Girl Scout ceremonies distinguish accomplishments, pass on traditions and emphasize the values of the Girl Scout Promise and Law. Different ceremonies are used for different events or transitions and ceremonies. Girl Scouts have various time honored traditions celebrated with uniqueness for troops and individuals that reflect the heritage and Girl Scout mission, promise and law.
This ceremony welcomes new members, girls or adults, into the Girl Scout family for the first time. Girls receive their Girl Scout, Girl Scout Brownie, or Girl Scout Daisy pin at this time (www.girlscouts.org).
Bridging is an activity that is recognized as a transition amid the Leadership Experience for Girl Scouts. This activity is designed to emphasize the continuity in the Girl Scout program. Through Bridging girls will move from one program level to the next level. There are six levels to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and they are (Daisy (K-1st grade), Brownie (2-3rd grade), Junior (4-5th grade), Cadette (6-8th grade), Senior (9-10th grade) and Ambassador (11-12th grade).
Program levels that bridge are:
Bridging ceremonies typically take place at the beginning or end of the Girl Scout year in which transitions a troop into the next program level. Basic parts of a bridging ceremony are mentioned below but that does not limit troops to follow a specific design. Make it your own:
Each of the ceremony's parts offers an abundance of opportunity for the girls' to be creative and glimmer in their individuality. Whether the ceremony includes an actual bridge or a symbolic one, or if it includes props such as candles, flowers, or flags, it should at all times focus on paying tribute to the girls as they move onward in their Girl Scout journey!
The American Flag is a powerful symbol of liberty and equal opportunity for all. The flags of other countries often represent a numerous different entities of that specific country; and a ceremony is showing love, pride and respect for one country or state (i.e. often these are done to open or close a Girl Scout Ceremony, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Flag Day parades).
Court of Award ceremonies are the time to recognize girls who have accomplished something during the Girl Scout year. This includes Journey book awards, Badges, Try-its, Petals, safety awards, religious awards, etc.
This ceremony honors Girl Scout Juniors who have earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award and this can be in conjunction with a Bridging or Court of Award ceremony.
Girl Scout Gold Award Ceremony
This ceremony honors Girl Scout Seniors or Ambassadors who have earned the highest award in Girl Scouting and this can be in conjunction with a Bridging or Court of Award ceremony.
Girl Scouts of the USA published a book that can mentor advisors in planning bridging and/or additional ceremonies: Let’s Celebrate! There are resources available but the main resource is to have your girls assist in planning their ceremony. Work with other troop advisors at the specific age level that the troop is bridging too so the girls can connect and are made aware of what they will be experiencing at the next age level.
Make the ceremony unique to your troop!
During bridging ceremonies, girls are honored for their progression and growth. At each level, Girl Scout resources like Ceremonies in Girl Scouting provide information on bridging activities and ceremonies. Girls can work with volunteers to create bridging ceremonies that mark milestones as they move into the next level. Many councils honor graduating Girl Scouts with a special ceremony for "bridging" to adult Girl Scouts.
Ceremonies are an immense part of the Girl Scout program and experience which continue to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place!