The Berkeley-Sakai Girl Scout Exchange is a unique program started in 1990 for Girl Scouts to cultivate international friendship and unity. Every 4 years, a group of girls from the San Francisco Bay Area go to visit Berkeley's sister city of Sakai, and in the 2 years between, Girl Scouts from Japan visit and stay with Girl Scouts in California. They learn Japanese words, phrases, customs, and culture. Girl Scouts never hold a girl back because she might not have the money. They are learning to be the world leaders of their generation!
Click the image below to see pictures from the 2017 Berkeley-Sakai Girl Scout Exchange.
Click the picture below to enjoy a video clip of the Sakai Girl Scout dance at the 2017 picnic in Berkeley.
The Berkeley-Sakai Girl Scout Exchange was founded in 1981 and has been growing friendships and cross-cultural education between independent young women ever since. The goal of our exchange program is to give young girls the tools to create their own future by participating in a homestay program with fellow Girl Scouts in Berkeley’s sister City of Sakai, Japan. During this homestay we participate in activities like camping, community service, mayoral visits, touring historical landmarks as well as other traditional activities like tea ceremonies, and festivals. In return, two years later our scouts return the favor and plan and execute a homestay experience in the Bay Area for our fellow scout in Japan. It is a four year long mutual cycle being run by adult Girl Scout volunteers.
It is important to teach children and young adults that just because someone comes from a different background than you, and speaks a different language, and has different customs, that if you take the time and care to learn about their culture you will soon learn that all people are the same in the end. The goal of this program is to facilitate worldwide friendship and understanding and inspire girls that they can complete any project they set their minds too with the right tools, hard work and support. The world is a big and complex place and we must work together with a smile and with open hearts to make the world a better place!
We accept new members (must be a registered Girl Scout) during January of each even digit year (for example the next application year will be 2020).
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