February 22, 2011

Vintage 365: Happy Thinking Day!

Day 53 of Vintage 365

{American Girl Scouts celebrating Thinking Day in February 1952. Image via the Life Magazine archive.}


Those who've spent time as Girl Guides, Girl Scouts, or Boy Scouts, might well remember what day February 22nd is. Aside from being the 53rd day of the year, this late February date marks Thinking Day, the day on which both Lord Baden-Powell and his wife, Olave Baden-Powell, were both born (32 two years apart from each other).

Lord Robert Baden-Powell is best remembered and loved for being the founder of the Boy Scout Movement (in 1907), which in turn lead to the creation a couple years later (in 1909 at the famous Crystal Palace Rally, when a group of girls showed up insistent they they be allowed to join in with their brothers and male peer as Scouts) of Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

Since those humble beginnings over a century ago when an outdoor club for youth was built around some of the field training tactics Baden-Powell learned during his years spent in the British Army, Scouting and Guiding has expanded beyond the UK to encompass over a 130 countries worldwide (Girl Guiding officially started in Canada in 1910, Girl Scouting took off in the United States in 1911/1912) and is now one of the largest non-profit, youth-centered movements of all time.

Since 1926, February 22nd has been observed as World Thinking Day, a day upon which Guides and Scouts the globe over reflect on the spirit and meaning of Guiding - both in their own lives and in the impact Guiding/Scouting has had on society. Parties, community service projects, camps and myriad other festivities are often held by Guiding and Scouting members on (or around) Thinking Day to celebrate the lives of the Baden-Powells (Lady Olave Baden-Powell was the first World Chief Guide) as well as the importance of the movement as a whole.

Just as I'm sure many of you were, I was involved with Girl Guiding as a youth for numerous years. My little sister, some of my aunts, my youngest cousin, and my paternal Grandma, were all Girl Guides as well at one point or another in their lives. Guiding was a deeply important part of my childhood and an experience from which I learned a great many valuable life skills and lessons. These days I keep my love of Guiding alive by collecting and trading Girl Guide and Girl Scout badges and other memorabilia.

Come the 22nd of February, I still observe Thinking Day. Doing so is a terrific way to honour the memory of my time in Guiding, and moreover what the world gained thanks to Lord and Lady Baden-Powell's founding of the Scouting and Guiding movements

Robert Baden-Powell once said, "The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others,", and I can certainly say that being a part of Girl Guides helped to make that true for me. Whether you've ever been a Guide/Scout or not, I hope that the spirit of happiness and fellowship that these organizations hold dear rings true for you today and always, my wonderful friends!


  1. What a lovely post! I wasn't a girl scout, I was a bluebird though! It was for younger girls- wish I had stuck with it, I think it's a wonderful opportunity for girls.

    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge
    Super cute necklace giveaway!

  2. How darling! I have fond memories of being a Brownie Girl Scout. Thanks for reminding me of happier times.

    Best Wishes,