Today may be Valentine’s Day, but we’re here to talk about a more thought-provoking holiday – World Thinking Day! Who would have thought there was an entire day dedicated to thinking? (Just kidding!) For those of you who have never heard of World Thinking Day before, it is a day that celebrates the countless friendships that Girl Scouts and Girl Guides has created around the world.

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For the past 91 years, World Thinking Day has taken place on February 22 and, every year, WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) chooses a theme to celebrate. This year, the theme is “Grow”, symbolizing our organizations’ hopes of introducing more girls to the beneficial experiences of Girl Scouting. With over 10 million Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world, the Girl Scout movement has grown tremendously since its beginning in 1912 and, this year, we hope to grow even more with the World Thinking Day challenge badge [Buy it here!].

World Thinking Day 2017 Badge

To help plant some ideas and nourish your plans for the badge, we’ve selected five fun activities to help you complete the 2017 World Thinking Day badge requirements:

1. Throw a party and help grow the movement

To complete Step 1: Make New Friends, plan a party to help spread the word about Girl Scouting! This is the perfect opportunity to find some new potential Girl Scouts for your troop, so invite local girls from nearby community centers, charity organizations, or even your girls’ schools. Incorporate the other World Thinking Day activities from the Roots, Trunk, and Branches sections to plan a day full of Girl Scout fun and celebration.

2. Film your own music video

You’ll notice Step 2: Share the Fun of the WTD badge has three parts: Roots, Trunk, and Branches, where you’ll have to pick one activity from each section. To complete the Roots section, you can choose any of the seven available options, but we really love activity #4: Grow Your Dance Moves.

To complete this activity, have your girls and their guests work together to create a music video to the song “When We Shine”. Make sure to record your girls as they sing their hearts out, dance their feet off, and show the world what Girl Scouts is all about!

For a chance to win some scholarships for your girls, submit your videos to WAGGGS by March 22! Keep in mind, winning videos will be judged using these categories: “Most Creative Use of Resources and People”, “Videos that Demonstrate the Most Growth”, and “Best Dancing and Singing Video”.

3. Share a song, game, or activity with your new friends

To complete the Trunk section, you’ll have to get a little creative and Grow Your Own Activity! The goal of this section is to share something new with your non-Girl Scout friends (and hopefully have them share something with you, too). Your girls can share anything, from their favorite song to their favorite game, as long as they can easily teach it to their new friends. Once you’ve created your activity, submit it to WAGGGS so that they can share it with other Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world.

Still digging for ideas? Share some home state spirit and show them where your roots stem from with these activities:

  • Learn the lyrics to one of your favorite California-inspired songs, like Save Me, San Francisco by Train or California Sun by Ramones (the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk theme song)
  • Create a bouquet of golden California poppies out of construction paper
  • Cook a meal using only California’s official state foods

4. Journey to the freezing Arctic or throw some snowballs

Similarly to the Roots section, the Branches section has a wide range of options to choose from! To complete the Branches section, you can pick any of the six activities listed to help develop your girls’ citizenship, commitment, collaboration, character, communication, or creativity. For a great team building exercise, we suggest activity #2: Grow Your Commitment, where your girls and guests will have the opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes (or in this case, snow boots).

In this activity, you’ll take your girls on an imaginary expedition to the Arctic, where one girl gets to be the “leader” while the rest of the girls will be a part of the “team”. Together, the “leader” and the “team” must build a shelter out of arts and crafts materials; however, the “leader” cannot use her hands and the “team” cannot see. The goal of this game is for the “leader” to provide the “team” with detailed verbal instructions, so that the group can effectively work together to build their shelter. After 7 minutes, let the “leader” swap places with someone from the “team” and try again. After a couple rounds of changing the “leader”, have the group discuss the challenges of the game and how committed they felt.

Want to keep the frozen façade going? Check out activity #4: Grow Your Character where your girls will write personal qualities on pieces of paper, crumple them up into “snowballs”, and have a “snowball fight”. After the “snowball fight”, have your girls take turns opening the “snowballs” and guessing who wrote them.

5. Plant a tree

What better way to represent the growth of the Girl Scout movement than with a real tree! To complete Step 3: Plant a Tree (Flowers and Fruits), do exactly that – plant a tree! Once you find an appropriate gardening site, follow the instructions on pg. 28 of the World Thinking Day badge packet to learn how to plant a tree from a seed or a sapling. Don’t forget to take a photo of your girls and guests with their new tree and share it on social media using the hashtags #LetsGrow, #WTD2017, and #gsnorcal.

We hope we’ve inspired your Girl Scout green blood to get out there, make some new friends, and share your passion for Girl Scouts this Thinking Day! Whether your troop decides to complete this badge or not, make sure your girls take the time to appreciate, celebrate, and reflect on the global phenomenon of Girl Scouting this February. And from all of us at GSNorCal, we hope you have a fun and fruitful World Thinking Day!

PsstWant to keep the celebration going all year long? Grow your Girl Scout network and find a penpal through WAGGGS or check out the World Thinking Day hashtags (#LetsGrow and #WTD2017) on social media.

Leah TakahashiLeah Takahashi—Leah is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Girl Scouts of Northern California, where she creates content, plans blog posts, and promotes all things Girl Scouts in all formats digital. Leah joined Girl Scouts at the age of 5 and has been a part of the organization ever since (shout out to Troop 31213 – woot woot). During her younger Girl Scout days, Leah did everything from selling thousands of Girl Scout Cookies to serving as a National Delegate at the 2011 Convention and even earning her Gold Award in 2012. She may be young, but she’s got plenty of Girl Scout experience under her belt and is excited to share it with you!

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