Bridging

Article ID: 24
Last updated: 21 Oct, 2013
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Bridging is the special ceremony reserved for girls who are moving up to the next Girl Scout grade level. Although bridging activities and ceremonies are not required, they are an important stepping stone for girls to understand what the next level of Girl Scouting means. Bridging activities should begin in January or February so the girls have enough time to complete the activities. View bridging award requirements.

Tips for Working on Proficiency Awards at the Next Level

  • Borrow next level resources, (example: handbooks or proficiency award books) for girls moving up so they can spend time looking at awards to see what they want to work on. Or consider using troop money to purchase handbooks or award books for the girls moving up.
  • Let the bridging girls choose the award that they want to earn, based upon their interests.
  • Allow plenty of time for completion.
  • Coordinate activities through your Service Area or community.

Tips for Connecting with the Next Level of Girl Scouting

  • Give the next level troop time to plan an activity that involves the visiting girls.
  • Ask girls from a troop or group the next level up to visit your troop. Have them wear their uniform so they can explain different insignia.
  • Make sure your service unit connects individual members who are ready to bridge with troops or groups at the next level.

Bridging Ceremonies

To make bridging more meaningful, most troops hold a special ceremony. Girls from Girl Scout Brownies through Ambassadors are asked to help plan their bridging ceremony. It may be in conjunction with a "sister troop," the troop girls are moving up to, or it may be done for friends and family only. In any case, this ceremony offers a time to mark and honor progression and growth.

Bridging ceremonies often utilize a bridge as a prop. The bridge might be specially made for use in service unit or council ceremonies, or it might be a real bridge in a park or scenic area. The act of crossing is a physical, as well as a symbolic, step into the future.
Outdoor ceremonies can be memorable for all involved. Just be sure to have a backup plan for bad weather.

Many service areas combine a camp weekend with bridging activities. Girls have an opportunity to get to know the girls at the next level and to do activities with them. It is also a good way to include individually registered girl members who want the bridging experience with other girls.
Ceremonies in Girl Scouting, a great resource for bridging, should be available at your council library or shop. Sample age-appropriate ceremonies are highlighted, as well as flag ceremonies for special occasions. This resource also contains a chart for ceremony planning.

Girl Scout Daisies to Girl Scout Brownies

Bake a Batch of Girl Scout Brownies!

You’ll need:

  • Oven (very large box decorated to look like oven w/lg. opening in back)
  • GS Brownie Handbooks
  • Large table
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Bowl
  • Aprons
  • Sifter
  • Baking Pan
  • Whisk / spoon
  • Spatula
  • Timer
  • Containers of ‘ingredients’ (1 per girl)
  • Help (parents, friends)

Bridging Girl Scout Daisies (in uniform) line up behind oven. Current Girl Scout Brownies are the ‘bakers’. Assign speaking parts based on how many girls are in your troop.

