Girl Scout Traditions: Bridging

Girl Scout Traditions: Bridging

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When a girl moves, or “bridges,” from one Girl Scout grade level to another, it’s called bridging. And since it’s such an important transition, we think it deserves a ceremony!

It’s a defining moment when a girl becomes aware of her achievements and is ready for new adventures and responsibilities. Celebrating this change should be fun, personalized, and memorable for everyone involved. And most of all, it should be designed by the girls in true partnership with adults.

When do girls bridge?

Girls bridge to the next level of Girl Scouts either at the end of the troop year or the beginning of the next. Girls will automatically enter the next level of Girl Scouting – even if there was no bridging or ceremony.

What do they have to do?

It depends on what the girls want!

There can be a ceremony or a fun celebration to mark the occasion. There’s also a bridging award that girls can earn at each grade level. The award challenges the girls to share what they’ve learned with younger Girl Scouts and to also meet with girls in the level they’re bridging to!

Check out the bridging award requirements for each grade level!

What should the ceremony look like?

Bridging ceremonies can look like, well, basically whatever the girls want it to look like! It can be a formal evening or a casual ceremony. It might be held by individual troops, or your service unit might choose to plan a service unit-wide bridging at an event – or even at camp! Invite family and friends and let the girls bask in their achievement.

Here’s how a typical bridging ceremony might look:

Opening: Guests are welcomed and the tone is set.
Main section: The ceremony is explained and the girls celebrate moving from one level to the next.
Closing: Girls can take part in friendship circles and thank their guests.

Each of the ceremony’s parts offers plenty of room for the girls’ creativity and individuality. The ceremony should always focus on paying tribute to the Girl Scouts as they move forward.

There can be invitations, programs, decorations, flowers, refreshments, gifts, photos – it’s up to them! Search Pinterest or Google bridging ceremony ideas and scripts. Personalize it with songs, poems, stories, or activities that the girls love!

Did you know? Your local council shop has bridges that you can check out for your ceremony! A deposit is required, but if you return the item in good condition, you’ll get the deposit back. Please call 800-474-1912 or email info@girlscoutcsa.org to confirm availability.

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