SPRINGFIELD, NJ - What is the best way to teach young women about other cultures? If the girl scout model is to be believed, a hands-on approach works wonders.
World Thinking Day, an event that traces its origins all the way back to 1926, is designed to teach young scouts about other cultures and countries. Each year, the day is observed around the world. This year's event took place on Feb. 22, 2019.
For the event, each troop of scouts picks a country to study. Then, for the next several months, the individual troops work on constructing posters, food and activities around the country theme they had selected. As Roxie Zeek, the Girl Experience Manager for Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey council explained, the event is a chance each year for scouts to get a worldly experience.
"This is a great opportunity for girls scouts here in America to connect to our sister girl scouts and girl guides around the world," Zeek said. "Do some thinking and learning about different countries and also what it's like to be a girl in those different countries."
Andrea Schaffer-Rousso, the Girl Scouts Service Unit Manager in Springfield agreed with Zeek, and also said that aside from the multicultural aspect of the event, seeing girl scouts from different towns in the area coming together was good to see.
"It is wonderful," Schaffer-Rousso said. "It's wonderful to see all the girls come out and be so enthusiastic about each other and the different towns. We get to all intermingle."
Schaffer-Rousso also said that it was fun for her to stop by each table and learn about the different countries.
Even the youngest participants got into the fun of the event. Elena, one of the girl scouts from Springfield Troop 40756 said that it was fun for her and her troopmates to construct their project.
"Our project is really cool and it tells a lot of facts about Israel," she said.
Elena also said that she was looking forward to learning about Italy from the other group, as she had never been to that country before.