Today, 22nd February, is World Thinking Day. First celebrated in 1926, it was chosen to mark the birthdates of both Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the scout movement, and his wife Olave, who became World Chief Guide.
It’s many years since I was a Girl Guide but every year when 22nd February comes around, for some reason I always remember that it’s ‘Thinking Day’.
It’s a special one for Girl Guides and Girl scouts worldwide. A day when they’re encouraged to think of others across the world who belong to these movements: now numbering over 10 million young people.
They may find out more about other countries and cultures and, increasingly, focus on global issues. According to the Girlguiding (UK)’s website: ‘Previous World Thinking Days have tackled the subjects of poverty, gender inequality, environmental sustainability and access to education.‘ (https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/what-we-do/events-and-opportunities/regular-girlguiding-events/world-thinking-day/what-is-world-thinking-day/)
Donations are invited for a Thinking Day Fund which, among other things, helps increase the girls’ confidence and gives them skills to develop as leaders and take action on things which are important to them.
So, what will I do on World Thinking Day? I’ll pray for Guides and Girl Scouts everywhere, for an expansion of the Guiding movement and for more leaders to come forward to support these young people.
I’ll also give thanks for the fun and laughter I had when I was a girl guide, despite some of the memories reminding me of just how ‘mature’ I am now. (Does anyone else remember having to make and receive a phone call in a public phone box with its somewhat sinister Buttons A and B?) Or polishing silver to complete a House Orderly badge? Different – but very precious – times.
With ever darker news stories, I’m determined to keep 22nd February as my day of thinking about good times. Will you join me?