World Thinking Day is quickly approaching, so mark your calendars for February 22! Every year since 1926, Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the globe have come together to observe this special and impactful occasion. It’s an international day of friendship and an opportunity for girls to use their voices to speak out on issues that they care about. The holiday also highlights the power of the collective—with over ten million Girl Scouts and Girl Guides, every girl’s individual action helps propel the Movement forward.
The 2021 World Thinking Day theme is Peacebuilding. Peacebuilding has been at the heart of Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding since our organization’s beginning. World Thinking Day 2021 builds on last year’s theme of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and asks how these two themes work in tandem to foster a more loving world. For a year that has seen momentous civil and political unrest, the 2021 theme couldn’t be more apt nor urgent.
In this year’s activities, girls will learn what it means to be a peacebuilder, and how they can practice their skills to strengthen and sustain peace in their lives and communities. Here are three resources you and your troop can use to celebrate World Thinking Day.
Earn Your World Thinking Day Award
Work as a troop to earn your World Thinking Day award. Head over to Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) for the full activity guides which outline the steps girls will need to fulfill. Girls will first explore peacebuilding and how they can connect with their fellow Girl Scout sisters. Then they’ll create a peace pledge to share with their community, country, or world.
Similar to the regular badge requirements pamphlet, you’ll find three choices for each step. Keep World Thinking Day activities girl-led by letting girls choose which option appeals to them the most. While these activity guides were written in a pre-Covid world (Remember that?), many of the activities can be easily adapted to be done in a virtual format. You can also find these activity guides plus additional World Thinking Day activities in the Global Action Days Toolkit under the “Resources” section of Volunteer Toolkit.
Stand Strong, Stand Up, and Stand Together
Finished with the World Thinking Day Award and looking to deepen your engagement? Your troop can also earn the World Thinking Day badge by completing the steps in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts’ (WAGGGS) activity pack. The activity pack is full of different conversation starters, games, and role-playing scenarios—girls need to complete one activity from each of the three sections (Stand Up, Stand Strong, Stand Together) to earn their badge. (In case you didn’t know: WAGGGS is a 146-member international organization whose mission is to support girls and young women to develop their full potential as leaders and active citizens of the world. GSUSA is a member of WAGGGS.)
Attend a Service Unit Event
Some service units will be offering virtual events to commemorate World Thinking Day. Connect with your local service unit to see if they’ll be hosting any activities this year. Because the majority of events will be held online, many service units are opening up their events to Girl Scouts from any region or location, so check and see. If your service unit isn’t putting on an event this year, troops are welcome to register for Minneapolis Lakes’ World Thinking Day event (Girl Scouts River Valleys’ program team will be hosting a session during the event!)
While World Thinking Day is officially on February 22, you and your troop can work on these activities at any time during the year. How will you and your troop build peace this World Thinking Day? We’d love to hear what you have planned—share your story with us!
Lily Yu – Lily is a Program 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. Though she wasn’t a Girl Scout growing up, Lily is making up for lost time as a volunteer and troop cookie manager for her daughter’s Brownie troop. In her free time, she enjoys going for long walks, reading, and spending time with her family (And rescue dog, Neil!).