Girl Scouting is the largest girl organization in the world. It was founded by Julliette Gordon Low in Savanah Georgia on March 12th 1912. It currently has 3.2 million members,890,000 adult members the majority of whom are volunteers.
The GSUSA states that -
'Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Through activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy, and outdoor and environmental awareness, Girl Scouting provides girls with opportunities for fun and friendship while fostering the development of leadership skills and self-esteem.'
There are six levels of Girl Scouting for girls - Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior and Ambassador. As they move to each level they 'bridge' to the next one. This is a great opportunity to have a ceremony and celebration to welcome the girls to the next level and celebrate their achievements in the prior level.
There are many examples of ceremonies available online and a wealth of ideas of how to celebrate, including candle ceremonies and flag ceremonies. A Brownie troop bridging to Juniors is a special ceremony because as well as bridging Brownies are said to fly up to Juniors.
Brownie Bridging and Wings Patches
Flying up to Juniors
A Brownie Girl Scout "flies up" to Junior Girl Scouting, and receives her Brownie Wings. She also may earn a bridging badge by completing a series of activities. The details of the activities can be found at girlscouts.org but can be summarized as -
Bridging Step One: Pass It On!
Share your talents and skills by teaching younger Girl Scouts something you learned to do as a Brownie
Bridging Step Two: Look Ahead!
Find out What Girl Scout Juniors Do
Lumi stick game
Example of a Brownie Bridging Ceremony
As girls arrive greet them ask them to continue decorating the sticks for the stick game. Put their initials on the bottom of the sticks.
Begin once all Brownie’s have arrived.
Greeting and Pledge Allegiance. Welcome the girls to their bridging celebration. Explain that we are going to play some fun games, learn about what it is like to be a Junior and bridge.
Cadette – talk about what activities they enjoyed as a Junior and why, Junior talk about her Bronze award.
Split the girls into 2 groups and explain the ball game. Cadettes explain to each group how to play. Once everyone has had a turn bring the girls back together. Demonstrate the Lumi stick game and explain we are going to learn the game.
Play stick game, pattern game and frog game.
Explain that Brownies “fly up” to Juniors, they have a poem that is used in the ceremony:
Brownies you are just about
To become a Junior Scout
In the troop you soon will find
Junior Scouts are true and kind.
So now I give you Brownie Wings
That you may fly to bigger things.
Now it’s time to say good-bye;
Break the ring and out you fly!
Hand out wings for those who would like to wear them.
Sing songs until parents arrive/practice the Girl Scout promise.
Bridging ceremony –
Cadette – You’ve been a Brownie and earned your wings of gold. Now you’re ready for Junior Girl Scouts, new adventures you’ve been told. (Girls stand up)
Cadette – I would like to present the Brownie girl scouts their wings, they are ready to fly up to the next level of girl scouting. As I call your name please come up and cross the bridge.
Girls’ cross the bridge and take their badges from their leader and make the Girl Scout sign them join the Cadettes in a horseshoe shape.
Brownies face the Cadettes in a horseshoes shape. Make the Girl Scout sign and recite the Girl Scout Promise.
Handout membership pins and sing the make new friends song.
Junior Girl Scouts you’ll be for a few short years, Make the most of each day that goes by,
Be cheerful and helpful and do a good turn, and greet each Girl Scout with a hi!
Girls sit on the blanket to have snacks and drinks.
A good example of a keepsake for the ceremony is a bracelet. Made with beads of rainbow colors this would make a souvenir of the event.
Junior Girl Scout Uniform Guide - GSUSA
Other possible resources include cup cakes with butterflies or rainbows on them, fairy wings for the girls to wear, rainbow skittles, certificates and butterfly hair accessories.
The bridge in the ceremony can be either real or symbolic. One ides is to turn a card table upside down and decorate it in crepe paper to symbolize the handrail on the bridge.
Songs Suitable for a Bridging Ceremony
Brownie Smile Song
Girl Scouts Together
Make New Friends
G is for Generosity
I am one Voice
In conclusion a bridging ceremony is important to both look forward to the adventures ahead and back to what has been achieved in the last year. It can be celebrated in a variety of ways including the example above.