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Girl Scouts of WNY celebrate diversity of world, connections with others

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Thu, Feb 16th 2017 09:25 am
Junior Girl Scouts work together to create a structure that will keep them dry in a flood.
Junior Girl Scouts work together to create a structure that will keep them dry in a flood.

Girl Scouts from all over Western New York gathered together for the International World Thinking Day event on Saturday. The Girl Scouts of Western New York spent the afternoon at Herbert Hoover Elementary School in Buffalo with 152 girls in attendance.

The theme of the event was "Connect," which focused on "understanding yourself, relationships with friends and family, and your part in the world, and how to make it a better place." Girl Scouts and Girl Guides worldwide spent World Thinking Day learning about other cultures and working together.

Dr. Virginia S. Horvath, Girl Scouts of Western New York board member and SUNY Fredonia president, delivered the opening remarks.

"You have a lot of ways to make the world a better place," she said. "I know from my own experience in different countries throughout the world how important friendships have been. I find that people are kind when I treat them with kindness. I can learn so much by sitting down and having tea or having a meal with people from around the world."

Horvath brought a SUNY Fredonia student from South Korea who performed a pop song in the Korean language with additional English lyrics. The girls also participated in a series of games and activities about working together and communicating. They had to learn counting in other languages. Plus, they sang traditional songs about connectedness, being a sister to every Girl Scout, and friendship. Girls also played games to learn about where countries are located and what those areas of the world are like.

Other activities throughout the day involved problem-solving for situations that other areas of the world may suffer from. Girls had to create structures that would elevate them above knee height to keep them out of a flood.

The Girl Scouts also learned about Girl Guides, the international version of Girl Scouts, and their famous lodges, which act as headquarters: The Pax Lodge in the United Kingdom, Our CabaƱa in Mexico, Our Chalet in Switzerland, and Sangam in India. Plus, they learned about the nationally based Girl Scout headquarters in New York City.

Senior Girl Scout Madeleine Bordeleau, of Troop 31875 said, "World Thinking Day is important, because it makes girls aware that Girl Scouting is a national and worldwide thing. They have sisters from Girl Scouts everywhere, so no matter where they go, they always have friends."

At the end of the day, the Girl Scouts earned their World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts USA World Thinking Day Badge, and they fulfilled requirements for their GSUSA Global Action Badge.

Bree Kramer, the lead volunteer and event organizer, said, "I think World Thinking Day is important, because the girls really need to understand there's a whole community outside of Western New York. I think it helps them expand their knowledge about other places in the world, and excites their enthusiasm about visiting those places and gives them something to look forward to reaching out to later in life."

Each year, Girl Scouts of Western New York also makes a donation to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund from the annual World Thinking Day event. The fund helps to support Girl Scouts traveling internationally and attending global events.

To learn more about Girl Scouts of Western New York, visit gswny.org.

Girl Scouts of Western New York serves nearly 15,000 girls and 7,000 adult volunteers across the GSWNY jurisdiction, including Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties. The council's administrative service centers are located in Batavia, Buffalo, Jamestown, Lockport, Niagara Falls and Rochester.

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