  • “We only have a few Girl Scout Brownies in our troop from last year! We need some new Girl Scout Brownies!”
  • “Yes, what can we do?”
  • “I know, let's make some new Brownies!”
  • All girls – “Yes, Yes, Yes!”
  • “Let's look in our handbook for the recipe.” (all pull out handbooks.)
  • “Here it is! To make Girl Scout Brownies, we must mix 3 basic ingredients: the Promise, the Law, and a desire to learn try new things.” (Set the book out where people can read the "recipe" while 1 girl gets out a mixing bowl and spoon)
  • (Read from the "recipe") “In a large bowl, we will cream together 1 cup of a promise to serve God, my country, and mankind.” (put a cup of "promise" into the bowl)
  • (Read from the "recipe") “To this mixture, add two cups of honesty and 2 tablespoons of fairness. Mix together until well-blended.” (Put 2 cups of "honesty" and 2 tablespoons of "fairness" into the bowl).
  • (Read from the "recipe") “Stir in one cup of friendliness and a cup of helpfulness.” (Put in a cup of "friendliness" and "helpfulness" into the bowl)
  • (Read from the ‘recipe”) “Beat together 1/2 cup of caring and 1/2 cup of ‘consideration for others’. Add to mixture.” (Mix 1/2 cup of "caring" and 1/2 cup of "consideration" together, and then put it into the bowl)
  • (Read from the "recipe") “Now add to the mixture 2 cups of courage and strength, pour in some responsibility for what I say and do, and mix well.” (Add 2 cups "courage and strength" into the bowl, pour in the "responsibility")
  • (Read from the "recipe") “Add one cup of respect for authority and one cup of respect for myself and others. Stir until well blended.” (Put in a cup of "respect for authority" and one cup of "respect for myself and others" into the bowl. Take the spoon and stir a bit...)
  • (Read from the "recipe") “Sift together 1/2 cup of a wise use of resources and 3 tablespoons of a promise to make the world a better place. Stir into mixture.” (Mix the 1/2 cup and 3 tablespoons together, and then add to the bowl.)
  • (Read from the "recipe") “Sprinkle some ‘sisterhood of Girl Scouting’ and mix well.” (Sprinkle "sisterhood" into the bowl)
  • (Read from the "recipe") “Blend together 1/2 cup of each of the following worlds: Well-Being, People, Out-of-Doors, Arts, Today and Tomorrow.” (Go to each container to get 1/2 cup of each ingredient, and add all of them to the bowl.)
  • (Read from the "recipe") “In a prepared pan, spread the batter evenly.” (Have 1 or more girl(s) pour the bowl mixture into the pan. Spread it out, and then put it in the oven. Someone inside the oven should secretly take it so nothing spills)
  • (Read from the "recipe") “Bake at a moderate temperature until done.” (Set the dial on the oven and set the timer) Hidden from audience view, adults help Girl Scout Daisies change into /girl Scout Brownie uniform. Timer rings and Girl Scout Daisies enter oven through back opening (open door & new Girl Scout Brownies crawl out of the oven)
  • All girls: “Look!! A NEW BATCH OF GIRL SCOUT BROWNIES!!!” Newly-bridged Girl Scout Brownies are welcomed into troop!

Girl Scout Brownies to Girl Scout Juniors

Take My Hand
This can be done a couple of ways. One way is to pair up the bridging Girl Scout Brownies to recite the poem, join hands, and walk across the bridge together. Another way is to pair up a current Girl Scout Junior with each bridging Girl Scout Brownie – one would recite the first line, the other the second line, join hands, & then cross the bridge together. Add a couple of Girl Scout songs, decorations, & (almost) anything else the girls would like and you’ll have a meaningful and fun ceremony!

You’ll need:

  • Help! Recruit parents, friends, etc.
  • Bridge (can be borrowed from Council)
  • Decorations (paper doll Girl Scouts are cute with this theme! Check out http://www.makingfriends.com/friends/f_scouts.htm for ideas)
  • Songs (Girl Scouts Greatest Hits are wonderful! Order through the Council Shop)
  • Invitations, refreshments
  • Pins, patches, badges, uniforms, certificates, etc. (available from the Council Shop)

"Take my hand in friendship I give to you this day."
"Remember all the good times We had along the way."
"Take my hand in helping Other people that we know."
"The more we give to others, The more that we will grow."
"Take my hands in learning To camp on nature's ground."
"Enjoying trails and campfires With new friends that we’ve found."
"Take my hand in giving Our knowledge of true scouts"
"To girls we meet and talk to Who have so many doubts."
"Take my hand in thanking Our leader and our guide."
"With sincere appreciation For standing by our side."
"Take my hand in eagerness To be an older scout."
"We're proud to be bridging Is what we're going to shout."
"So take my hand to follow New scouting paths in sight."
"We're joining hands with each And in friendship we'll unite."
(In Unison): "We give our hands in Promise To hold our country dear, And abide the Girl Scout Law Each day throughout the year!"

Bridge to Girl Scout Cadettes Ceremony

All are standing in horseshoe formation. All repeat the Girl Scout promise.

Leader: (a poem)
“The trail of Girl Scouting winds wide and long; From Girl Scout Brownies and beanies and sit-upons To campouts and Girl Scout Juniors and Badges to earn; So much to do, so much to learn Then over the bridge and on to Girl Scout Cadettes, With memories and pleasures we'll never forget Now (girl's names), Girl Scouts tried and true; Cross over the bridge, we give them to you A gift of a girl is a precious thing; Take care and great joy they will bring.”

