Girl Scouts from across western New York recently gathered for International World Thinking Day at Herbert Hoover Elementary School in Buffalo.
The event had 152 girls in attendance. Its theme, “Connect,” had attendees focus on understanding themselves, relationships with their friends and family, their part in the world and how to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide spend World Thinking Day learning about other cultures and working together.
Virginia Horvath, Girl Scouts of Western New York board member and SUNY Fredonia president, delivered the opening remarks.
“You have a lot of ways to make the world a better place,” she said. “I know from my own experience in different countries throughout the world how important friendships have been. I find that people are kind when I treat them with kindness. I can learn so much by sitting down and having tea or having a meal with people from around the world.”
Horvath brought a SUNY Fredonia student from South Korea who performed a pop song in Korean with additional English lyrics. The girls participated in a series of games and activities about working together and communicating. They learned how to count in other languages and sang traditional songs about connectedness, being a sister to every Girl Scout and friendship.
The scouts played games to learn about where countries are located and what those areas of the world are like. Other activities throughout the day involved problem solving for situations that other areas of the world may suffer from. Girls had to create structures that would elevate them above knee height to keep them out of a flood.
Girl Scouts learned about Girl Guides, the international version of Girl Scouts, and their famous lodges which act as headquarters — The Pax Lodge in the U.K., Our Cabana in Mexico, Our Chalet in Switzerland and Sangam in India. They also learned about the nationally based Girl Scout headquarters in New York City.
“World Thinking Day is important, because it makes girls aware that Girl Scouting is a national and worldwide thing,” said senior Girl Scout Madeleine Bordeleau, of Troop 31875. “They have sisters from Girl Scouts everywhere, so no matter where they go they always have friends.”
The Girl Scouts earned their World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts USA World Thinking Day badge, and they fulfilled requirements for their GSUSA Global Action badge.
“I think World Thinking Day is important, because the girls really need to understand there’s a whole community outside of western New York,” said Bree Kramer, lead volunteer and event organizer. “I think it helps them expand their knowledge about other places in the world and excites their enthusiasm about visiting those places and gives them something to look forward to reaching out to later in life.”
Each year, Girl Scouts of Western New York also makes a donation to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund from their annual World Thinking Day event. The fund helps to support Girl Scouts traveling internationally and attending global events.
For information, visit gswny.org.