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World Thinking Day

Celebrated by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and their organizations in about 150 countries, as well as by some boy-oriented organizations, World Thinking Day is a day of international friendship, a day for speaking out on issues that affect young women, and a day for thinking about "sisters" (or "brothers") around the world, the meaning of Guiding, and its global impact.

It began in 1926, at the Fourth Girl Scout International Conference, which took place at Camp Edith Macy (now the Edith Macy Conference Center) in New York State. There, delegates said there was a need for an international day for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts that would think about the spread of the groups and about others in the groups around the world, and that would give "sisters" thanks and appreciation. They decided it would take place on February 22 because Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the first Boy Scout movement, and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, his wife and a World Chief Guide, were born on that date.

At the Seventh World Conference in 1932, in Bucze, Poland, a Belgian delegate had the idea that presents should accompany the well wishes of the day. An establishment of a voluntary contribution to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, known as the World Thinking Day Fund, was added to the day. Lady Olave Baden-Powell also called for it in a letter. It supports projects and programs that help the 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world, with the donations going to the areas that have the greatest need.

The day was originally known as Thinking Day, but it was changed to World Thinking Day in 1999, at the 30th World Conference, in an effort to better represent the day's global focus. Each year, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts selects a theme based on an important international issue and proposes related activities. They choose a focus country from each of their five world regions, and Girl Guides and Girl Scouts study and appreciate these other countries and cultures on the day, and raise awareness about global issues. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts promotes the day, as does Girl Scouts of the USA. Some Scouts celebrate the day as B.-P. Day or Founders' Day.

How to Observe World Thinking Day

Here are some ideas on how to observe World Thinking Day:

  • Think about Guiding around the world and its global impact.
  • Explore the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts' webpage for the day for information about this year's event.
  • Search for events taking place around the world. At the local level, the day is sometimes celebrated on a weekend or at another convenient time.
  • Donate to the World Thinking Day Fund.
  • Find contacts around the world and exchange letters and postcards with a Girl Scout or Girl Guide. Girl Scouts and Girl Guides have a long tradition of exchanging letters and postcards in the lead up to the day.
  • Volunteer with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
  • If you are a Scout or Guide or an ex-Scout or ex-Guide, place a candle in your window at dusk. The idea behind this stems from the phrase: "This is my little Guiding Light, I'm going to let it shine."

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