Girls thinking globallyPublished 9:24pm Saturday, February 8, 2014
About 150 girls from seven Girl Scout troops journeyed around the world inside the Oakland Christian Church hall Saturday.
The movement’s annual Thinking Day started in 1926, said Kelly Prescott, junior leader with Troop 5563. It stemmed from a Girl Scouts and Girl Guides conference at Camp Edith Macy, the so-called University in the Woods 45 minutes from New York City.
“It was decided that there should be a day where the girls can put some thought into the fellowship of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts as a larger organization,” Prescott said.
It’s a day of reflection on the movement’s “international sisterhood and friendship,” Prescott said.
“Every service unit (and) every troop does it a little bit different,” she said. “Our tradition has been to do it as a research (project) for the girls.”
Six troops picked one country apiece — Japan, Jamaica, Italy, Egypt, Spain and the Philippines. Troop 946, however, chose Germany, China, Mexico and Morocco, which Prescott said was to split the girls into separate groups according to age.
Stepping inside the church hall beside Route 10, one left the community of Oakland behind. Often in traditional dress, the girls presented stations showcasing their respective nation’s distinct flavor — sometimes literally, such as with Spanish rice served from a slow cooker.
“We had a big box covered in cardboard, and we got to write one of the hieroglyphics on it,” said Grace Jordan, 7, of Troop 5357, whose project took her to Egypt.
One of the older girls, 14-year-old Kristen Boone of Troop 649, said she learned “a lot of stuff” about Jamaica, including “what kind of food they eat and (about) Bob Marley.”
The girls made Bob Marley pins that were in high demand, she said.
Someone else from Boone’s troop, Amesha Miller, also 14, said the event carries an important message for the younger girls: that the Girl Scouts is something they can continue with into their teenage years.
“They think that may not be cool, but when they see older people, they realize that this is something they can do,” she said.
Thinking Day has a different international theme each year, Prescott said. This year’s was Education for Every Boy and Girl in the World.
Junior girls from Troop 5563 were involved in a book drive in line with that theme, Prescott added. “We are going to be giving books back to the community.”
Prescott said the projects on display Saturday were the product of weeks of hard work — during weekends as well as regular troop meetings.
Along with food, dress and language, the displays also presented general facts, geography, architecture, history and more.
After Saturday, Prescott said, the girls’ attention would turn to selling cookies. That’s something everyone’s looking forward to.