Blount Girl Scouts share cultures of the world during Girl Scouts Thinking Day

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Story and photos by Lynn Stout
Blount Today

The United Nations has nothing on Girl Scouts’ Thinking Day. Thirty-three troops from the Blount County area met at First United Methodist Church of Maryville recently for Thinking Day 2007.

At least 28 countries were represented as each troop shared information about their country’s culture, flag, food and dress. Long tables around the gymnasium burst with colorful posters, artwork, artifacts and food?lots of food.
Troop 126 hosted the event for the second year in a row.

"The girls have really worked hard," troop leader Darcy Barton said. "They set up tables and made the passports for each girl. They also planned the opening ceremony."

Following the flag ceremony, a girl from each troop read a description of girl scouting in another country. Then they added a link to a paper chain to represent the connection all Girl Scouts have, regardless of their troop, state or country.

Cristina Hodge of Troop 538 has been a Girl Scout for eight years, and this was her sixth Thinking Day. Her troop represented China. Friendship is one of Christina’s favorite things about Girl Scouts.

"We get to do a lot of activities, and it’s more fun because I can do them with my friends," she said.

Siena Spanyer’s Troop 856 represented Guatemala by singing a nursery rhyme called "Los Pollitos," which means "The Little Chicks." The 16 yearold’s favorite thing about Thinking Day was the Maria cookies from Guatemala.

After the troops performed their dance, song or skit, the girls took their passports and traveled around the room to each country. They tasted new and different foods and learned about each place before having their passports stamped.

Finally it was time for Maddy Bate’s favorite part of Thinking Day. The 9-year-old member of Troop 74 said, "Swaps are my favorite part of Thinking Day. I love trading them."

For Swaps, almost 300 girls met in the middle of the room to trade their handmade trinkets and pins. In an astonishingly few minutes every girl had a bag overflowing with swaps from each country.

When it was all over, the girls went home with tummies full of new and unusual food, lots of new friendships and dreams of
faraway places.

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