Figuring skating, alpine skiing, bobsledding—what’s your favorite Olympic event? The 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics are quickly approaching. This year, the games will begin on February 9 and March 8 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Along with the thrill of watching athletes bring their all to the rink (or slopes, or track) and rooting for your home team, the Olympic Games also symbolize the ideas of peace, friendship, and mutual understanding. What’s more Girl Scouts than that?
We’re counting down the days until the opening ceremony and watching as the torch makes its way to the host city. Get in on the action! Here are some fun ways to celebrate the Olympics with your troop and get in on the action without leaving home:
Learn more about the history of women in the Olympics.
Did you know women weren’t always allowed to compete in the Olympics? The 1900 games were the first to include female athletes, but even then, only 22 out of the 997 athletes were women. It wasn’t until the 2012 Olympic Games in London that women competed in all sports in the program.
Find out more about this year’s host city and country.
PyeongChang is located in the “Alps of Korea,” one of the most rugged mountainous regions of Korea (and in a country that’s 70% covered by mountains, that’s saying a lot!). This is South Korea’s second time hosting the Olympics (they hosted the Summer Games in 1988 in Seoul). Fun fact: South Korea is also part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
Explore through food.
Food culture is huge in South Korea—a common greeting when you see someone is “Bap meogeosseoyo?” meaning “Have you eaten yet?” Brownies can work on their Snacks badge and cook up a sweet or savory snack (or both). Juniors and Cadettes can whip up a new dish to complete steps of their Simple Meals and New Cuisines badges. Not quite sure what to make? How about hotteok (a sweet-filled pancake and one of the most popular street foods in South Korea!), jeon (savory pancakes), or mandu (dumplings)?
Cheer on Olympians from your home state.
Host your own Games.
Set up your own torch relay, make up your own game (disappointed that Quidditch and hide-and-seek didn’t make it as official games? Now’s your chance!), or try your hand at a traditional Korean game. Use these activities to help girls earn their Fair Play, Staying Fit, or Good Sportsmanship badges.
The Olympic Games are an exciting time, but also a great chance to teach our girls about teamwork, grit, perseverance, and how to be a citizen of the world. However you decide to mark this 2018 Olympics, be sure to share your highlights with us.
Lily Yu – Lily is a Volunteer Resource Specialist at River Valleys. She earned her BA in comparative literature and Japanese from Hamilton College and has a background in publishing and advertising. In her free time, Lily enjoys going for long runs, reading, and spending time with her family (including her five-year-old daughter who is a Daisy this year!).