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Thinking Day: A lesson in culture

200 Girl Scouts from Richmond Hill gather to celebrate different worlds

POSTED: February 13, 2013 10:12 a.m.
Crissie Elrick/

Mya Barboza, left, a member of Girl Scout Troop 30406, shares Mexican Culture with other troops representing Turkey on Saturday during Girl Scouts’ World Thinking Day at G.W. Carver Elementary School.

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Nearly 200 Girl Scouts from Richmond Hill had on their thinking caps Saturday, when more than 15 area troops celebrated World Thinking Day.
“I think we’ve had a fantastic turnout — it’s the best we’ve had in quite a while,” said Jennifer Collins, event co-chair and leader of Troop 30370. “All the girls seem to be excited and there seems to be a high troop turnout. It’s a nice event for the girls.”
World Thinking Day is an internationally celebrated event in the World Association of Girl Guides and Girls Scouts, Collins said. Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world celebrate the day by learning culture and customs of troops and people in other countries.
“It teaches the girls about another country and what other girls in that country may do,” Collins said. “So it gives them cultural background.”
During the event held at George Washington Carver Elementary School, girls dressed in clothing from the country they chose to represent, cooked an ethnic dish specific to their country and made a “swap,” or keepsake, to exchange at each country they visited and learned about.
Countries represented included Madagascar, Turkey, Ireland, Greece, Mexico, India, the Netherlands and others. The event began with an opening ceremony with flags from each country. Each troop then rotated through the countries using “passports” that got stamped.
Hannah Kay and Rachel Foulks were representing Madagascar. They both said their favorite part of the day was talking to all the girls that passed by.
The two also agreed the weirdest thing they learned during their research was that people of Madagascar wear hissing cockroaches as jewelry, sometimes even decorating them with jewels.
Hannah said the coolest thing she learned about was the tenrec, a native animal similar to a hedgehog. Rachel said she enjoyed learning about the Girl Guides of Madagascar.
Casey Wood, who represented India, handed out samples of Indian-inspired carrot pudding, while she and other troop members explained more about the country’s customs and showed off their henna tattoos.
Girls from Brownie Troop 546 were dressed in green skirts and hats to represent Ireland.
“We had so much fun preparing for the day,” said Kody Bouknight, whose daughter is a member of Troop 546. “Ms. Kim with Glor na Daire Irish Dance Academy donated her time and talent to teach the kids authentic Irish dances. One of the girls’ grandmothers handmade the skirts and the girls decorated them. Each girl had a certain thing they had to research about the country whether it was clothing and attire or food or structures like their castles.”

Read more in the Feb. 13 edition of the News.

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