Joining forces with sisters in 150 countries around the world to effect change on a global level? Nope, it’s not the tale of fictional heroes in a comic book; it’s the real story behind World Thinking Day!
There’s strength in the unity of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the globe, and on World Thinking Day, celebrated every February 22, we honor that mighty global sisterhood. The day is, of course, about more than just thinking: it’s about taking action, knowing that every girl has the power to make a positive impact on her world.
World Thinking Day is the perfect opportunity for you as a troop leader to get your girls to think big; you might learn some new things along the way too! By exploring meaningful issues beyond their local communities, girls cultivate the big-picture thinking, empathy, and determination that help them better connect to the world around them... and play major roles in making it better.
Here are just a few ways your troop can get in on the World Thinking Day fun.
Explore the Theme
Every year, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) selects a theme for girls to explore and take action around. This year's theme is “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion."
Check out our World Thinking Day resources for fun activities that will get your girls excited to discover how they can be welcoming and inclusive and celebrate their diverse sisterhood. And they can earn their World Thinking Day award in the process!
Transport your troop to another country...
You don’t need a passport to get your girls thinking globally. Celebrate the cultures of fellow Girl Scouts and Girl Guides by hosting a World Thinking Day event for your troop and their families, or ask your service unit if they host any events for troops in your area.
Is there a country your troop feels connected to? Or perhaps the girls want to explore a culture that seems very different from theirs? World Thinking Day activities, like most Girl Scout activities, are most exciting when they’re girl led. Depending on their ages, the girls might like to choose some countries to learn more about and topics to explore. If the girls love animals, for instance, they could create a presentation about the wildlife unique to their chosen country; if they love to sing or dance, they could learn a traditional dance or song.
If you lead older girls, encourage them to take the reins in planning their event—or perhaps guide a group of younger Girl Scouts to earn their World Thinking Day Award—and explore any connections between their Take Action projects and World Thinking Day themes and activities.
… Or bring the world to your troop
A guest speaker with global perspective can open your girls’ eyes to a whole new world. Is there someone in your network who grew up abroad? Ask if they’ll speak to your troop about the culture they were raised in and what it was like coming to the U.S. Or consider inviting a returned Peace Corps volunteer to speak about the country in which they served, the leadership skills they developed, and what they learned from their time abroad.
And nothing beats a firsthand connection: help your girls find international pen pals to exchange ideas on leadership and how they'll make the world a better place. Browse the WAGGGS member organizations and check individual country web sites to research their pen pal programs.
Learn about issues that impact girls around the world
We live in an interconnected world, and we have more similarities with our fellow Girl Scouts and Girl Guides than differences. We face similar challenges, such as protecting and preserving the environment or advocating for equal opportunities for women and girls.
Help foster cross-cultural conversations by asking your girls how larger global issues might be experienced on a local level. Your savvy girls may already be aware that some students around the world don’t have access to textbooks, computers, or other educational resources, but do they know that underfunded schools may also be a serious issue in their county or state? How would they find a sustainable solution to educational disparities in their hometown?
Inspire your girls by inviting a Gold Award Girl Scout alum or a current Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout pursuing her Gold Award to talk about how she’s making a lasting difference in the community. There’s some serious motivation in seeing a fellow Girl Scout fearlessly lead the way on an issue she’s passionate about.