Tag Archives: bridging

Bridging by running up the tower

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Submitted by Karen G.
Parker

After a successful cookie season, Troop 66861 decided to celebrate with a bridging trip to Jellystone. By running-up the ranger tower, the Girl Scouts made an ascension into Cadette. The girls are making memories by enjoying a few days by the pool, racing down waterslides, and cooking s’mores.

 

Looking back at the history of Girl Scout bridging

Hello from the Girl Scouts of Colorado History Center in Loveland! As you probably already know, we are a Girl Scout history museum and archival center run by volunteers (see previous GSCO Blog ).

The months of May and June in Girl Scouts tend to focus on bridging and preparing for camp. Our next blog will address Girl Scout camping over the years.

Brownie level Girl Scouts began in England in 1914 and the name is based on Julia H. Ewing’s book, The Brownies. In English folklore Brownies were gentle, clever, helping fairies who came into people’s homes and discretely did good turns. The toadstool was the Brownie Scouts’ totem and the girls danced, had ceremonies and powwows around it.  The leader was called Brown Owl, and led the girls in games, dues collection (one penny) and activities toward earning their Golden Bar or Golden Hand. Brownie program spread to the United States in 1916 and were called Packs, broken down into groups of six called “sixes”. They were unofficial until about 1918 when they were recognized as “Junior Scouts” or “Brownies” if between the ages of 6 and 10. From 1923 to 2009, Girl Scouts of the USA published The Girl Scout Leader magazine. While it focused on all things Girl Scouts; organization, conventions, training and guidance for troop leaders, it wasn’t until 1930 that a column was added concerning Brownies called “Around the Toadstool.”

To view vintage Leader Magazine archives visit http://gsleader.online/ hosted by the Girl Scout History Project.

A Leader Magazine article in July ’31 addressed the importance of Brownies “flying up” at age 10 or before the summer that they may turn 10 years old. A ceremony in the Brown Book for Brown Owls, a 1926 early Brownie program guide, is referenced.

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So why are there wings for bridging from Brownies and why was it called flying up? As said above, Brownie leaders used to be called Brown Owls. When Brownie Girl Scouts moved up to a Girl Scout troop, their Brown Owl would give them one of her feathers so they could “fly” up. Brownie Wings were first used as a symbol of bridging in 1927 and they are still a sign of bridging to this day.

 

Today, bridging (crossing over the bridge to the next level of Girl Scouting) occurs at all levels.  Grade 1 Daisies bridge to Brownies, Grade 3 Brownies bridge to Juniors, Grade 5 Juniors bridge to Cadettes, Grade 8 Cadettes bridge to Seniors, Grade 10 Seniors bridge to Ambassadors, Grade 12 Ambassadors bridge to adults. It is a traditional opportunity for the girls to meet girls at the next level, try some activities at that new level and honor their achievements from the past year. The culminating ceremony is a special way for girls and their families to share these accomplishments. The bridge they “crossover “can be as simple as a piece of cloth to as extreme as crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. And, in 2020 many girls bridged virtually!

Bridging awards and patches for having completed requirements encouraging girls to learn about the next level of Scouts have changed a lot since 1935! Below are some that have been retired.

Today we have

 

Girl Scout traditions are treasured activities and ceremonies passed down through generations and years (109!) of Scouting. Bridging/Flying up is one of those events that shares the old and the new, through songs, a flag ceremony, a friendship circle, lighting candles, reciting the Promise and Law and the Girl Scout salute and handshake.

Perhaps you might want to wear vintage uniforms and/or have a “fashion show” at your next Bridging? The CSGO History Center has a variety of vintage uniforms to lend out.