Girl Scout Junior leader presents each girl with Bridge to Girl Scout Cadettes patch and a candle with a silk daisy attached. Girl Scout Cadettes cross over the bridge. After all girl are in the horseshoe:

Leader: The daisy symbolizes your dedication to the Girl Scout Movement, which was started by our founder, Juliette Gordon Low, and began in our country on March 12, 1912. Juliette Low's nickname was Daisy. You are following in her footsteps as you become a unique and caring influence in today's and tomorrow's world.

Have on table - 1 candle for each world color (red, orange, yellow, blue, and purple) and a green candle representing Girl Scouting. Also, need one more white candle with a daisy.

Have Girl Scout Cadettes light appropriate candles and read the following scripts:

While lighting white candle w/daisy - (this candle is used to light all other colors) The light of GS Cadettes I share with you as you explore the Girl Scout World through Interest Projects, Service, Career Exploration, and leadership opportunities.

While lighting the red candle: The red candle stands for the World of Well-Being, which helps young women understand themselves, their values, needs, emotions, and strengths, while also being aware of what it takes to be physically fit.

While lighting the orange candle: The orange candle stands for the World of Today and Tomorrow, which lets a young woman look into the how's and whys of things, to solve problems and to recognize the ways their present interests can build toward future ones.

While lighting the yellow candle: The yellow candle stands for the World of the Out-of-Doors. Explorations in this world can help a young woman to enjoy and appreciate her natural environment and to take action to protect and preserve her world and environment.

While lighting the blue candle: The blue candle stands for the World of People. This world can help a young woman to build pride in her own heritage, while appreciating the uniqueness of each culture and the common theme of all peoples.

While lighting the purple candle: The purple candle stands for the World of the Arts. To develop a personal taste and appreciation for the many art forms and things of beauty in the world around them.

After each Color of the Worlds candle is lit, light the green candle saying: From the light of the Five Worlds, may your Girl Scout world ever grow

Then, each girl takes her white candle and lights it from the green one as the leader says:

From the Girl Scout Worlds, take your light into the world and let it shine forth with love and knowledge.

All girls return to horseshoe. Sing an appropriate song, such as "Girl Scouts Together" or "Whene'er You Make A Promise"

Bridge to Girl Scout Seniors

Girl Scout Cadettes should be in a horseshoe on one side of the bridge, and Girl Scout Seniors on the other side of the bridge. After the Girl Scout Cadettes cross the bridge and are met and given the Girl Scout handshake by the Girl Scout Seniors, they should then form a horseshoe with the Girl Scout Seniors.

Leader: "When you are a Girl Scout Senior, your life is filled with action. In addition to group activities, Girl Scout Seniors have many individual opportunities coming their way. You can take part in special events and activities planned by Girl Scout Seniors for Girl Scout Seniors. You may be selected for one of the many destinations open to Girl Scouts each year. And you can now begin work on the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts. We invite you to get involved!"

You need eight white candles in holders. New Girl Scout Seniors may alternate lighting candles and saying the parts of the following pledge:

I pledge as a Girl Scout Senior to:

  1. Uphold the highest ideals of womanhood as expressed in the Promise and Law
  2. Be thoughtful and considerate and assume my share of responsibility in the activities of my troop
  3. Be a better citizen of my community and prepare myself for the duties and responsibilities of adult citizenship in a democracy
  4. Realize my deep commitment to volunteer my services wherever and whenever needed
  5. Keep myself healthy and the world around me as safe as I can make it
  6. Seek new knowledge and the skill to use it
  7. Increase my knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the world toward the goal of peace
  8. Prepare myself for the future

Return to horseshoe.

Leader: As you begin your journey as a Girl Scout Senior, we give you a gold key to help you unlock the doors to the Five Worlds of Girl Scouting. Keys have quite a history. They were first used back in Biblical times. They were quite large and made of wood; they were carried as a sign of prestige. We hope that you will carry your key as proudly as the first keys were carried - and that this key will open many doors and worlds in your years as a Girl Scout Senior and beyond. Welcome, new Girl Scout Seniors!

This ceremony could also be used for Girl Scout Seniors bridging to Girl Scout Ambassadors.

Service Area or Multi-Troop Fly-Up and Bridging Ceremony

Perform opening flag ceremony and sing "America, the Beautiful"

Welcome to Girl Scout Brownies
(for 1st grade Girl Scout Daisies bridging to Girl Scout Brownies)

Girl Scout Brownie Leader says to Girl Scout Daisies: "Come on girls and join our ring; here we plan most everything."

