Girl Scouts around the world celebrate Thinking Day on February 22nd, the birthday of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell. Lord Baden-Powell founded Boy Scouts in 1907. Lady Baden-Powell started Girl Guides in England in 1909. Juliette Gordon Low was inspired by the Baden-Powells and founded Girl Scouts in the United States in 1912.
Today the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) reaches girls in 145 countries around the globe. Thinking Day gives us the chance to talk about how we are like the other Girl Scouts around the world. Thinking Day reminds us that Girl Scouts is part of a global community. As we think globally, we must act locally. This means we take time to think about Girl Scouts around the world, but we work together to make life better for others in our own city. As Girl Scouts, we are building courage, confidence, and character and working to make the world a better place.
Instead of attending our Service Unit Thinking Day event in our troop's first year, we chose to celebrate on our own by hosting a tea party. Each girl was allowed to invite one special adult guest. A month before the tea party, we had the girls make invitations. Since they were in Kindergarten, I decided it would be easiest to print out the party details on regular printer paper prior to the meeting. The girls decorated cardstock cards and completed the invitation by adhering the printer paper to the cardstock with a glue stick. A request for canned good donations was included at the bottom of the invitation. We later delivered the canned goods to a local shelter.
At the time, we held our meetings in a workroom at the school. Expenses for the party were kept at a minimum. We decorated the space with items we had on hand. We used disposable tablecloths and napkins left over from a birthday party as well as our personal china teacups and saucers. We also included globes on the tables to remind us of our Girl Scout sisters living around the world. I made cheddar rosemary scones (by modifying this recipe) and fruit kabobs while the other leader made chocolate chip scones and tea. One of the girls brought mini cupcakes as a special birthday treat. We also served pink lemonade. Not surprisingly, the girls all chose pink lemonade over the tea. Since Girl Scouts like to try new things, the girls were asked to taste at least one bite of everything on their plate.
While we loved spending time with our special guests, we devoted a little time during the party to a lesson. I felt it was important to discuss that year's theme for Thinking Day: "Together we can end extreme poverty and hunger." I created two posters on 12"x12" cardstock to illustrate the problem for this group of Kindergartners. We talked about the price of a pack of gum, a loaf of bread, and a gallon of milk. They seemed to understand that people around the world can not live very long on $1.25 a day. We mentioned that poor people do not only live far away or even as close as "downtown." The girls learned there are some needy families in our community and possibly even in their classrooms. They understood that our tea party canned goods collection would help our neighbors.
We ended the lesson by reading a book by Ann McGovern titled THE LADY IN THE BOX. It is a story about two children who help a homeless woman and make a difference in her life. Before reading the book, I made sure to tell the girls that it is a sad story, but it does have a happy ending. When the story was finished, we reviewed the importance of not talking to strangers. The characters in the story mention their mother's rule against talking to strangers, but it definitely needed to be stressed again. While my younger daughter's Daisy troop will not enjoy such a tea party this year, she has asked that I read this book to her troop when we celebrate Thinking Day. Even though they are young, these Daisy Girl Scouts recognize when people need help. Whether it is collecting canned goods, serving food at a soup kitchen, or packing meals for starving children around the world, these young girls can help make the world a better place. We just need to give them the opportunity to do so. Please check back to see how we celebrated Thinking Day last year. Thanks for reading!