Bridging Ceremony Notes
from Senior Troop 4715
We recently hosted our Service Unit’s annual Bridging Ceremony. We had some ideas of our own, and we were trained by someone from our Council Office who helped us know more about planning ceremonies and planning service unit events. We wanted to make sure that the ceremony was not two hours long, like some we’ve attended, and a lot of people who were there thought we came up with a good plan for the ceremony. We finished in 45 minutes and then had a fun reception.
We thought we’d share the program that we used in case other troops would like to do the same ceremony. We think that the program is self-explanatory, but if you have questions, just Email us through our website. We made some mistakes, but we also did some good planning, so we’d also like to share some things you would want to be prepared for:
(1) We used Email for most of our communication with leaders of the participating troops. We Emailed a copy of the program a few days before the ceremony date, but not everyone saw it in time. We probably should have called to make sure the leaders knew we had sent it.
(2) The Junior troop that was supposed to do our flag ceremony didn’t get the Email and were surprised to learn what we wanted them to do. We had to help them get organized really quickly, but they were great!
(3) The way that we chose troops to lead things at the ceremony was simple. The first troop in each level that responded to our invitation was asked to do something special.
(4) We were a little over-organized about our seating, and we told parents to sit at the back of the church when there was plenty of room for them behind the troops. It was a little embarrassing to ask them to move forward, but they were nice about it and forgave us.
(5) We were afraid that the Brownies who were supposed to lead "Make New Friends" might be shy, so after we led the Law, we eased down into the two sides that were singing the round to make sure there were some fearless singers on each side.
(6) We were able to borrow a wonderful bridge from a nearby Cub Pack. It came in three pieces: a step on either end and a center bridge section that sat on top of the steps. It is really sturdy and even has hand ropes. To facilitate our kind-of-complicated bridging instructions, we marked the ends with signs that said "North" and "South".
(7) Our troop advisors learned the third verse of "Girl Scouts Together" at a Leaders’ Weekend a few months before our ceremony. We’re not sure that it’s an official verse, but we liked it and included it in our program.
(8) One thing that makes bridging ceremonies really long is troops’ trying to do their troop Court of Awards as part of the bridging. We wanted to keep to the point during the ceremony, but offer opportunities for pictures and individual troop Courts of Awards afterwards. We scheduled times for troops to be in the church during the reception if they wanted to do so. A Brownie troop really wanted to put on their new vests after they came across the bridge, and their leaders were able to do it quickly, so everyone was happy.
(9) We wanted to have an especially good party after the ceremony, so we planned a luau theme. Each troop brought food, and we had a hula video going so that girls could learn how to dance it, hula hoops, and a limbo line. We think the girls liked having things to do besides just eating cookies and drinking punch. It was so much fun that everybody stayed until 4:00.
Good luck with your bridging ceremony!
Three Leaves Service Unit
Sunday, May 9, 2004, 2-4 p.m.
St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
Brownie Troop 1009
Brownie Troop 21401
Junior Troop 21405
Junior Troop 21407
Cadette Troop 2879
Senior Troop 4715
Kippy Shea, Service Unit Director
Welcome from Three Leaves Service Unit Director
Service Unit Director
Flag Ceremony and Pledge of Allegiance
A Junior Troop
The Girl Scout Promise led by
A Cadette Troop
On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country,
To help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.
|The Girl Scout Law led by||A Senior Troop|
I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do,
and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and be a sister to every Girl Scout.
|Opening Song led by||A Brownie Troop|
Singonce through all together, then start over and sing twice through as a round
|Make new friends, but keep the old||
Circle’s round it never ends.
|One is silver and the other’s gold.||
That’s how long I want to be your friend.
Recognition of Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for 100+ hours of Community Service
Service Unit Director
Presentation of Ten Year Pins
We included the Troop Number and the girls’ names here. The Ten Year Pins were awarded to the girls by the SUD.
Service Unit Director
|Presentation of Bronze Awards,
Junior Troop _____
Girls’ names here. Bronze Awards were given to the girls by their leaders.
|Presentation of Silver Awards,
Cadette Troop _____
Girls’ names here. Silver Awards were given to the girls by their leaders.
|Presentation of Gold Awards,
Senior Troop _____
Girl’s names here. We had their parents stand with them, and had their moms pin on their Gold Award pins, which our Council had already sent to us.
We ask that bridging Brownie Troops gather on the south side (audience left) of the bridge and bridging Junior Troops gather on the north side (audience right) of the bridge, joined by any other Junior Girl Scouts who are present. As the leaders of each bridging Brownie Troop call the names of each Brownie and present her with her Brownie Wings, the Brownie will cross the bridge and be welcomed with a lei by the Juniors. When all the Brownies in each troop have crossed the bridge, they will be followed by their leaders and will all return to their seats by circling around the back of the room. This will repeat until all bridging Brownie troops have crossed the bridge.
As the Brownies complete their Bridging, we ask that the bridging Cadette Troops and any other Cadette Girl Scouts who are present gather on the south side (audience left) of the bridge. The bridging Junior Troops will complete their bridging as described above, returning to their seats. When the Juniors complete their Bridging, we ask that the bridging Senior Troops and any other Senior Girl Scouts who are present gather on the north side (audience right) of the Bridge to welcome the Cadettes as they cross the bridge.
As the Cadettes complete their Bridging, we ask that all Adult Girl Scouts form a receiving line on the south side (audience left) of the Bridge. The Seniors who are Bridging to Adult will complete their Bridging as described above and be welcomed to the world of Adult Girl Scouts. When the brand new Adult Girl Scouts have completed their Bridging, they will invite everyone to sing one final song and enjoy the luau.
Girl Scouts Together
Girl Scouts together, that is our song
Girl Scouts together, happy are we,
Winding the old trails, rocky and long.
Friendly to neighbors far o'er the sea.
Learning our motto, living our creed,
Faithful to country, loyal to home,
Girl Scouts together in every good deed.
Known as true Girl Scouts wherever we roam.
Girl Scouts together, onward we go,
Joining as sisters, stronger we grow.
Mothers and lawyers, women in space,
We know no boundaries; the future's our place.
Individual Troops’ Courts of Awards
Each troop that has requested a time to award the many other recognitions that their girls have earned should gather at their appointed time in the church. The schedule is as follows
3:00 Troop ____ in the Nave
3:20 Troop ____ in the Nave
3:40 Troop ____ in the Nave
Here is where we listed special people who helped us with the Bridging Ceremony.