By Christin Murphy, Adult Learning Director Year 1 and 2
Spring is in the air – we can smell, see it, and feel it. It also means that the end of the Girl Scout year is near. As leaders and volunteers, you’ve watched your troop continue to transform into girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. They’ve earned badges and patches, visited places both near and far, and made friendships and memories that they’ll hold in their heart forever.
And now – it’s time to celebrate! Celebrate their accomplishments, their new-found confidence, and their ability to make a difference in the world. One of our most long-held Girl Scout traditions (and most popular celebrations) is the Girl Scout Bridging Ceremony.
Wait, what’s a Bridging Ceremony?
The Bridging Ceremony is a traditional Girl Scout ceremony symbolizing progression, new adventures, and the continuity of the Girl Scout program. As girls move to the next level in Girl Scouting – for example Daisies to Brownies or Juniors to Cadettes and everything in between! – this ceremony is a defining moment in the Girl Scout experience.
Which is why we are here to help you plan a fun, personalized, and memorable ceremony in a cinch! To get started, follow our three easy steps Bridging Ceremony Planning Steps.
Step 1 Earning the Awards:
Your girls can complete the Pass it On and Look Ahead bridging requirements in the back of the Girls’ Guide to Girl Scouting by partnering with younger and older Girl Scouts in their area. If you don’t already have a troop in mind, try posting a request on your local or Council Facebook page, talking with your Service Unit Manager or contacting your Membership Director for a list of troops in your area. Working together with older and younger girls allows girls to not only have a Girl Scout role model, but to be one!
Step 2 Finding a Bridge:
Here we take the bridging, literally! Don’t have a bridge? Get creative! Hold the ceremony at a local park that has a bridge. Create a bridge by stacking three wooden pallets, putting two on the ground a few feet apart and stacking the third on top to connect all three. Or create the illusion of a bridge with two rows of buckets filled with sand and stakes. Connect the stakes with ribbon and ta-da!, you have a bridge. You can find even more bridging ideas on our council’s Pinterest Board.
Step 3 Planning the Ceremony:
There are endless possibilities when it comes to planning the ceremony. From Girl Scout themed baked-goods and singing Girl Scout songs, to printing out certificates or troop photos that your girls can keep forever – there’s so many wonderful ways to celebrate! Use our Pinterest page to gather ideas (such as these awesome free printable bridging certificates), connect on the New Leaders Facebook group to swap stories, or contact your Service Unit for inspiration. You can also visit our Shop retail locations or go online and order bridging kits and supplies!
Regardless of the type of ceremony, it is important to make sure the girls are involved in the planning. It is important for girls to share their favorite Girl Scout moments and recognize the significance of this award by celebrating with their Girl Scout friends and family.
For more information and exciting bridging ceremony ideas, join us on our next New Leader Webinar on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at Noon and 7 p.m. Click on the links below to register!