“”We have to make this world a better and happier place and each of you can do that. Your Law and Promise is to help other people at all times. This world needs you,” Olave Baden-Powell. This quote opened our 2016 Thinking Day opening ceremony at Our Chalet.
As a winter volunteer at Our Chalet, during our time here we get three traditionally big holidays; Christmas, New Year and World Thinking Day. World Thinking Day, for those not familiar, is a day of international friendship, speaking out on issues that affect girls and young women, and fundraising for 10 million Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world. The date, 22nd February, was picked as it is Lord and Lady Baden Powell’s birthday. (In Scouting the day is referred to as founders day).
So as a WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts) World Centre, Thinking Day is pretty important here at Our Chalet. We are normally a centre for experiencing the international sisterhood of Guiding, demonstrated by our guests and staff coming from all corners of the world, but on Thinking Day we make an extra effort.
Planning for Thinking Day started in January, with a team of vollies, Euge (Argentina), Amy (UK) and me (Selina, UK). We had two nights to organise, one night during the British school half term break when all the World Centres had evening programme in celebration of Thinking Day and a programme for the actual Thinking Day itself.
The theme of World Thinking Day 2016 was ‘Connect’ explained by the WAGGGS World Board as:
“The theme this year is ‘Connect’, and we hope that you will take this opportunity to really explore the connections in your life; connecting with yourself; your friends; WAGGGS and the world. It is a time to remember that we are all connected not only as friends, Girl Guides or Girl Scouts, but as human beings; that we are all global citizens.”
Our evening programme saw about 30 Guides and their leaders complete challenges in order to win puzzle pieces. This started off with a race in the snow testing out WAGGGS, World Thinking Day and Swiss trivia, offering a chance to connect with the culture of Our Chalet and with girls worldwide who are part of the same organisation. This was followed by sampling activities from WAGGGS initiatives ‘Surf Smart’ and ‘Free Being Me’. When the guests finished the activities they won puzzle pieces. The night finished up with the guests coming together and connecting their puzzles and thinking about how they can better connect with their world and encourage others to connect. These were written on hands which connected all around the dining hall.
On Thinking Day itself, we started the day with an opening ceremony where everyone renewed their promised in their home language and then we sang both the World Song and the Our Chalet Song.
The day continued with Thinking Day crafts with a focus on connecting with the other World Centres and activities unique to Our Chalet; igloo building, a trip to the woodcarvers and magic tree hike allowing our guests to connect with each other and the Our Chalet lifestyle.
It was fantastic to be able to celebrate World Thinking Day in such an international setting where Guiding principles underpinned everything we do, meeting new people and sharing the Guiding spirit with our guests.
Selina Armitt – Our Chalet Assistant Winter 2015/16