Thinking About

World Thinking Day



³Each year on February 22, girls participate in activities, games and projects with global themes to honor their sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts in other countries.

There are LOTS of internet sites that can assist with your World Thinking Day plans. Iıve compiled a selection for you below along. 



World Thinking Day Theme

            ³The theme for World Thinking Day 2009 is girls worldwide say we can stop the spread of AIDS, malaria and other diseases.² The following resources are available to assist girls in planning activities around this theme:

·         2009 Activity Sheets

·         HIV and AIDS Activities

·         World Aids Resources

·         Malaria Activities

·         Other Disease Activities

·         Useful Links


World Thinking Day Countries

            ³This year, girls voted and selected Costa Rica, Fiji, Ireland, Jordan and Kenya to represent the five regions of World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)‹Western Hemisphere, Asia/Pacific, Europe, the Arab region and Africa. See the 2009 World Thinking Day Country Resources (pdf). World Thinking Day not only gives girls a chance to celebrate international friendships, but it is also a reminder that Girl Scouts of the USA is part of a global community‹one of nearly 150 countries with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.²


Once Upon a Time . . .

               "World Thinking Day was first created in 1926 at the fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference... Conference attendees decided that there should be a special day when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all around the world think of each other and give thanks and appreciation to their sister Girl Scouts. The delegates chose February 22 as the date for Thinking Day because it was the mutual birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and his wife Olave, who served as World Chief Guide."  (Read the last Thinking Day Message from Olave.)    

               Find out what Girl Guiding means to girls in other countries, learn about the four World Centers, and play the World Centre Jeopardy game. Discover what we all have in common, our Symbols of Unity (pdf), sing The World Song (melody MP3) and play the Word Wizardry Game (author unknown):

In most parts of the world what we think of as Girl Scouts is called Girl Guides. Girls can change the word ³Scout² into ³Guide² by playing the below game where one letter is changed at a time to make words that fit the definitions.

SCOUT -  Start
SHOUT - 1.  To call loudly
SHOOT - 2.  You could do this with a gun
SHOOK - 3.  What did the wind do to the trees
SHOCK - 4.  An electrical outlet can give you this
STOCK - 5.  Buy this from a broker for an investment.
STICK -  6.  A dry one is more useful for lighting a fire
SLICK -  7.  Slippery
SLICE -  8.  A piece of cake, perhaps
SLIDE -   9.  The best ones are tall and splash you into the water
GLIDE -  10. To move gracefully across the ice
GUIDE -  Finish


World Badge (Trefoil Pin)

               World Thinking Day is a great time to present your girls with their World Badge, if you have not already done so. This pin is not an earned recognition - all Girl Scouts and Girl Guides may wear the World Badge (formally called the World Trefoil Pin and the World Association Pin) as a symbol of their membership in this international organization.

               Plan a special ceremony, read the World Trefoil Pin poem, and sing The World Song (melody MP3). Print out a picture of the World Association Pin and the World Association Flag for the girls to color and learn what each part symbolizes. They might also enjoy playing World Flag Bingo, World Flag Cootie, or doing the World Flag Skit.

Juliette Low World Friendship Fund

            WAGGGS encourages girls to ³turn your fundraising thoughts into action, enabling the World Association to give educational and development opportunities to girls and young women like you in other countries.² WAGGGS provides a World Thinking Day Fundraising Guide to help your troop raise funds for this cause. Additional fundraising resources may be downloaded from the World Thinking Day Website including: stickers, leaflets, posters, and Coins With Care cards.

            Girl Scout contributions through the GSUSA Juliette Low World Friendship Fund support this cause (38˘ of each $1 went to WAGGGS in 2007). Girls are ³encouraged to contribute one dollar to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund on World Thinking Day. Each dollar helps make it possible for girls and young women in the United States to connect with their counterparts in other countries. Last year, nearly 200 Girl Scouts received travel scholarships to participate in international events.² Download JLWFF postcards (pdf) to assist with your collection. Your Girls might enjoy doing one of the Juliette Low Action Games or Thinking Day Audience Participation Skit to help them understand this program and the history of our organization.

Only a few councils (out of over 300) meet GSUSAıs fundraising challenge each year. Maybe youıd like to challenge your girls to locally beat GSUSAıs goal by publicizing the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund within your service unit. If your girls get really involved, you could make up some colorful World Friendship Knots to present to them (see details below), purchase Friendship Knot pins, or earn the Dimes For Daisy (pdf) patch from GS of Silver Sage Council in Idaho (contact them first for permission and ordering information).

