Monday, April 22, 2024

Acting locally, thinking globally

Staff Writer | March 1, 2024 1:05 AM

World Thinking Day is a time when Girl Scouts place themselves in the shoes of other Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world and honor their counterparts in other countries.

"Living in America, we're very gifted living in the area we do," Post Falls Troop 2035 Girl Scout Haileigh Alban, 16, said Tuesday. "It's nice to see other countries and see how other communities revolve around each other. It's a look into the outside world that we're not the only ones here."

Since its inception in 1926, World Thinking Day has annually been celebrated on or near Feb. 22. Girl Scouts participate in projects with global themes and celebrate each other through activities based in friendship, advocacy and fundraising.

This year's theme was, "Our World, Our Thriving Future."

Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho gathered Saturday at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds with other Scouts from around the Inland Northwest for a total of about 260 girls who participated in 2024 World Thinking Day activities.

The Scouts shared their research about different countries, such as customs and traditions.

"We chose Luxembourg because we wanted to pick something different," Haileigh said. "We wanted something that was more of a challenge because we are an older troop."

She said she and her troop learned that Luxembourg is one of the safest and smallest countries in the world.

"It is also the second-richest country in the world," Haileigh said. "Their motto is, 'We want to remain what we are.'"

Girl Scout Kendyl Barnes, 12, and Troop 4903 researched Eswatini, formally known as Swaziland.

"There was this interesting fact, the king has 300 wives or a crazy amount," Kendyl said. “I enjoy learning about all the other countries I wouldn’t normally research on my own."

As part of their presentations, the Scouts sold samples of traditional foods from their respective countries for a dime per serving. This year's drive raised $540 — $90 more than last year — and those funds will be donated to Children's Village. Last year's funds were donated to Safe Passage.

"I enjoy being able to help the community when we do fundraising events like World Thinking Day,” said Kendyl, who has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. 

A few other countries Girl Scouts represented were Sweden, Brazil, the Bahamas, Nepal, Ukraine, Thailand and Portugal.

Troop 2035 leader and World Thinking Day coordinator Jackie Livingston said World Thinking Day is an eye-opening experience for local Girl Scouts to understand the struggles of people who live around the world.

"We have it good here in the U.S.," Livingston said. "There are a lot of countries that do struggle, but no matter how much they struggle, a lot of people are able to get their girls into Girl Scouts or Girl Guides and get them into leadership." 

    Girl Scout Haileigh Alban from Post Falls Troop 2035, center, is pictured with Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho CEO Brian Newberry and COO Renee Smock at the fairgrounds Saturday during World Thinking Day.