Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have been marking this special day since 1926.
World Thinking Day is a celebration of ten million girls worldwide that has taken place on every 22 February since 1926. It remains a day for all Guides and Girl Scouts to think of each other and celebrate their sisters all around the world.
How the celebrations began
In 1926, delegates from Guide and Girl Scout organisations across the world met in the USA for the 4th World Conference. They decided to create a day for Guides and Girl Scouts to celebrate being part of an international movement. Delegates chose to hold the first celebration on the joint birthday of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout and Guide Movement, and his wife Olave, who served as World Chief Guide. And so, ‘Thinking Day’ was born.
At the 7th World Conference in 1932, a Belgian delegate highlighted that birthdays typically involved gifts, and perhaps girls could show their thanks on Thinking Day by raising funds for the organisation. In response, Olave Baden-Powell wrote a letter to all Guides and Girl Scouts asking them to donate just a penny – enough to buy a loaf of bread in those days – to help fund guiding around the world. This is now known as the World Thinking Day Fund.
The name of the day was changed to ‘World Thinking Day’ at the 30th World Conference in Dublin in 1999 when delegates chose a new name to more clearly emphasise the global nature of the celebration.
How we celebrate today
World Thinking Day remains one of the most important dates in the guiding calendar, and every year the theme of the event encourages members to think about the big issues affecting them and their global community. Previous World Thinking Days have tackled the subjects of poverty, gender inequality, environmental sustainability and access to education.