Welcome to the Global Girl Scouting Education page! Check out this website to discover all things global! Whether you are attending convention or not, visit this page regularly to find out what is going on in the Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding world. While at convention, don’t forget to visit our INTERNATIONAL FRIENDS AND ADVENTURES global booth in the Hall of Experiences to learn more about Global Girl Scouting, WAGGGS, and our world sisters.
Girl Scouting is truly a global Movement. Through USA Girl Scouts Overseas, the Girl Scout Leadership Experience is brought to American girls living overseas and girls attending American or international schools.
Since 1925, USA Girl Scouts Overseas (USAGSO) has been part of the national organization, Girl Scouts of the USA. All overseas members enjoy the same excitement, fun, and adventure of Girl Scouting as their stateside Girl Scout sisters. Girls relocating to another country will find that USA Girl Scouts Overseas provides them with the security of knowing that they’ll have an instant group of friends when they reach their new homes. The first USAGSO location was organized in Shanghai, China. USAGSO-North Atlantic was organized in 1951 to serve American military families in Europe. In 1953, USAGSO-West Pacific was organized to serve American military families in mainland Japan, Okinawa, and South Korea. At the end of the 2011–2012 membership year, nearly 17,000 members were participating in USA Girl Scouts Overseas in more than 90 countries.
How USA Girl Scouts Overseas Is Structured
Girl Scouts of the USA authorizes USA Girl Scouts Overseas Committees in communities outside the United States and outside the jurisdiction of a Girl Scout council. Overseas Committees are collectively known as USA Girl Scouts Overseas. Each Overseas Committee comprises adults who are directly responsible for Girl Scouting in their communities. USAGSO staff members are based in New York City, at Girl Scouts of the USA national headquarters and at two satellite offices:
A complete list of the USA Girl Scouts Overseas Committees can be found at http://www.girlscouts.org/overseas.
If you are moving abroad, are living overseas, or know someone who is, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved in USAGSO. If you are interested in Girl Scouting in an area that is not on the USAGSO list, please email email@example.com for more information.
To meet with some members of USAGSO at the 2014 Girl Scout Convention, mark your calendar to visit the Global Lounge in the Hall of Experiences on Friday, October 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Global Girl Scouting is dedicated to ensuring the Girl Scout Movement provides opportunities for girls to understand their relationship to the larger world—even if they do not travel beyond their local community—so that they develop into responsible global citizens.
Global Girl Scouting strives to increase girls’ awareness about the world, promote cross-cultural learning opportunities, and educate girls on relevant global issues that inspire them to take action. The goal is to promote a global voice for girls and build responsible global citizens who make the world a better place.
Global Girl Scouting continues the vision of Juliette Gordon Low, whose dream was to spread Girl Scouting around the world—to promote the goodwill and friendship among the world’s children, leading them, in turn, to work toward world peace. “Girl Scouting and Girl Guiding,” she said, “can be the magic thread which links the youth of the world together.”
Many Facets of Global Girl Scouting
Girl Scouts of the USA is one of the 145 member organizations of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS). WAGGGS provides Girl Scouts with opportunities for international friendship and understanding through many fun and educational activities outside the United States.
The International Commissioner is a member of GSUSA’s Board of Directors, and serves as the board chair’s liaison to WAGGGS and its member organizations. Sharon H. Matthews is the current International Commissioner. Sharon will be available at the 2014 Girl Scout Convention in the global lounge; check the convention schedule for the time and be sure to add it to your convention app schedule.
Through Global Girl Scouting, Girl Scouts can:
If you have questions or ideas, or simply wish to become more involved with Global Girl Scouting, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by Girl Scout Garden in the convention center’s Hall of Experiences.
Our Cabaña is safely nestled in the leafy suburbs of Cuernavaca, Mexico, a sprawling city of one million people. It officially opened in July 1957. The first visitors attended a Juliette Low Session where the “Our Cabaña Song” was written, based on a traditional Mexican tune sung at birthdays. A “cabaña” is a hideaway cabin in the woods, surrounded by nature.
The Our Cabaña site was expanded in 1969 by adding two more dormitories and a hall for evening programs and other indoor activities. Modifications have been made over the years to keep up-to-date with technological advancements and new methods of site maintenance. The newest addition is an Internet room and lounge. Today, Our Cabaña can accommodate over 100 visitors, making it the largest of the four world centers. This growth has enabled greater numbers of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to embrace and celebrate Mexican culture and heritage.
Our Chalet, the first of the four world centers, was opened in 1932. Built near the village of Adelboden, high up in the Bernese Oberland of Switzerland, it has given Girl Guides and Girl Scouts the opportunity to strengthen bonds of international friendship, meet rugged outdoor challenges, and understand and appreciate the value of the multi-cultural world in which they live, while enjoying a beautiful, mountainous region of the world.
