Our Facebook audience is comprised of awesome troop leaders, volunteers, and Girl Scout moms and dads who spend countless hours helping girls shape life-changing experiences. Bridging ceremonies are just one of those experiences; they mark a girl's transition from one leadership level to the next. With literally thousands of bridging ceremony options floating around the nternet, we decided to ask our audience one simple question.
“What advice or ideas would you give to a volunteer planning their first bridging ceremony?”
Here’s what our rockstar volunteers had to say:
1. “Don't go overboard. Keep it quick and simple, but special. And have fun!”
2. “Ask the girls what they would like to include—what song to sing, what decorations to use, what kind of invitations, etc. Get the girls involved with the planning.”
3. “For Brownies: MAKE WINGS!!! It's the only time they ‘fly up!’”
Photo via Robin L.
4. “Have each girl stop in the middle of the bridge to talk about their favorite Girl Scout memory! Photo op for parents!”
5. “Make it special and unique to your troop. If bridging to another troop, involve all girls in the planning. Yes, even for Daisies bridging into Brownies. Their voices may be small, but they're important.”
6. “Crossing the bridge, our Daisies handed off their daisy bouquet and received a wrapped brownie. Brownies handed off their brownie and received a box of Junior Mints.”
Photo via Heather S.
7. “Start planning WELL in advance and put their sashes together yourself! I sew down all of my girls' patches and add patches they have earned the year before to their ‘old’ sashes. Our bridging ceremony is at a country club, a big fancy event, and I make the girls a gift every year. This year, it was aprons. We do a lot of cooking and home canning in our troop.”
8. Do what works for you and your girls. Don't get sucked into all the Pinterest and Facebook board hype. It's about YOUR girls. Period."
9. “Stay off of Pinterest!”
10. “Take lots of pictures because when those Daisies are graduating high school, you're going to wish you had.”
Beth Ann M.
11. “Make your ceremony symbolic but also fun. Keep in mind your location and the logistics that your girls' families are dealing with. Our troops in Kuala Lumpur have combined our bridging ceremony and year-end pool party for the last few years. We have been able to keep the symbolism and the girls love swimming under the balloon bridge while their family and friends cheer them on.”
12. “Let each girl tell what she enjoyed the most or what she learned during the year from her Girl Scout experiences. Be sure and repeat the Promise together. Focus on girl accomplishments.”
13. “Enjoy it. Don't worry if it's not perfect.”
14. “If you were a Girl Scout, encourage the girls to try one of your old bridging traditions.”
15. “Remember, the child is bridging, but the parents were ultimately responsible for getting her to meetings, so include a moment of thanks to respect and honor their efforts. It will help you later when you need parent involvement.”