More suggestions on how to encourage donations for this cause:

·     ³World Chief Guide, Olave Baden-Powell, wrote a letter in 1932 encouraging the first girl guides and girl scouts to ŒSend a penny with your thoughtsı on Thinking Day. You can continue this tradition by using our specially designed Coins With Care card (internet archive). Download the sheet and stick your small change coins into the spaces provided on the weeks running up to World Thinking Day.²


Our Rights, Our Responsibilities

³Every three to six years, WAGGGS adopts a theme under which Member Organizations, troops and individual members throughout the world can organize projects and implement non-formal education.² Since 2002, WAGGGS members everywhere have been called to action by the theme Our Rights, Our Responsibilities. Through this theme, WAGGGS aimed to ³achieve global impact in fulfilling its Mission, which is: to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.² (This theme is being replaced with the one listed below in 2009).

An Our Rights, Our Responsibilities patch program is available for Junior GS. Activities on this theme may be incorporated into your World Thinking Day program as your girls focus on others around the world.

Together We Can Change the World

               ³At the 33rd WAGGGS World Conference in 2008, WAGGGS announced its new Global Action Theme (GAT) girls worldwide say ³together we can change our world,² which focuses on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The GAT will replace Our Rights, Our Responsibilities as the WAGGGS theme from 2009 onwards.² (Resource materials are expected to become available in April 2009)


Thinking Day Ceremonies

There have been many ceremonies written to make Thinking Day more meaningful:


Thinking Day Resource Links

               The below websites provide resources to help your girls learn more about Girl Scouts and Girl Guides in other member countries around the world:


And, here are additional resource links to help girls learn more about the culture of the country they have chosen to study for Thinking Day:

Cut and Color

Iıve compiled a number of paper doll, coloring pages, and crafts for you below that your girls might enjoy.


The World Friendship Knot ³symbolizes the ties which bind the girls and adults who belong to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and is a sign of the continuous friendships they share. The four ends of the knot represent the Promise, the Law, the Motto and Service to others. The four squares stand for the four world centers.² (Directions are bit complex for our younger girls, so they might prefer to make a World Friendship Tie instead.)


Girl Scout Program Links

               Each program level has a variety of awards that could tie-in with your activities leading up to World Thinking Day. Leaders are reminded that most girls will be celebrating three Thinking Days at their current program level (except Daisies, of course).  You may want to pace yourself so that some of these awards are left for the following years. Below are some to choose from:


Patch Programs

This yearıs World Thinking Day Patch is available at the council shop. If interested in any of the below Council-Own programs, please contact the council listed to request permission and to obtain ordering information.



Your girls might enjoy learning about Girl Guide traditions in the UK by doing activities from the UK Brownie Traditions Badge for ages 7-10 (click the 4th badge in the top row) or the UK Traditions of Guiding Badge for ages 10-14/15 (click the 3rd badge in the next-to-the-last row). If interested in actually obtaining a badge from the UK, consider joining the Guides Badges for Thinking Day yahoo group that has been formed for just this purpose.

Patch Work DesignsΠHistorically Speaking patches are available for girls studying 25 different countries. The optional program manual includes a variety of crafts, festivals, recipes, songs, traditional clothing paper dolls, maps, games and answers to each requirement. This company also has Story Building Doll Patches for the countries of Egypt, Mexico, Japan and England. A Thinking Day Instructional Booklet available to guide planning of your World Thinking Day event.


Thinking of Women

                   Debbie in Ohio suggests a way to tie Thinking Day to Womenıs History Month, which begins 10 days later.  (Visit my HERstory page for resource links on this theme):


      I think it would be a wonderful thing for each of the Troops who participate in Thinking Day to learn about a woman from history from the country that they are representing for Thinking Day - Also just think what would happen if that distinguished woman turned out to, at one time, be a Girl Scout/Girl Guide!! I really feel strongly about the girls learning about women from history because it think it is one step in teaching them an important lesson in self-esteem, working hard, etc. . .


Go for the Gold

            Denise shares an interesting twist to the traditional Thinking Day event scheme below. Follow Olympic tradition and start your event off with a Parade of Nations.


     How about combining GSUSAıs GirlSports initiative and Thinking Day to learn about Girl Scouts/Girl Guides around the world in a different way?  Instead of focusing on foods and crafts from the different countries (what our Service Unit events generally do), you could create a wide game that troops/groups rotate through which shares sports and active childrenıs games from different regions of the world.  Troops could sponsor stations or it could be organized/led by Program Aides, Cadette/Senior Scouts, or by a Service Unit committee.  Girls could learn about different sports/games that children play around the world, and hopefully have a way to try some aspect of each sport at the event.