2nd and 3rd grade Girl Scout Brownies escort 1st grade Girl Scout Daisies into circle. Girl Scout Daisies can be presented with their Bridge to Girl Scout Brownies patch, their Ending Certificate, and their membership pin, if desired.

Third Grade Girl Scout Brownies Fly-up

Girl Scout Brownie Leader says to third graders: "Now it's time to say good-bye; break the ring and out you fly."

Ring breaks to let girls and Leader out. She takes them to the bridge, repeats the following poem and gives them their Girl Scout Brownie Wings.

Girl Scout Brownies you are just about
to become a Junior Girl Scout
In the troop you soon will find
Girl Scout Juniors are true and kind
So now I give you Brownie Wings
That you may fly to bigger things

Girl Scout Brownies cross the bridge. 4th and 5th grade Girl Scout Juniors meet them at the other end and each one takes a Girl Scout Brownie to the Girl Scout Junior horseshoe. When all are in place, they recite the Girl Scout Promise together and the Girl Scout Brownies are presented with their Girl Scout pin.

Fifth Grade Girl Scout Juniors Cross the Bridge to Girl Scout Cadettes

Girl Scout Junior leader says: "As we say 'Welcome to you'; we have to say a good-bye, too The time has come for some to cross; the Girl Scout Cadettes gain is our loss"

Girl Scout Junior leader stands at end of the bridge and says a good-bye to 6th grade Girl Scout Juniors as they start across the bridge. 7th and 8th grade Girl Scout Cadettes meet them at the other end of bridge and take them to their horseshoe.

Eighth Grade Girl Scout Cadettes Cross the Bridge to Girl Scout Seniors

Girl Scout Cadette leader says: "Welcome to Girl Scout Cadettes. As you join us to help make a well-rounded troop ready to meet new challenges, we too must say goodbye to some of our members as they progress on to Girl Scout Seniors."

Girl Scout Cadette leader stands at end of bridge and gives the 8thgrade Girl Scout Cadettes the Girl Scout handshake as they start across the bridge. The Girl Scout Seniors will meet them at the other end.

Tenth Grade Girl Scout Seniors Cross the Bridge to Girl Scout Ambassadors

Girl Scout Senior leader says: "Welcome to Girl Scout Seniors. As you join us to help make a well-rounded troop ready to meet new challenges, we too must say good-bye to some of our members as they progress on to Girl Scout Ambassadors."

Girl Scout Senior leader stands at end of bridge and gives the 10th grade Girl Scout Seniors the Girl Scout handshake as they start across the bridge. The Girl Scout Ambassador will meet them at the other end.

Close ceremony by singing "Girl Scouts Together".

Tips and More Resources

As your girls get older, let them take on more responsibility for planning and implementing the ceremony. Getting them more involved helps the girls to feel that the ceremony is theirs, not just another activity to take part in. It can also make it much more meaningful for the girls! Simple activities even young girls can do include making invitations & decorations.

Get plenty of help, & delegate the responsibilities. You don’t have to do it all yourself! Ask families to bring refreshments, napkins, cups, etc., & ask local businesses to donate decorations, flowers, or other supplies.

Have simple activities to keep younger girls or siblings busy – coloring pages & crayons are often enough.

Songs & games add a really celebratory feel to the ceremony. A group game can be a great icebreaker. Print copies of the song lyrics for the guests so they may sing along with your troop!

Once again, the Internet is full of great ideas for ceremonies, songs, games, etc. Some of our favorites include:

Ideas & guidelines straight from GSUSA:
http://www.girlscouts.org/program/basics/traditions/ceremonies/

An amazing site with thousands of craft ideas, including tons of Girl Scout-specific ideas and badge projects:
http://makingfriends.com/

We can’t forget GSUSA’s wonderful program publications! You’ll find information in the level handbooks, leader guides, and the book Ceremonies in Girl Scouting.

GSNWGL also has many resources for ceremonies, games, songs, etc. Call any of the Service Centers or your Membership Manager for more information.

Last, but certainly not least, experienced leaders are our most-valuable resource for anything and everything Girl Scouts! Why not ask for ideas at your next leader meeting?

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