Girl Guiding and Scouting organisations around the world comprise the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), which was formed in 1928. The mission of WAGGGS is 'to enable girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world.' There are member organisations of WAGGGS in 140 countries around the world, spanning every continent except Antarctica.
Girl Scouting and Guiding Around the World
The World Trefoil Pin is worn by Girl Guides and Girl Scouts everywhere, usually directly above the membership pin. The pin has a golden trefoil sprouting from a flame on a blue background, with two stars and a compass needle in the centre. The three leaves of the trefoil symbolize the three-part Girl Guide/Scout promise in every country, and the flame represents the love Girl Guides and Scouts share for their guiding sisters worldwide. The compass needle is for guidance, with the two stars symbolising the Girl Guide/Scout Law and Promise. The golden border around the pin represents the World Association, and the gold trefoil on a blue background symbolises the sun shining on children all over the world.
Thinking Day is a WAGGGS holiday celebrated by all Girl Guides and Scouts on 22 February each year. On this day, girls participate in ceremonies and events that emphasise the sisterhood spanning Girl Guides and Scouts worldwide. Older girls might attend an international jamboree, while younger guides and scouts might have a ceremony presenting international dances, art projects, cuisine, and fashion.
The World Centres
WAGGGS has four world centres across the globe, which attract Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from all over to attend events, participate in service projects, or explore the area and its culture. While each of the centres tends to have its own focus, the building of international friendships and the exploration of the local culture have always been the cornerstones.
Our Chalet in the Swiss Alps is known for its outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, sledging, and mountain climbing.
Our Cabaña is in Mexico, outside the city of Cuernavaca. Projects and events at Our Cabaña tend to focus on the Mexican culture the arts.
Pax Lodge is in North London, and events there tend to concentrate on political and environmental issues.
Sangam is found in Pune, India. While many groups or individuals visiting Sangam engage in local service projects, the main goal of this centre is to provide a 'safe, neutral place for youth and adult members of WAGGGS to come together to share experiences as well as the culture and traditions of their homelands.'
WAGGGS as an International Advocate
WAGGGS has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Along with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), WAGGS develops and implements international programs to promote child health, universal education, and human rights.