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At least 300 American Girl Scouts in the U.K. will come together next month at RAF Alconbury for World Thinking Day, one of the organization’s longest-standing annual events. Ruth Miller, the events chair for an Alconbury troop, organized the event, which will be the first time so many U.K. troops have gathered.

What is World Thinking Day?World Thinking Day is a time when Girl Scouts and Girl Guides (the British equivalent of Girl Scouts) come together to think about their fellow girl scouts and girls guides around the world.

When was it created?1926.

Why is World Thinking Day held on Feb. 22?The date for World Thinking Day was chosen because it was the mutual birthdays of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, who founded the scouting movement.

What happens on World Thinking Day?This year’s focus is on water issues and the importance of access to clean water. We’re hoping to teach the girls that not everyone has access to clean water. And we want to teach the girls that there are things they can do, even at a young age, to help other countries. My troop has chosen to learn about Indonesia, which has a lot of water issues since the tsunami [in 2004]. A lot of people there don’t have access to clean water. I’m showing them some of the things the [United Nations] has implemented to improve the water conditions in that country.

So, what are some things that Girls Scouts can do to help severe situations like that?There are always fund-raising ideas. But at this age, it’s more about learning that there are issues out in the world.

Why is this year’s event get so big?I just thought, having been to some large Thinking Day events, that it would be a great opportunity for the girls to learn how many fellow Girl Scouts they have here in the U.K. I hope it gives them a greater sense of belonging and being part of a greater organization beyond their own troops.

What events are planned?We’re going to have a flag ceremony to open the event. The program will be run by girls for the most part. There will be a welcome by the senior girl scouts. And Margaret Renwand, our CEO, is coming over from Mannheim [Germany]. We’re basically going to have international displays. We’ve asked each group to do a dance or sing a song from the country they’ve chosen. And then after that all the girls will be issued a passport and will move around the various booths and collect stamps from each country they visit.

Can you participate in World Thinking Day if you’re not a Girl Scout?Unfortunately we don’t have insurance for non-Girl Scouts. But people who are interested can be put in touch with groups in their area and see what arrangements can be made. We don’t want to leave anyone out. If we can use this as a recruitment tool, that would be great.

For more information about World Thinking Day, contact Ruth Miller at 077-228-38-153l or e-mail her at:

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