Bridging is an exciting celebration for Girl Scouts to reflect on their year and to look forward to the next! It celebrates the progression of one program level to the next, highlighting all the challenges and accomplishments your troop has been a part of. The bridging award focuses on two main steps: pass it along and look ahead. Our activity plans are a great tool to help you celebrate (search by program grade level)!
With everything going on, I can imagine that bridging may not be the focus right now for you and your troop. Or maybe it’s a tradition that you are hoping to embrace during the chaos. Either way, there are many options on when and how to incorporate bridging into your Girl Scout year.
When planning your bridging ceremony, it’s important to recognize that Girl Scouts doesn’t require bridging to take place in the spring. While many troops end their year with a bridging ceremony, just as many opt to wait until the fall so they can start their year with a new grade and a new Girl Scout uniform! Having a fall bridging ceremony when social distance practices are potentially reduced might be something you consider this year. You can also do a hybrid between the two, have a mini virtual celebration followed by an in-person get-together when it’s safe to do so. Whether you choose to bridge in the spring, summer, or fall—it’s totally up to you! Later this summer, Girl Scouts of the USA will be hosting virtual activities for National Bridging Week, August 1-8, 2020. We will be sure to share more details as they become available.
Logistical Tips for Virtual Bridging
- Involve your troop’s families to help with the celebration (i.e., surprise each girl with balloons from their family during the ceremony)
- Incorporate the same fun digital background so everyone feels like you’re all in the same place
- Drop off virtual bridging supplies before the ceremony (Bridging Kits, letters to each other, etc.)
Activity Tips for a Virtual Bridge Ceremony
- Write letters to a younger troop sharing the fun and exciting things they can do once they bridge to your program level
- Have a virtual talent show highlighting your accomplishments of the past year
- Assign or draw names and have each Girl Scout create a special award for a fellow troop member. Think “Best Sing-A-Long Leader,” “Most Likely to Go Camping,” or “Best at Community Service Projects”
- Write letters to your future Girl Scout self
- Incorporate your troop’s favorite songs, poems, or other ceremony traditions
Utilize the Girl Scout Shop
The Girl Scout shop has great items for purchase to help with your bridging ceremony including Bridging Kits and My Girl Scout Kits. Each Bridging Kit comes with a special pencil and Bridging fun patch, along with a Bridging Certificate, Membership Star, Disc for Membership Star, and Bridging Arc. A great gift to have mailed to your troop members or drop off at their house to celebrate their accomplishments! My Girl Scout Kits is a customizable kit that allows you to pull together uniforms, insignia, books, and apparel so each girl is ready to start the next program level of Girl Scouts. They are a great way to build excitement for their next year of Girl Scouting!
Keep it Girl-led
Your troop has a wealth of creativity and fun in how you can incorporate a bridging celebration while social distancing. For example, you can have each girl to lead a different part of your ceremony. Ask your troop how they want to celebrate their accomplishments by a virtual meeting or later when it’s safe to do so. This is a great time to embrace the fun and chaos of virtual meetings.
Bridging is a monumental part of the Girl Scout experience that can be meaningful no matter what is happening in the world. Shifting to meet the needs of your troop is in our Girl Scout DNA. Have fun and enjoy your time together in celebrating all the amazing accomplishments of your troop.
Grace Heneghan – Grace is a Program Resources Specialist at River Valleys. She earned her BA in Gender and Women’s Studies and minor in Environmental Studies from Northland College. Her background also includes guiding backcountry expeditions and teaching outdoor education to youth. In her free time, Grace enjoys reading, listening to music, cooking, and exploring the metro area. Three things she can’t live without? Pamplemousse La Croix, a canoe paddle, and a manicure.