Getting ready for World Thinking Day 2014

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wtd_patch_2014World Thinking Day can be either the best event of the year, or it can be a complete stress on the leaders.  It all depends on how you approach it.  Many troops designate another parent to lead the WTD planning and preparation, which I think is great, but it is super important to remember that this should be a Girl Led, Girl Planned, and Girl Executed event.  So your booth might not look as polished and complete as YOU would like it to, but the girls need to take ownership.  You can always tell which booths were made by the parents and which ones were made by the girls.  It’s sort of like the whole 5th grade Science Project  when Sally shows up with her nuclear reactor experiment on the back of a flat bed truck.  Now who really did the work?

Here’s the info for World Thinking Day 2014:  http://www.girlscouts.org/who_we_are/global/world_thinking_day/

I am excited about this theme “education opens doors for all girls and boys”.  School is something that all our girls understand, but it’s a new concept for them to think that other kids might not have the same opportunities as they do.  There will be new resources up on the World Thinking Day website here soon. (only 2013 and older info right now):  http://www.worldthinkingday.org/en/activities10

I had the privilege of viewing a documentary this summer called Girl Rising (http://girlrising.com/) that addresses the power of education to change the world by following 9 girls in 9 different countries and telling their stories.  If you get the opportunity to see this, please do.  It is not appropriate viewing for younger girls, but age 13 and up would greatly benefit from seeing this.  This film ties in directly with our WTD theme for 2014.

I am hoping that my girls will select a country where girls do not have the same opportunities for education, so they can see how important it is for us to champion for the rights of girls everywhere.    Feel free to comment and share your ideas for WTD.  How do you choose your country, what activities do you do in your booth?  Does your Service Unit host a big event, or is this just a troop activity?

Whatever you do, remember Girl Led and let the girls take ownership for the success (or failure) of the project.  They will always learn more by planning a project with their own ideas.  A little guidance to help them think through each idea is always appropriate (so they don’t attempt to build a 10 foot Eiffel tower without thinking through how to transport and how to keep it safe from falling over), but let them dream big and I think you’ll be amazed at what fun ideas they come up with.

 

World Thinking Day Mexico Booth

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This year our troop decided to showcase Mexico for our World Thinking Day Country.  The hardest part was coming up with the food that we were going to serve.  We tried horchata (sweetened rice milk), Aqua Fresca (diluted pineapple pulp drink on ice), Mexican Hot Chocolate, Chips & Salsa, Taquitos (not really mexican, I know), and Mexican wedding cookies.  We ultimately decided on the Chips and Salsa.  Simple and everyone loved it.

The fun part was our “milagros” craft.  Milagros means miracle and is usually a charm pinned on a saint from someone who experiences a miracle and is thankful.  For example, if you had a heart transplant and survived, you might pin a heart charm on your favorite saint as a thank you. (this is such a simplistic explanation, check out the wikipedia definition for more info).  We toned that down a bit and just had the girls make a milagro about something they were thankful for.

We took the cheap tin pans that you can buy at the dollar store and flattened them out.  Cut off the tall edges first, then flatten out the inside (where the indents and embossed wording might be) with a rolling pin, or other smooth object.  Do this on a hard smooth surface to get the best results.  We traced a heart shape on the tin and cut these out.  The girls used dull pencils or the ends of paint brushes to “draw” their design on the heart, then we hot-glued a pin on the back.  The girls were very creative with their designs.  It was tricky trying to show the girls how to write a word “backwards” so it would show up embossed on the other side.  The older girls got it, but not so much for the younger ones.

Their costume was the tricky part.  I had visions of making colorful circle skirts for each of the girls, but that was so unrealistic with my time.  My friend found striped fleece blankets (with fringe) at Walmart on sale for like $3.50 each!  We were able to make TWO ponchos out of each blanket.  Add a sombrero and the girls looked great!  So the colors may not be traditional Mexican colors, but they were cute.

The girls made some tissue paper flowers to cover the poles of our shade pop up tent and then posters with the Mexican flag, a map, and some info about Girl Scouts in Mexico.  Overall a great success.

ThinkingDay2013_Mexico