World Thinking Day, formerly Thinking Day, is celebrated annually on 22 February by all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. It is also celebrated by Scout and Guide organizations and some boy-oriented associations around the world. It is a day when they think about their “sisters” (and “brothers”) in all the countries of the world, the meaning of Guiding, and its global impact.
Most recently, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts has selected an important international issue as the theme for each year’s World Thinking Day, and selected a focus country from each of their five world regions. Girl Guides and Girl Scouts use these as an opportunity to study and appreciate other countries and cultures, and equally increase awareness and sensitivity on global concerns. Donations are collected for the Thinking Day Fund which supports projects to help Girl Guides and Scouts around the world.
22 February was chosen as it was the birthday of Scouting and Guiding founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell and of Lady Olave Baden-Powell, his wife and World Chief Guide. Other Scouts celebrate it as B.-P. Day or Founders’ Day.
At the local level, the event is sometimes held to the closing weekend or another convenient date.
In 1926, at the Fourth Girl Guide/Girl Scout International Conference, held at Girl Scouts of the United States’s Camp Edith Macy (presently the Edith Macy Conference Center), the conference delegates highlighted the need for a special international day, when Girl Guides and Girl Scouts would think about the worldwide spread of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting, and of all the Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world, giving them, their “sisters,” thanks and appreciation.
It was decided by the delegates that this day would be 22 February, birthday of both Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout movement, and Lady Olave Baden-Powell, his wife and the First World Chief Guide.
In 1999, at the 30th World Conference, held in Ireland, the name was changed from “Thinking Day” to “World Thinking Day”, in order to emphasize the global aspect of this special day.
In other parts of the world, girl scouts from different nations meet and discuss their founders and their colleagues. In fact, the celebration of the day starts from the nearest weekend of the day, when girl guides and scouts meet up to express their thankfulness and take pledges to support the community as long as they can.
Another tradition associated with the day is that of lighting a candle by the window pane by an ex-girl scout. The light from the candle stands for guiding light and signifies the guiding light acting as illumination in the darkness, where darkness stands for problems and illumination stands for solutions.