by Chris Alsip, GSNI Volunteer, Historian Committee
I’ve been a Girl Scout volunteer about 25 years and have many happy memories! Without a troop, one way I continue my Girl Scout fun is as a GSNI Historian Committee member. I’d like to share one of those memories—annual Thinking Day Events!
Did you know the concept of Thinking Day was conceived in 1926? It was developed in 1932 at the 7th World Conference in Poland. This would be a day on which every Girl Guide and Girl Scout is encouraged to think of other members of the Movement around the world. Girl Scouts accomplish this by participating in international activities and raising money for the promotion of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting worldwide. (My troop donated to the Juliette Low Friendship Fund.) This special day is still observed on February 22 each year on the joint birthdays of Lord Baden-Powell, and his wife, Lady Olave. However, it is now called World Thinking Day.
This is just one of the facts I have shared at my World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) booth at GSNI’s Genesis Service Unit World Thinking Day event over the past nine years. I and other Historian Committee members have taken our display to other service unit events when asked. Each year, our display focuses on a different topic relating to WAGGGS. One year it was Juliette Gordon Low and the founding of WAGGGS. The last few years we’ve focused on highlighting a different World Centre. It was amazing hearing stories from Girl Scouts about their trips to a World Centre!
We’ve made Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere (S.W.A.P.S.) like the troops and have had fun activities from coloring sheets to puzzles and from rolling a bedroll to tying a friendship knot!
I selected WAGGGS as my booth all those years ago, because so many Girl Scouts didn’t know what their WAGGGS pin represented—let alone know what the letters stood for. A few who visited my booth didn’t wear their pin correctly. I noticed a change over all the years. It was a good feeling!
Did you know there is a WAGGGS pinning ceremony that teaches Girl Scouts about the meaning behind their WAGGGS membership pin? It is a wonderful way to present the pin to Girl Scouts!