-Submitted by Leah Walton, Bedford Hanscom Girl Scouts
On Saturday, February 11, 2023, Girl Scouts from across Bedford and Hanscom Air Force Base gathered to celebrate World Thinking Day, a beloved Girl Scout tradition. As the girls streamed into the Bedford High School cafeteria for the event, one Daisy troop leader remarked that she remembered attending Thinking Day events as a young girl. In fact, the tradition is even older than that! World Thinking Day dates back to 1926, when it was established as a day of friendship for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in the 150 member countries of WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts).
Bedford/Hanscom Girl Scouts were thrilled to celebrate World Thinking Day in person this year, after a three-year, pandemic-induced hiatus. Eleven troops totaling almost 90 girls came together to learn from one another and to enjoy community time as a service unit. Each troop chose a country and created a poster presentation for their table. In addition, troops shared a snack, a game, or a craft from their country of choice. Troop 70426 showed visitors how to play a game called “Senet” when they came to the Egypt table while Troop 83804 gave visitors a chance to create their own Harry Potter wand at the United Kingdom station and Troop 67437 invited girls to make their own beaded, evil eye bracelet in honor of Greece. Girl Scouts enjoyed lots of snacks, like Troop 67547’s tropical fruit salad for Costa Rica, Troop 85248’s homemade Turkish Delights for Turkey, Troop 72147’s lassi, a yogurt-based drink from Northern India, and Troop 83844’s chocolate-drizzled croissants celebrating France.
Each year, WAGGGS provides a theme for the World Thinking Day event. This year’s theme was “Our World, Our Peaceful Future: The environment, peace, and security.” Girls were asked to explore environmental concerns and to think about how they can work “to make a more peaceful and secure future for girls everywhere.” For this event, troops were asked to share environment-related information specific to their country in their presentation and to make environmentally-friendly choices while creating their presentation. Troop 64196 reused materials found around the house to create a beautiful model of a castle for their Germany presentation. Girls learned about the danger of rising sea levels to Fiji from Troop 72044 while they learned that Mexico has great potential for solar power from Troop 82405. Troop 67453 brought an actual toilet to the event in order to talk about the importance of clean water and how toilets help to keep us safe from disease.
Cadette Troop 72044 planned the event, which involved choosing the venue as well as exploring the theme in order to help the service unit’s Girl Scouts earn their World Thinking Day badge. During the event, girls explored environmental concerns and thought about ways that they can help the environment. Girls pledged to “pick up trash” and “use less plastic.” One Girl Scout even pledged to “make protests and not stop!”
As for the girls, they had rave reviews for the event. Second-grade Brownie Scout Emily said, “It was one of the funnest days of Girl Scouts this year! I really enjoyed learning about different countries in our world. I thought it was really cool how in Egypt their letters look like pictures of things, like the letter “A” is a bird.” Third-grader Leila Bernhardt also thought that World Thinking Day was a lot of fun. She said, “I liked trying all the food from different countries. My favorites were Turkish Delight, gummy bears, and Cadbury chocolate.” Seventh-grader Reena Bao, who was part of the planning committee, said, “My favorite part was getting to sample different foods and I learned that many countries are facing the same problems.” Several troop leaders reported that their girls are already excited about next year’s event. After a long three years, what a wonderful feeling to be back to community events!