GREENFIELD — When did Fiji gain its independence from Britain? Why does Sri Lanka mainly use water to create electricity?
These questions and many more were answered Sunday at the World Thinking Day, hosted by Hancock County Girl Scout troops.
More than 100 Girl Scouts, from kindergarten to high school age, convened in the Hancock County Fairgrounds’ main exhibition hall Sunday to participate in World Thinking Day, an immersive experience that encourages scout troops to connect with other cultures by studying their histories, trying their food and dressing in their traditional garb.
World Thinking Day has been a tradition with scouts across the globe since 1936, and this year’s theme was simply, “connect,” said troop leader and organizer Sarah Hunt. The tradition began as a way to raise awareness of other countries’ needs, she said.
Girl Scouts and Girl Guides — the UK version of the scouting program — in 146 countries celebrated World Thinking Day this week, according to the Girl Scouts website.
Local scout troops began preparing for the World Thinking Day event weeks in advance, researching their chosen countries and creating large informational posters. Each troop hosted a booth at the event, and participants were invited to go from booth to booth, learning about scouting around the world.
Diana Keely, a troop mom for Girl Scout Troop 653 of New Palestine, said her girls began learning about Fiji two meetings ago. They researched the island country and made banana bread to share with other scouts.
Many of the troops’ booths also provided small trinkets for the Girl Scouts to trade with each other. In addition to sharing real fortune cookies, the Girl Scout troop hosting the China booth also gave out small felt fortune cookie pins to the scouts who answered trivia questions about China correctly.
Ellei Coleman, a Girl Scout Cadette from Troop 1974, said she has participated in World Thinking Day every year since joining the Girl Scouts and has a lot of fun learning about different countries’ cultures. This year, her troop presented information about Germany; last year, they had Greece.
Girl Scout Troop 1099 learned about Sri Lanka, then provided information and samples of cinnamon griddle cakes and Sri Lankan tea, said Anna Scott, a member of the troop. This marked her sixth year attending the local World Thinking Day event, she said, adding that it’s always a lot of fun to learn and connect with other scouts from the community.
At this year’s event, there were 14 booths, and more than twice as many scouts registered this year as last year, Hunt said.
Want to learn more about scouting? Girl Scouts of Hancock County will hold a registration fair from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday at That Fun Place, 1618 N. State St., Greenfield.
Current Scouts who bring a friend will receive a patch. The cost of the event is $6 and includes pizza, a drink and access to all activities.
Scout registration is $15 and is good for two years. Sign-up forms will be available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.