Since 1926 World Thinking Day has been celebrated by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world on February 22, which is the birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell and Olave Baden-Powell, the founders of Girl Guides. It was set aside as a day for “Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world think of each other and express their thanks and appreciation for our international Movement.” (History & Impact (wagggs.org)
The World Association was established to set standards shortly after the Girl Guides, and Girl Scouts began in a number of countries. The First World Conference was held in England in 1920 and was an opportunity for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the world to meet and exchange ideas. But it wasn’t until representatives from 26 countries attending the Fifth World Conference in Hungary in 1928 formally established the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The founding member countries were Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, India, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Northern Ireland, USA, and Yugoslavia
Special programs with international themes are presented, and money is collected to help support WAGGGS, the World Association of Girl Guides, and Girl Scouts. It was proposed at the 1932 World Conference that girls could show their appreciation for the worldwide Scouting and Guiding movement by fundraising or making a donation. It was Olave Baden-Powell herself who suggested that girls “spare a penny.” This led to troops devising unique ways to collect donations for WAGGGS. For example, donating a penny (or a larger amount for older girls) per inch of height, length of hair or distance of a jump.
Today over 150 countries have Girl Scout or Girl Guide organizations. American Girl Scouts who are living in other countries with their families may belong to American troops if there are enough girls in the area, or they can join a local troop and experience their lifestyle while they participate in the activities and earn the badges of the local council.
For more information about World Thinking Day and activity ideas go to WAGGGS | World Thinking Day