonies and had special work day to create the passports, bags, decorations and flags for all the girls to enjoy. Troop 169 girls are: Tala Aryan, Kayela Byrnes, Sydney Conine, Valarie Cortez, Natalya Levine, Kassie Machado, Chloe Nolan, Sofia Rizzuto, Emily Tran, Sophia Vagienty and Kayla Zemke. The girls from Troop 1671 that also helped with this event are: Abigail Spargur, Raille Oliphant, Brianna Clovery, Tess Morey, Reagan Hibdon and Grace Bates.

"World Thinking Day not only gives girls a chance to celebrate international friendships, but is also a reminder that Girl Scouts USA is part of a global community-one of nearly 150 countries with girls in either Girl Guides or Girl Scouts." If you've read my past blogs, you know my troop has a sister Girl Scout troop in Mozambique, Africa. At the orphanage where the troop is located they are also working hard to provide the important primary education mentioned before, not just for their kids, but any children in the surrounding area. "Caring for Orphans- Moz" is currently busy building a new pre-school at the orphanage right now! I hope to get back there again soon to see the progress. Please go on their website to find out more about the great work they are doing.

"The World Thinking Day activities are designed to be a part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience with an enhanced global focus. Girlscouts.org goes on to say- A specific benefit of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is girls understanding and advancing diversity in a multicultural world, which means girls learn to think and act in a way that promotes an inclusive environment, respecting and valuing diverse backgrounds, viewpoints and life experiences." We are all different, but wonderfully so- the world would be so boring if we were all the same! This being said- even if your kids aren't in scouting- get them out there and make sure they understand different cultures and love our differences. It is the only way our world will survive!!

Here are a couple of quotes from the event. Kayela Bynes said: "I liked seeing all the Girl Scouts smiling, having fun and learning about the countries." Tess Morey agreed it was a great event: "All the performers, the drummers and the dancers were awesome" she said.

A challenge to my faithful readers: What is your "Wish for the World"? I wish we could all be color blind, so everyone would work together better. What do you all think?