Evergreen Girl Scouts collected 1,440 quarters recently at World Thinking Day.
That’s a big pile of quarters, and all of them — amounting to $360 — are being donated to the Juliette Low World Friendship Fun, which helps pay for Scouts to participate in events around the world.
The annual event is a day set aside to get girls thinking about their sister Scouts around the world, said troop leader Kristi O’Keefe. This year’s event in Evergreen saw 16 troops, each with a table containing information, food and crafts from different countries.
The theme was “Together We Can Save Children’s Lives,” and nearly 150 girls came to the Elks Lodge to participate. Blue Spruce Kiwanis underwrote the cost of renting the facility for the afternoon.
The participants used their quarters to sample food or to buy items from different countries. This year, the girls learned about countries from Kenya to Madagascar, from Greece to Ireland and from Costa Rica to Nepal.
Scouts took turns selling items at their tables and visiting other tables. They also trade trinkets similar to the pins that are swapped at the Olympics. The trinkets are called SWAPS — Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere.
All the Scouts were dressed in something to symbolize their countries: Zimbabwe hats, Polynesian skirts for New Zealand, Nepalese saris or Egyptian headbands. It definitely was a colorful, chaotic afternoon.
World Thinking Day was organized by Megan Thompson and Elizabeth Baker, both fifth-graders at Bergen Valley Elementary School and members of Troop 1761. The two learned quickly that organizing the three-hour celebration takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
They will receive the Girl Scout Bronze Award for their efforts, the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve.
This year, the girls made some changes to World Thinking Day because they wanted to make sure that the Scouts paid attention to the posters containing information about the various countries. They decided to have the troops make short presentations about the countries.
The Scouts learned that fried worms are a delicacy in Zimbabwe, and that delicacy was represented by candy worms.
At the France table, grape juice represented wine and tiny crème puffs were served.
Scouts at the Germany table sold soccer-ball erasers for a quarter because soccer is a huge sport in that country.
At the Egypt table, Scouts participated in a craft, and could buy hummus and pita slices for a quarter to taste an Egyptian food.
The Mexico table served chips and guacamole.
“This is one of the girls’ favorite events every year,” O’Keefe said, “and we make sure they learn a little something about the world.”