To write the history of Our Chalet is to tell a fairy tale, one that dates back to 1929, when the World Committee met in Holland and a desire was expressed to have a world meeting center. This wish had hardly been voiced when Helen O. Storrow of Boston, Massachusetts, immediately said: “I would like to give that house!” This was the beginning of Our Chalet, which now receives approximately 4,000 visitors each year—program participants, outdoor or indoor campers, and day visitors.
The facilities at Our Chalet consist of the Main Chalet, Spycher Chalet, Squirrel House, Camphouse, and Baby Chalet. (The Baby Chalet was built especially for Helen Storrow and has been recently renovated.) The program includes Swiss Alpine adventure (walking, hiking, skiing), leadership development, and international friendship.
You can also volunteer at Our Chalet, which offers you the chance to meet Guides and Scouts from many countries, explore Switzerland, learn new skills, and so much more.
“And each Girl Scout and Guide shall find a welcome there.”
Pax Lodge is part of the Olave Centre, where the World Bureau (the headquarters for WAGGGS) is located, in the Hampstead area of northwest London. The first two Pax Lodge world centers were Our Ark (1939–1959), located near Buckingham Palace, and Olave House (1959–1988) in west London. The current Pax Lodge center celebrated its grand opening in 1991.
Although Pax Lodge is in an urban setting with attractions such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the original Hard Rock Café, and London shows, visitors are within walking distance of beautiful Hampstead Heath (containing Parliament Hill, where the kites were flying in Mary Poppins) and Primrose Hill, high above central London. Sites like Stonehenge, Bath, and Hampton Court are just a train ride away.
While at Pax Lodge girls and adults can participate in international programs and service projects on Hampstead Heath and nearby Waterhouse Close.
The word “sangam” means “coming together,” and since it opened in 1966, the Sangam world center has drawn girls and young women to share Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting experiences and their cultures. Sangam is located in India, a country which has the greatest diversity of culture, language, and ethnic groups of any in the world. The earliest-known civilization in India dates to 2,500 BC. Pune, the city where Sangam is based, has visible remnants of many past civilizations.
The mission of Sangam is to provide international opportunities for training and self-growth in a cross-cultural environment. The first international session at Sangam was in 1967 and focused on the Asia Pacific Region. International events are held each year centering on global issues, Indian life and culture, and spreading knowledge about Girl Guiding/Girl Scouting throughout the world.
Fifth World Centre Pilot Project
What is the Fifth World Centre Pilot Project?
The Fifth World Centre pilot is a project exploring how WAGGGS can bring a world center experience using existing facilities in Africa. The “center” has no fixed site but changes location at every event, bringing international experiences to girls and young women in different countries in Africa. Thanks to the generous donation from the Maersk Muller Foundation, the Fifth World Centre pilot project will be funded from July 2011 to July 2013.
How did the idea for the Fifth World Centre Pilot Project come about?
The pilot project is the product of years of discussion about bringing a world center experience to Africa. At the Africa Regional Conference in 2010 it was unanimously agreed that the Africa Committee would explore opportunities to deliver world center experiences in Africa.
In July 2011 during the 34th World Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, a motion was passed to create an experimental two-year pilot project that could potentially lead to the creation of a fifth world center in the Africa Region.
The project will be evaluated, with results and recommendations presented at the 35th World Conference in Hong Kong in 2014.
Which countries are involved in the pilot?
Four events are taking place in four host Member Organization countries:
• South Africa
What’s happened so far?
Ghana – The event in Ghana took place from July 21 to 27, 2012, and focused on fund development and leadership development. The event was attended by 19 participants from seven African Member Organizations as well as South Sudan, which is currently working towards full membership. Read more about the event here.
South Africa – The event in South Africa took place from October 7 to 14, 2012, and focused on fund development and leadership development. Eighteen out of the 21 participants were from African countries. Read more about this event here.
Rwanda – From May 6 to 11, 2013, the Fifth World Centre Pilot Project’s “Stop the Violence campaign” training event took place in Kigali. Read more about this event here.
Kenya – From October 21 to November 17, 2013, eight participants from Kenya, Lebanon, Nigeria, Senegal, Rwanda, the United Kingdom, and the United States, participated in the Community Action Experience in Shanzu Transitional Centre in Mombassa, Kenya! Learn more about this great event here!
A Learning Pause (LP) is an opportunity for people to come together to explore a given topic as their schedules permit. LPs are informal and self-managed opportunities to connect and learn with and from other convention participants. There’s no need to register, and convention-goers can drop in and out at any time. A variety of Girl Scout–centric topics will be covered, including the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, outdoor program and initiatives, awards and insignia, STEM, travel, WAGGGS, Global Girl Scouting, and more. Learning Pauses will be offered daily and can be easily identified by the “LP” logo.
Volunteers Going Global– Global Action Volunteers (GAV) work with GSUSA councils to ensure girls understand and can experience our global movement. Global Leadership Opportunities (GLO) are for young adult volunteers (ages 18 to 35) to represent Girl Scouting at various international events and programs. To assist the GAV and GLO volunteers, what programs or information would be beneficial for girls to learn and experience at the council level to prepare them for global opportunities? Additionally, are you interested in learning more about GAV and GLO?
