Bridging is an important and exciting tradition in Girl Scouts, which can be for Daisies all the way through Ambassadors to Adults! This year, National Bridging Week falls on May 4th – May 11th. This special ceremony mark’s a girl’s move from one level of Girl Scouting to another, where they are able to recognize and celebrate their accomplishments while preparing for new adventures and responsibilities.
Before bridging, girls and leaders should review their Girl’s Guide to Scouting to ensure they have completed all of the necessary requirements to move to the next level. This could include sharing your experiences with younger Girl Scouts, learning more about the level you’re about to transition into, or completing a badge or project.
The ceremony itself should be a girl-led celebration that celebrates their individual interests and personalities. Bridging ceremonies generally have an outline of these common elements:
- Opening: Guests are welcomes and the tone is set. Girls could choose to do a flag ceremony and recite the Girl Scout Promise.
- Main section: The ceremony is explained and the girls celebrate moving from one level to the next. Girls may want to share something special that they’ve learned or a favorite memory from their current level, sing a song, or recite a poem together. Each individual will usually walk over a bridge, under an archway, or another creative transition to symbolize their movement to a new level. A leader should greet each girl with the Girl Scout Handshake once she reaches the other side.
- Closing: Girls can participate in friendship circles and thank their guests.
- The rainbow is the Girl Scout symbol of bridging. Ask the girls if they have any ideas for wearable rainbow art or decorations that they can make for their ceremony!
- You don’t have to construct a bridge for your ceremony; balloon arches, carpet squares, stepping stones, or sidewalk chalk can all be used to mark a path for girls to travel across.
- Try creating a slideshow with special memories and photos from the level that the girls have completed.
- Divide up the Girl Scout Law on slips of paper and have girls pull which line they will share.
- Depending on the age of the girls, have them light candles or turn on a flashlight when it is their turn to speak or cross over.
- Leaders may also want to incorporate congratulating girls on other awards they’ve earned in their level, such as Journey Awards, Bronze/Silver/Gold Awards, graduating seniors, or 10-year girl members.
- Invite a troop of older Girl Scouts to receive the girls at the other end of the bridge as they cross over.
Looking for more fun and creative ideas for your girl’s bridging ceremony? Check out our Bridging Ideas Pinterest board!