Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thinking Day: Greece

The Girl Scout troops in our Service Unit coordinate a huge Thinking Day event every year.  As I understand, individual troops choose a state or country to represent.  One year they choose a state, and the next year they choose a country.  Troops decorate a booth to represent the country or state they have chosen.  During this fundraising event, Girl Scouts, their family members, and friends visit the booths.  They purchase tickets that allow them to do the craft, play the game, or enjoy a snack at each booth they visit. This year will be the first year our troops attend this Service Unit Thinking Day.  Our girls will not create and run a booth this year.  Once they experience the event, they will be able to vote how they are interested in participating next year. 

To celebrate Thinking Day in 2012, our girls had an opportunity to learn about Greece.  Decades ago, the grandmother of one of the girls in our troop immigrated to the United States from her small village in Greece.  The girl's mother agreed to interview the grandmother about her life as a young girl in Greece.  The mother then shared the grandmother's stories with us.  She brought books from the library so the girls could look at pictures while she presented information about Greek architecture and Greek contributions to the modern world.  She introduced the girls to the Greek alphabet and helped them count to ten in Macedonian.  They were also given a brief history of the Olympic Games.
Finding Greece on the globe.


Our favorite part of the meeting was when the mother shared some fascinating stories of the grandmother's childhood.  Everything from her home and her chores to her toys and her education was so different from the lives of young girls living in the United States.  The girls were then given the opportunity to try on an outfit the grandmother wore when she was around their age. 

The girls finished up the meeting by making an Olympic torch.  This craft did not cost us a dime because we had the paper remaining from a previous craft.  The girls also worked on an Olympic rings coloring sheet while they enjoyed Greek cookies.  We all had fun learning about life as a young girl in Greece.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Thinking Day Ceremony and WAGGGS Pin

As I wrote in my last post, Girl Scouts around the world celebrate Thinking Day on February 22nd.  Thinking Day gives us the chance to talk about our similarities with other Girl Scouts around the world.  We are a part of a global community, working to make the world a better place.  The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) announces a theme for Thinking Day each year.  

For Thinking Day 2011, we used the 2010 theme.  We had a tea party with a lesson to help the girls understand hunger and poverty and what they can do together to help others who are suffering.  In 2012, our girls learned about growing up as a girl in Greece (this post is coming soon!).  The theme for 2013 is "together we can change children's lives," and "every mother's life and health is precious."  Our girls have decided to make fleece blankets for Project Linus this year.  Please check back in late February to read a post about this event.

New girls in our troop receive the WAGGGS Pin during our Thinking Day celebration.  This pin shows that the girls are a part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.  It is worn on the Insignia Tab above the Membership Pin.  On it are three leaves representing the Girl Scout Promise, with a flame that stands for loving all the people in the world. The compass needle is to guide you, and the two stars are the Girl Scout Promise and Law. The outer circle represents the World Association, and the golden yellow trefoil on a bright blue background stands for the sun shining over the children of the world.  

When our girls were Daisy Girl Scouts, we had an informal ceremony before the new members were given their pins.  I modified a Thinking Day ceremony from Ceremonies in Girl Scouting:

  1. On February 22nd, Girl Scouts around the world celebrate Thinking Day.
  2. February 22nd is the birthday of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell.
  3. Lord baden-Powell founded Boy Scouts in 1907.  Lady Baden-Powell started Girl Guides in England in 1909.
  4. Juliette Gordon Low was inspired by the Baden-Powells and founded Girl Scouts in the United States in 1912.
  5. Today the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) reaches girls in 145 countries around the globe.
  6. Thinking Day gives us the opportunity to recognize the similarities we have with Girl Scouts around the world.
  7. Thinking Day reminds us that Girl Scouts is part of a global community.
  8.  As we "think globally," we must "act locally."  As Girl Scouts, we are building courage, confidence, and character and working to make the world a better place.  
Prior to the meeting, I wrote these statements with a Sharpie on individual index cards.  We asked each girl to stand in a line and read her part loudly and clearly so the rest of the troop could hear her.  The first time the girls participated in the ceremony, they were in Kindergarten.  It was quickly evident that some girls could already read while others were struggling.  They were all quiet and many of them needed help with most of the words on the cards.  The next year we repeated the ceremony for the girls who were new to our troop.  I learned from the past and assigned each girl a specific part.  They were sent home with a copy of their lines so they could practice reading.  They returned the day of the ceremony and read their parts perfectly.  Certainly it takes a little more time for leaders and girls to prepare, but it is definitely worth the effort.  The girls were so much more confident the second year, and they had more fun.  Thanks for reading!