HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - More than 120 Girl Scouts of all ages traveled around the world in one day recently at the annual World Thinking Day at the Peter J. Biondi Municipal complex.
World Thinking Day is a tradition for Girl Scouts that teaches girls that they are part of a huge, global movement with sister Girl Scouts all around the world.
Preparations start months before the event with troops vying for their favorite country. Some troops focus on the heritages of girls in the troop, others pick a country they want to travel to, and some pick countries because they prefer the food native to that country.
Once a country is chosen, the girls in the troop spend several meetings learning about that country, its culture, its traditions, and its language. At the World Thinking Day Celebration, the troops set up elaborate tabletop exhibits where they share food, teach a craft, and even dress in native costume while groups of Girl Scouts rotate "around the world" from country to country.
This year countries far and wide were represented - from Canada to Trinidad, and Denmark to the Philippines. The girls carried special passports which they had stamped stamped as they made their journey.
"I remember World Thinking Day from when I was a Girl Scout," said Jennifer Cridge, event co-coordinator. "I wanted to be sure that this tradition would live on for my daughter and the girls of Hillsborough and it has become a really special part of the year for me."
Tara Romano, who also coordinated the event, extended her thanked all who made the day a success.
“It is a community effort - from leaders working with their troops to come up with an exciting table to the many volunteers who helped with donations, registration, and setup, we could not have done it alone. The girls have so much fun and to know that we've been able to bring them this experience makes all of the effort so worthwhile," she said.
The Girl Scouts agreed that what they liked best about World Thinking Day was the food.
They sampled dumplings in China, maple syrup cookies in Canada and macarons in France; bruschetta in Italy, and churros in Mexico
Along with their travels, the girls were able to write pen pal letters that will be sent to Girl Scouts in Australia. In a few weeks the girls hope to have a letter back from a sister scout in the southern hemisphere.
Tara O'Brien and Heather Bruchey, who lead the local volunteer committee that oversees Girl Scout activities in the township, reflected on the day.
"This event and the WTD planning team behind it always provide an incredible learning, cultural, and leadership event driving to the heart of our Girl Scout initiatives, “Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, and Leader.” The many volunteers of Hillsborough Girl Scouts are always working to enrich and prepare our future leaders and the World Thinking Day event truly reflects that."
To learn more about Girl Scouting in Hillsborough, visit the website at www.borogirlscouts.org.