It is hard to believe that in a few short weeks, school will be out and summer will be in full swing. For a lot of troops, this means taking the summer off from the traditional meeting schedule (but hey, if you choose to meet during the summer – more power to you)! We are also looking forward to seeing a lot of you at troop camp!
During the months of May and June, many of troops will choose to have a celebration or bridging ceremony. This is a great way to honor all of the girls for their achievements in the past year and get excited about the next year of Girl Scouting. And – if we’re being honest – it’s an excellent excuse to eat cake (not that I ever need an excuse). If you’re new to the leading a troop thing you may have a few questions about how these celebrations work.
Breaking it down:
Bridging is when your girls are moving on to a new program level next fall (ex: they are currently Daisies but will be Brownies next year).
Bridging Awards mark a girl’s transition from one leadership level to the next. They are rainbow colored badges and are worn on the front of the uniform just under the membership year pins.
Bridging Steps are outlined in more detail in the handbook section of the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting for each level but if you’re looking for the basics, this one-pager is your go-to. The principle of these activities is for your girls to inspire younger girls (Pass It On) and to learn from older girls (Look Forward). The handbook or one-pager provides you with some suggestions on what the girls can do together but don’t get too bogged down in the details. The goal is for the girls to feel connected with other Girl Scouts.
Bridging Ceremonies are a way to honor the girls and their achievements in a fun and memorable way. There is no standard bridging ceremony so have fun working with the girls to design something that is unique and special for them. You can choose to invite families or do it as a troop. Some service units will host a court-of-awards ceremony in which girls will bridge to the next level. There are lots of different ways you can go about celebrating this bridging business.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- A bridge is not required but is often a part of a bridging ceremony – go figure. 🙂 It can be an actual bridge, like one at a local park, or a symbolic one.
- Take a peek at our Bridging + Award Kits at the shop. These kits are gift wrapped and ready to go and include the Bridging Award, a certificate, a membership star pin, and more!
- Encourage the girls to get creative and make it their own. They can write a song, a chant, or a skit to perform.
- And last but never least – Pinterest.
Start with a few of our ideas and get caught in the rabbit hole that is Pinterest. There are a lot of really cute ideas out there. Like this DIY bridge. I. Can’t. Even. As always, the fabulous Troop Support team is eager to answer any questions you have or help you come up with some ideas to make your ceremony a success. Reach out to us at 800-845-0787 or email us at email@example.com.
Yours in Scouting,