2012 Girl Scouts Thinking Day

  JRM T-Trak layout getting a Girl Scout inspection. photo Eileen McCloskey Delaney

JRM-DC was invited to participate in World Thinking Day for Girl Scout Service Unit 35 in Glen Burnie, MD. Thinking Day is an annual international event, celebrated on or about February 22 by Girl Scouts and Girl Guides all around the world. It is a day when think about the Scouts and Guides in all countries of the world, the meaning of Scouting/Guiding, and its global impact. GS Service Unit 35 chooses a country as its focus for World Thinking Day each year, and for 2012 Japan was chosen. So JRM-DC was asked if we could bring something to display for the attending Scouts.

The event was held on February 18, 2012 in the cafeteria of Monsignor Slade Elementary School in Glen Burnie. On one table we set up the T-Trak layout, including the static Shinkansen platform, and ran short freights and trams all day. Plastic Goji made his usual appearance in the middle of the town, which was being defended by a pink-and-red Gundam mobile suit. We also showed the T-gauge train running inside its display case, complete with tiny trees and buildings, and sculpted pink (!) landscape including a tunnel through a hill. On a parallel table, Ken R. displayed his collection of Tetsudou Musume, or "Railroad Girls", anime-like characters wearing authentic uniforms of various Japanese railway systems. Suzanne R. and Thelma R. took charge of stamping the Scouts' "passports" to show they had visited our display. The ladies also distributed "SWAPS" (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere, according to Girl Scout tradition), which were small tags with the club's "got shinkansen?" emblem printed on them. (The SWAPS were Thelma's idea, since she was a Girl Scout leader and trainer for years back in Florida.)

JRM member Ken Rice showing off his collection of Railway Daughter figures. photo Eileen McCloskey Delaney  

The total turnout of Scouts throughout the day was about 160, representing all age groups of Scouts. Everybody viewing the display seemed to enjoy watching the little trains run, especially when Ken R.'s "camera train" was running, with the engineer's-eye-view displaying on the TV monitor. There were plenty of other activities going on in the school, including a local group performing authentic Japanese folk dances to traditional (and a few not

-so-traditional) tunes, most of which involved drums of many sizes. All told, it seemed to be a very ewnjoyable and well-run event for all involved.

Girl Scouts enjoying the JRM T-Trak layout while Thelma and Suzanne prepare SWAPS. photo copyright Eileen McCloskey Delaney
Small festival event on the T-Trak. photo Jeff Reynolds   JRM display at the event. photo Jeff Reynolds






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