Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thinking Day 2010

Today Mikaela and I had the pleasure of celebrating Thinking Day 2010 at the Gainesville Mountain Center.

For those not familiar with girl scout history:

Lord Baden-Powell was born in England about 150 years ago! When he was an adult he wrote a book about camping, first aid, animals and lots of other things. He called this book “Scouting for Boys”. Lots of boys in England bought the book. They loved it so much, they started little groups called Boy Scouts. In the groups they did all the activities Lord Baden-Powell talked about in his book and they talked to their friends about how much fun it was. In just a little while, Boy Scout groups began popping up all over the world.

Lord Baden-Powell had no idea how many boys there were in these groups so he decided to call them all together for a big party in London. He invited ‘anyone doing Scouting’ to come to the party. Was he ever surprised when eleven thousand boys showed up. But he was even more surprised by the small group of girls that came as well!

Lord Baden-Powell stood in front of the girls and asked, “Who are you?”

Together they replied proudly, “We are the Girl Scouts.”

Lord Baden-Powell’s sister Lady Agnes Baden-Powell was at the party too. She smiled at the girls, then turned to Lord Baden-Powell and said, “It looks like you’re going to have to have to write a book for the girls too.”

“Hmmm. How about you doing it, Agnes?” replied Lord Baden-Powell.

And so Lady Agnes Baden-Powell wrote a handbook for the girls. Over time younger girls wanted to join in the fun too, so the Brownies were formed.
Just like the Boy Scouts, the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts spread all over the world!

Thinking Day is a very special birthday. It is the birthday of Lord Baden-Powell and Lady Baden-Powell.

The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts chooses a theme for each World Thinking Day and proposes related activities. This year's theme was:

"Together we can end extreme poverty and hunger"

Juliette Low founded scouts here in American in 1912. She was a good friend of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, and having lived in England her interest began there.

When we entered, we saw an assortment of girl scout history. A favorite was an American Girl doll wearing her own girl scout uniform!

We were given passport books and were ready to venture on our "trip around the world."

Our first stop was Haiti. We learned that Haiti means "mountainous region." It was interesting to learn that Haiti has the highest unemployment and illiteracy rate.

China was cool! We learned that I was born in the year of the rabbit, Mikaela was born in the year of the horse, and this is the year of the tiger! Mikaela learned to write the Chinese symbol for tiger.

Off to Ireland. Here we learned the story of the blarney stone. You must lean overbackwords, and kiss the wall for the legend to hold true for you.

The girls and I found the promise in England to be interesting - girls promise "to serve the Queen and my country." We read the promise in most country and the differences were fascinating. In Japan we learned that girls promise to "love Buddha."

Mikaela reading about girl scouting in Japan.

In Australia - that treat behind her is fairy bread - a special dessert served. Did I mention that there was food in every country? YUMMY.

Ireland - two times! In each country, we read the facts that the troop had presented, got our passport books stamped, sampled a treat, and participating in swaps.

Swaps, the tradition of Girl Scouts exchanging keepsakes, started long ago when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides first gathered for fun, song, and making new friends. Some scouts have named



Each one is a memory of a special event or Girl Scout Sister.

Playing the harp.

Learning about the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). She encouraged us to learn about the WAGGGS pin that we wear on our uniform. So - I looked it up:

The gold band surrounding our pin symbolizes the sun that shines on children all over the world.
The blue background symbolizes the sky above us, all over the world.
The gold trefoil is the sign of Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding around the world. The 3 parts of the trefoil stand for the 3 parts of the Promise.
The star on the left, the same side as our heart, stands for the pledge that all Girl Scouts and Girl Guides try, on their honor, to keep: the Promise.
The right star, on the side of a helping hand, stands for the Girl Guide and Girl Scout code of conduct--the GG/GS Law.
We place a compass needle in the center, to serve as a guide pointing towards the right way in life.
At the base of the trefoil we place the flame. Its burning represents love for humanity and international friendship.

In Greece we met one of the older girls from the fashion show.

In Hungary we practiced saying hello and goodbye!

At the end, there were various games to try out.

And crafts.
And good friends.
Interesting music.
And silly moments!