Inside the Community United Methodist Church, nearly a dozen Girl Scouts carried flags through the lobby. After a brief salute and the Pledge of Allegiance, the annual Girl Scout International Fair was underway.
It’s a long-standing tradition for Girl Scouts around the world, and the goal of the event is to celebrate peers across the globe.
A total of eight Girl Scout troops from the Coastside represented eight different countries at the international celebration on Sunday afternoon. Each station was made by a team of Girl Scouts who ranged from kindergarten to high school. The featured countries were Madagascar, Greece, Fiji, Peru, Ireland, France, Italy and the Philippines.
Each display board had the look and feel of a science fair project, but with international foods to sample. Each troop brings food representative of the country along with various crafts or cultural items. There were latkes, banana chips and noodles from the Philippines and French macarons and crepes available for sampling.
The fair offers the Girl Scouts a chance for an international deep-dive, as each project came with information on the featured country’s natural and cultural history, lifestyle and geography. For parents Lisa Shick and Erica Whitemore, both of whom have hosted international visitors, the fair offers their daughters a chance to learn about the wider world.
Shick’s older daughter, who was representing France, chose the country because their family has been hosting a French student. Shick said it’s not uncommon for Scouts to choose a country because of a particular connection. Whitemore has also hosted international students, and her daughter chose Peru because they have a close friend from the country.
“I’ve had people from Spain and Colombia,” Whitemore said. “And they were like, ‘Oh my, this is cool you guys are honoring our country.’ So that always helps and gets the girls excited.”