The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 17, 2010

KIRSTEN RAFINSKI | Girl Scout Thinking Day: Learning about Girl Guiding abroad

On Monday, Girl Scouts and Guides from other countries will celebrate “Thinking Day.”

This is a time where all girls involved in the Scouting movement think about our fellow Scouts worldwide. All other countries besides the U.S. call the Girl Scouts Girl Guides.

Juliette Gordan Low brought Girl Scouting back from England to the United States in 1912. She began a troop with 18 girls in Savannah, Ga.

Scouting has been a very important part of my family’s life. My great grandmother was a leader for over

35 years in Illinois, and my grandmother is still active after 33 years in Alabama. My mother has put in

23 years and both my sister and I throughout our military moves have been members since first grade. I am now working on my Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the equivalent of The Eagle for Boy Scouts.

One of the things I did want to check into while living here in Poland was Scouting. I have done research online and have called and spoke with a girl from a local unit about Guiding in her country.

Olga Małkowski brought the Scouting movement to Poland 1910. She was the first chief of Girl Guides in Poland. In 1918, Guides joined the World Organization of the Scout movement and they blended using the same promise, oath, law and badges.

The Scout motto is “CZUWAJ ” To be aware. It was a historic saying of Medieval knights to one another against the Mongols.

After the invasion of Poland in 1939, the Nazi Party of Germany tried to end the movement. The Polish Scouting movement was the first nationwide organization to go underground.

While their fathers and brothers went to war, Girl Guides worked as nurses, postal servers and harvesters, and helped in children’s homes. The Guides also helped by painting resistance signs of the anchor symbol standing for Poland fighting on walls.

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