World Thinking Day is an important day for Girl Guides. Marie Hobson, a Leader at the 10th Lee South (Guacamole) Rangers, explained it is important we ‘remember how Girl Guides began… We owe a lot to Baden Powell and the brave group of girls who stood up and demanded ‘something for girls’ at a time when this was frowned upon.’ Charlotte Pennycard, a member of the 10th Lee South (Guacamole) Rangers said it is important ‘because it shows women standing up for themselves.’

On the 24th of January, 1908, Baden Powell’s first ‘Scouting for Boys’ book was published, prompting many Scout groups to spring up across the country. In September 1909, the first national Boy Scout meeting was held in Crystal Palace, with 10,000 Scouts showed up including a group of girls who called themselves ‘Girl Scouts’ and demanded ‘something for girls’. In 1910, Baden Powell organised the Girl Guides as a new organisation.

On World Thinking Day, Girl Guides across the world remember how the organisation began. It is important to celebrate those girls’ actions and remember ‘how worldwide Girl Guiding is’ as Charlotte Pennycard said.

We celebrate World Thinking Day on the 22nd of February, which is Baden Powell’s birthday and this year, the Rangers (aged 14+) from London and South East Region celebrated World Thinking Day by going on a trip to Belgium. My Rangers Pack -10th Lee South (Guacamole) Rangers- took the Eurostar to Brussels Midi on the morning of Thursday the 21st of February before partaking in an all-you-can-eat Waffle Making Workshop. Not realising how long the workshop was (and all seven of us being five years old at heart) we stuffed our faces with all the waffles we could manage before we all felt ill. For the rest of the workshop, we cooked the waffles and created “paintings” with whipped cream and “sculptures”.

The next day, we explored Belgium, including going to the European Parliament and the Parlamentarium Museum where we all expressed our views on Brexit and tested our ushering skills on a game where we had to seat as many Parliament Members as we could in the time limit.

That afternoon was the main event where all the Rangers on the trip met. This was a ‘talk that we had to sit through’ (as Charlotte Pennycard put it). ‘Unfortunately, the talk wasn’t interactive enough for our girls who prefer doing activities to sitting and listening,’ said Marie Hobson as it was mainly talking to us about ways to get a job and World Thinking Day was only mentioned once or twice.

On Saturday the 23rd of February, the Rangers took part in a Wide Game across Brussels and Ghent. This event started at St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral where all the Rangers gathered to collect their tasks. These tasks included checkpoints across Brussels and Ghent, questions about particular locations, a list of objects to take pictures with and some bonuses such as points for the best boomerang, the best mascot photo and the team who travelled on the most modes of transport. These then got posted onto Instagram and the points were totalled up at the end of the day. As Marie Hobson explained, this gave us the opportunity to ‘get to know the Rangers and Leaders better, explore two new cities in beautiful weather, take comedy photographs and become social media stars through our new, entertaining Instagram feed.’

We found out the results that evening and realised that ‘we had misunderstood the competition criteria around modes of transport- we thought you had to travel on them rather than just photograph your mascot with them’ (Marie Hobson). We were disappointed with the result so, at about 10pm, we went to the hotel lobby and started playing a game of pool that lasted one and a half hours because we were struggling to pot the balls. In the end, the Leaders won because they got help from a man sat in the lobby waiting for his plane.

The last day involved three Rangers and one Leader making their Promise, consuming about a kilogram of chocolate at a chocolate museum, fifteen last minute postcards, before arriving back at home.

When asked what she will take away from the trip, Marie Hobson said ‘during this trip, I grew in appreciation of the leaders and girls in my unit. I feel very lucky to be in out unit as I think we have lots of fun and are supportive and accepting of each other.’ Charlotte Pennycard said she ‘will take away the memories’.  Personally, I will remember the fun I have had with such an incredible group of girls and I still cannot think of chips or any other potato based food without feeling ill.

Girl Guiding has given us this opportunity. To find out how you can get involved in changing lives, go to To find out more about this trip, follow us on Instagram @10thlsrangers.