Did you know Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee offers Council’s Own Patches? These patches, created by GSMIDTN and approved by GSUSA, are unique to our council!
One of the patches girls can earn is the Sister Cities of Nashville patch. For this patch, Girl Scouts learn about the eight Sister Cities of Nashville.
Recently, Troop 605 embarked on earning this patch and connected with girls in Taiyuan, China! Jamie Young, co-leader for Troop 605, shares their experience of what it took to make the connections with the Sister Cities.
This project was initially launched for World Thinking Day. We had the girls break into small groups to learn about each of Nashville’s Sister Cities, recreate the flags from each country or city, and make a small presentation to the rest of the troop about what they learned.
After months of back and forth correspondence with various points of contact and LOTS of help from Sister Cities of Nashville Executive Director Heather Cochran Cunningham and the Committee Chairs for each of the eight cities, we were able to make connections with Girl Scout troops in five of the eight cities and one group of Chinese school girls the same age as our Girl Scout Brownies.
Once I had been vetted by Australia and Japan’s Girl Scout reps and made initial contact confirming the other countries’ scout group’s interest in corresponding with us, our troop then wrote letters to each city, made SWAPS, and drew pictures for their prospective pen pals. We included those with our troop leader introduction letter and photos from some of our troop events.
I shipped all six of the packages in April. Considering the weight of our items and the distance traveled, the expense of the postage was hefty. Thankfully, Sue Tims helped us with some items from the Cabin that we could send to our international sisters.
I have received confirmation from China, Japan, and Ireland that they received our package! We have already received a package from China, which was a lovely surprise, considering they were the only country we contacted that does not have a Girl Guide or Girl Scout organization. Our troop does not meet over the summer, so we will have to wait until August to reply to them again.
Special thanks to Jamie and Troop 605 for sharing their experiences connecting with our Sister Cities!