Every two to three years, Girl Scouts aged five to seventeen have the opportunity to move to the next level of Girl Scouting: from Daisy to Brownie, Brownie to Junior, Junior to Cadette, Cadette to Senior, Senior to Ambassador, and even from Ambassador to Adult Girl Scout! Traditionally, this is called “bridging” to the next level, and troops often hold a special ceremony for this. Here are some ideas for your next bridging ceremony.
Earn the bridging patch first. There is a bridging patch for each level. Girls must complete three steps to earn the patch. The actual steps are in their age-level handbooks, but basically they are:
- Teach younger girl scouts about your current level of Girl Scouting.
- Learn from older Girl Scouts about the next level.
- Plan your bridging ceremony.
So, planning the ceremony is built into the patch-earning process. And it’s important to involve the girls in planning! All of Girl Scout program stresses girl planning and leadership, including bridging.
Choose your date. Most troops stop meeting for the summer in May or June, so you may want to celebrate the end of the school year/Girl Scout year by holding your bridging ceremony. But you can also wait until fall, and perhaps combine it with your investiture/rededication ceremony. Or, make it a summer get-together.
Find a great location. You can, of course hold a simple ceremony in your meeting place. But you don’t have to! Here are some location ideas.
- A Girl Scout camp. Your local camp likely has a bridge over a stream somewhere. Go for the day or camp overnight, and use the bridge!
- A public bridge. Girl Scout troops have been known to use anything from the footbridge in the local park to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco or the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
- A playground. You know, that wobbly bridge that crosses the playground structure? Those are fun, too. Girls may enjoy finishing the ceremony with a trip down the slide as well.
Write or borrow a script. The girls can write their script for the actual bridging portion of the celebration, or you can surprise them with one. Use your resources wisely, and check these sources for ideas:
- Girl Scouts of the USA website
- Adult Journey guides and the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting
- Scoutingweb’s Ceremonies page (Bridging ceremonies are down toward the bottom, but general ceremony information may be useful as well)
- Check with your local Girl Scout council; they may have a ceremony guide as well.
When you have a plan, make some invitations, and have fun!