Developing a Culturally Competent Toolbox – Local, regional, national and international… today’s world calls for girls to develop “cross-cultural competencies” to interact with the growing diversity of people, places and experiences. What cross-cultural competencies help girls expand their horizons and interact on a global platform? How can we help girls develop these competencies? Take these ideas and help prepare girls for the wonders of our world!
Four Homes Around the World – Did you know the four World Centres were set up as “a home for all Girl Guides and Girl Scouts”? Our Centres offer skiing in Switzerland (and eating delicious chocolate!); taking in the sights of London; tying a sari in India or community projects in sunny Mexico! You have four homes to choose from – share your international travel experiences or join us to learn more!
International Opportunities – Adventure is in the heart of every Girl Scout! Explore the possibilities of a combining international travel and volunteerism through community service projects or advocacy. Share and learn how the National Program Portfolio prepares girls for these international opportunities!
The Global World in Journeys – In what ways do Journeys prepare girls for our global world? What examples from a Journey can you share with others? Are Journey materials being incorporated into World Thinking Day at your council or service unit? Share your ideas and be creative in developing new approaches for presenting the global aspects of Journeys.
Visioning the Global Future – Here is your chance to envision what global Girl Scouting will be in the future. Think about ten years from now– what does global Girl Scouting look like? Are there more girl-led international trips? What about take action projects with girls in another part of the world? No constraints to this visioning….share great ideas and start the creative process!
An International Celebration: World Thinking Day – World Thinking Day (WTD) is more than just a big party! It is a day to celebrate being part of the largest Movement in the world for girls and young women. Share and learn how you can use WTD and the WTD patch program as tools to teach girls about and connect with their sister Girl Scouts and Girl Guides around the world.
Advocacy, Voices Against Violence – Sadly many girls around the world are subjected to all forms of violence: at home; at school; and within their communities. Promotion, advocacy and a call to action on behalf of these girls is needed! Learn about the Voices Against Violence educational program and how you can present this impactful program to the girls in your council.
Free Being Me – In the USA, 78 percent of girls, ages 16-17, have negative thoughts about their appearance, according to a recent TODAY/AOL Body Image Survey. In response, WAGGGS and the Dove Self Esteem Project have created Free Being Me. Through fun and interactive activities, young people learn that body confidence and self-esteem come from valuing their bodies, standing up to social pressures, and supporting others to be more body confident. Play the card game and learn about what beauty means in different cultures- you might be surprised!
Travel Opportunities – Learn about the exciting travel opportunities that girls are experiencing through Girl Scouting! Planning tools, how to’s and a host of resources will be available to help plan the ultimate travel experience. Share your amazing stories and learn tips from other travelers. There are sister Girl Guides and Girl Scouts around the world….plan a visit and a take action project to address a challenge…..help make the world a better place.
Addressing Local Solutions to Global Problems – Learn what teen members of WAGGGS around the world are doing to tackle some to today most challenging global problems including gender equity, eradicating property and environmental sustainability. How can we help girls recognize that their local take action projects can truly contribute to addressing a global problem?
WAGGGS Leadership Development Programs – A Girl Scout Journey takes girls on a pathway to empowerment and adventure. Learn about the many WAGGGS-run leadership programs offered at the World Centres or through GLOW
Support Global Opportunities for Girls – As Girl Scouts, we have promised to make our world a better place. How can we provide girls around the world with travel experiences that will help them honor their promise as you have honored yours? What international travel experiences do you know girls have taken? Were there take action projects involved? What questions do you have about international travel? Someone in this LP can likely provide insight.
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) is the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world. The World Association supports girls and young women in developing their full potential as responsible citizens of the world.
WAGGGS provides non-formal education for girls and young women, helping them to develop leadership and life skills through self-development, challenge, and adventure. They, in turn, are equipped to help improve their communities, their countries, and the world and provide inspiration to their peers and younger girls.
Today WAGGGS is building upon its success by providing cutting-edge leadership training through the progressive WAGGGS Leadership Development Programme (WLDP).
WAGGGS speaks out and takes action with and on behalf of girls and young women on issues that concern them such as poverty and hunger, climate change, women’s empowerment, HIV and AIDS prevention, and adolescent health. WAGGGS’ advocacy initiatives encourage and enable girls and young women to learn about such issues, speak out on behalf of themselves and others, and take action to support their communities and influence decision makers.
Most recently, WAGGGS launched the “Stop the Violence” campaign. This global advocacy campaign aims to support girls and young women in understanding and asserting their rights, which should be recognized as basic human rights by everyone. Through non-formal education programs, international calls to action, direct lobbying, and community work, the campaign will put girls and young women in the lead and mobilize them globally to demand an end to violence against girls.
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