'Thinking' About Children's Rights

'Thinking' About Children's Rights

More than 200 Girl Scouts representing 12 troops and 16 schools convened at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Potomac Village Feb. 25 to celebrate Thinking Day. The troops comprise Service Unit 33-3, based in Potomac Village.

Thinking Day was started in 1926 as an opportunity for Girl Scouts and Girl Guides to think of their counterparts all over the world. It is celebrated on or around Feb. 22, the mutual birthday of Lord and Lady Baden-Powell, founders of the scouting movement.

Typically, Thinking Day activities focus on one foreign country, but this year the Service Unit tried something different — a multinational program called “Our Rights, Our Responsibilities” focusing on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1990.

“It was kind of a hard sell at first — some of the leaders thought that it would be too difficult to explain to young girls … But they did a great job. Everybody got it,” said Deborah Mark, leader of Troop 3288 and one of the event’s organizers.

The troops performed songs and skits focusing on “The Right to be Me,” “The Right to Learn,” “The Right to Be Heard,” “The Right to Live in Peace,” “The Right to be Happy,” and “The Right to Work Together,”

After the presentation the visited activity tables designed by the other troops and collected “swaps,” ornaments made by counterparts in other troops.

“These children understand they live in a very privileged world, in a very privileged society. They are unique in that respect, and around the world are people and children in particular that do not have even the basic needs met,” Mark said.

“Some people don’t have clean water, some people don’t have actual houses,” said Chloe Hand, a Potomac Elementary 5th grader and member of Mark’s troop. “It’s amazing how much stuff you can learn.”