Food, Fun and Friendship Found at Tasting Bee

Photos by Isiah REYES
Photos by Isiah REYES

By Isiah REYES

The Crescenta Valley/Glendale Service Unit’s 31st Annual International Tasting Bee took place at Rosemont Middle School at the end of March. For the price of a ticket, attendees had the chance to taste exotic foods from around the world.

The World Thinking Day event is a day to celebrate Girl Scout friendships from around the world by learning about Girl Scouts in other countries. At the tasting bee, each troop of girls picked a country, then studied the culture of their chosen nation and taught visitors how to say hello, goodbye and thank you in their country’s language. In addition, each girl was dressed in an outfit that was related to their chosen country and they cooked sample foods for the public to taste.

“We want them to get to know that there are Girl Scouts throughout the entire world and maybe encourage pen pal relationships,” said Event Chair Patti Brundige.
Girl Scout Alyda Lopez was part of a troop representing the country of Armenia. She said Armenia was chosen because one of the girls in the troop was Armenian. This reasoning seemed to be common among many of the troops on how they chose their country.

One of the things all the Girl Scouts enjoyed was sampling food from other countries. Some of the countries represented were Mexico, Greece, Vietnam, France, Germany and Kenya. Aside from offering food, the booths were decorated with drawings and facts to teach visitors more about the selected country. Also for the duration of the event an opportunity drawing and silent auction were available providing many prizes that were donated by local businesses.

The girls also participated in SWAPS, in which each girl brought something significant, such as bracelets or other small tokens of friendship, to exchange.

“This is my favorite event in all of Girl Scouts,” said senior Girl Scouts member Kim Chernich. “It’s nice because you can meet so many different troops and there’s so much to talk about and look at.”

The money that was raised from the event funds local girls and their troops and also the Juliette Low International Friendship Fund. Last year, the event raised almost $1,000.
To close the day, all the girls participated in the Parade of Nations Ceremony and an awards ceremony. The Girl Scouts were recognized for their knowledge about Girl Scouts, best costumes, booth decorations, and presentation of their selected country’s culture. The grand finale was the friendship circle, which required all the Girl Scouts to stand in a circle, cross their right arms over their left, and clasp hands with their friends on both sides. The circle involved well over 100 girls.

“The thing I love about this event is the sisterhood,” said troop 7601 leader Allison Hurd. “This is the one time when we get to put on something with the other troops in the Glendale and the Crescenta Valley areas. I love that the girls get to see all their friends from other troops and I love that we spend our year learning about another country, but it’s really the bond of sisterhood that this event brings.”

Girl Guides and Girl Scouts have been celebrating World Thinking Day since 1926 and it has been an important fundraising day since 1932. World Thinking Day is a day of friendship, advocacy, and fundraising for 10 million Girl Guides around the world. The day is celebrated with fun, educational activities and learning about international sisters.

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