     For example, you might teach a Russian folk dance and tie it into the movements and music in ice dancing, have a station for playing team ³floor hockey² or for curling with a soft bean bag, have them make or decorate a simple ³bobsled² and race it down a track, etc.  You could highlight foreign athletes that excel at their sport, so that girls watching the Olympics look beyond their own countryıs ³medal count² in cheering for athletes.  In addition you could share a map of each highlighted country along with an example of their Scout/Guide uniform, pins, promise and law.  You should be able to find lots of childrenıs games ideas through your councilıs printed resources, and sports resources through program level badge books and the GSUSA GirlSports materials.


State Fair

               Some groups have shared that they selected to study the diverse regions of our own country as a variation of the traditional World Thinking Day event. Each troop chose a state instead of a country. Although not strictly following the intent of the occasion, this is an option some may like to choose. Girls could try State Recipes, learn State Songs, print out State Maps, and color State Flags.

               Many Girl Scout councils have developed council-own patch programs to encourage girls to learn about their state. (Some east coast options are listed on my Road Trip! webpage.) In addition, Patch Work Designsı has developed 25 state patch programs with manuals to assist in learning about each area.


Get Connected
                   See how Girl Guides around the world celebrated World Thinking Day last year and read suggestions for World Thinking Day this year. Then, send in you own ideas. You can also send comments to our Western Hemisphere Region website.

                   Chat online with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world on Scout Linkıs Trefoil Chat website. Thinking Day Chats began in 1997 and for the past five years ³have had over 1500 chatters from at least 15 countries participate. . . Leaders planning to have their units join us are encouraged to join us for a regularly scheduled chat. . . to familiarize yourself on how IRC chatting works prior to the World Thinking Day chat.²

                   Guides On The Air (Canada) and World Thinking Day on the Air (UK) are opportunities for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to talk to other WAGGGS members all over the world via amateur radio on the third full week each February. The Canadian program began in 1985 by CLARA, the Canadian Ladies Amateur Radio Association.

                   Send an e-card to Girl Guides and Girl Scouts far and wide through the following sites:


               Girl Scout troops start signing up each fall to participate in the annual Thinking Day Postcard Exchange. Last year there were almost 3,000 US Troops and over 1,000 International Units from 50 countries mailing postcards to each other. Choose a postcard that depicts your area or send 2009 World Thinking Day Postcards, or World Thinking Day 2009 postcards. Note - This program normally closes in early February so that mailings can be made in time for World Thinking Day. Should you have missed the cut-off, add this idea to your planning calendar next fall so that your girls might plan ahead.

               Girl Scout and Girl Guides around the world enjoy the hobby of collecting. View some international collections of patches and pins and postage stamps showing scout themes.

               Girls who are interested in learning more about our sisters nation-wide and abroad might like to participate in one of the many Girl Scout Exchanges as a follow-up to Thinking Day.

Girl Scouts Near and Far

            ³USA Girl Scouts Overseas serves American girls living overseas and girls attending American or international schools. From Bahrain to Brazil, the Philippines to Poland, and points in between, USA Girl Scouts Overseas serves [approximately 18,000] girls [in 90 countries] who want to enjoy the same excitement, fun, and adventures in Girl Scouting as their stateside Girl Scout sisters.² Learn more about our sisters overseas through some of their websites such as: USA Girl Scouts - West Pacific, USA Girl Scouts - North Atlantic, USA Girl Scouts - Kuwait, and USA Girl Scouts - Kazakhstan

One way to vary your groupıs annual celebration of World Thinking Day might be to focus on the countries within our WAGGGS region. There are over 4 million girls in 36 countries within our Western Hemisphere Region. There is a Western Hemisphere Region Pin and patch that may be worn on the uniform. (Inquire at your Council Shop should you wish to order these items, referencing the GSUSA item numbers.)

Peace and Friendship

            ³Each year during Peace Corps Week [Feb 23 ­ Mar 2, 2009], former Volunteers take time to celebrate the Peace Corpsı birthday by sharing their knowledge and experiences with their communities in the United States.² Order a FREE Third Goal Activity Kit for Peace Corps Week and find more Third Goal Resources on their website. Check Peace Match to see if there is someone in your area who worked in the country you girls are studying for Thinking Day. Girls can learn more about this organization at Peace Corps Kids World. Additional program resources are available through the Peace Corpsı Worldwise Schools website, including a special section on World Thinking Day.

            The International Society of Friendship and Good Will sponsors International Friendship Week the last full week in February to build friendships through the use of the one-world language, Esperanto. Your girls might like to learn about the program and try out this language during their cultural studies leading up to Thinking Day.




Updated February 2009