 

You may also have Girl Scout items to donate to our collection or would like as a troop or individual to learn more about the history of Girl Scouts? Contact the GSCO History Center at: gscohistory@gmail.com

Girl Scouts Celebrate Bridging to Cadettes

Submitted by Penny Roberts

Northern & Northeastern CO

Estes Park

On a perfect fall afternoon at Stanley Park with a backdrop of clouds, sun, and a herd of elk, family and friends gathered to help Troop 70264 celebrate the bridging of four Girl Scout Juniors to the next program level of Cadettes.  Cadettes are in grades sixth through eighth and are very capably led by leaders Christine Guy and Amanda Hoskins.

This ceremony celebrated two whole years of activities, fun, and community service for a very committed group of girls who have their futures clearly in mind.  The current world situation has done nothing to quench their accomplishments or douse their enthusiasm for Girl Scouts with a strong support of all their families.  Yes, they sold cookies in the spring, getting that accomplishment just before schools closed and their summer was changed from in-person trips and activities to online and special group projects.  Yes, they are selling Fall Products right now.

Help me recognize each girl individually for her accomplishments.

Angelina.:  18 badges, one Journey, and her Bronze Award.  Angelina reports that First-Aid was her favorite badge and their visit to the Denver Zoo was her favorite activity.

Haven:  16 badges, one Journey, and her Bronze Award.  Haven says that Playing the Past was her favorite badge because it let them visit the History Center in Loveland, dress up in period uniforms, and learn to relate to Girl Scouts from past years.  Her favorite activity was the glassblowing workshop with local artists.

Sarah:  22 badges, two Journeys, and her Bronze Award.  Sarah loves the out-of-doors and naturally, the Camping badge was her favorite.  She loves Meadow Mountain Ranch and can have a good time “even if it’s snowing,” according to Sarah.  Add sledding and sand surfing at the Great Sand Dunes and you can see where her optimistic outlook comes from.  She also reports that horseback riding was another favorite activity.

Paige:  13 badges, one Journey, and her Bronze Award. She was not present at the ceremony to tell us about her favorite badges and activities, but she’s an active Cadette now by virtue of meeting requirements for advancement through program levels.

Other girls expressed their love for Girl Scouts with a long list of accomplishments even through the summer program restriction due to COVID.  “Breathe” is a favorite Journey program, focusing on air pollution, environmental issues, and the relationship between trees and the air we breathe.  “Animal Helpers” including therapy dogs, horses, dolphins and even rats spark inspiration in girls to learn more about how training and national programs match people with their creature friends.

A field trip to the Noosa Yogurt Factory allowed the girls to see the farm where the special organically-fed cows give their milk.  They watched the very “happy cows” ride the “Cowasell,” the automated system that harvests the milk daily without ever being touched.

The Community Garden also allowed this troop to be involved this summer in planning, planting, cultivating, and harvesting Plot #66.  Perennials included a large amount of mint, sage, chives, strawberries, and rhubarb.  Deciding to specialize in plants to attract pollinators, the girl added blanket flowers, marigolds, sunflowers, a blueberry bush, and several other perennials.  Even a little bee house was built.

The girls are very quick to relate their future plans to travel when the situation in the world allows it. The financial profits from the past two years of cookie and product sales are safely stored away in the bank to help support their travel plans. As Girl Scout Cadettes, the girls will make all the decisions and plans, including research of places to go, schedule for the trip and, of course, all financial and budgetary activities. They first would like to travel through Colorado by train, and ultimately set their sights on an international trip to Scotland.

Congratulations to all the girls who bridged as well as to those who will continue with the troop.  THANKS to all the leaders and family support systems who make this group so special.  To join Girl Scouts on any level or to become a new adult volunteer, please contact Recruitment Specialist for Girl Scouts of Colorado, Cherie Schonfeld, at cheri.schonfeld@gscolorado.org.  Or contact me, Penny Roberts, Service Unit Manager, at probertscolo@gmail.com or by phone at (970) 586-1775.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

A Bridging to Remember

 

Submitted by Susan Cullison

Metro Denver

Commerce City

This has been a tough year for Girl Scouts as COVID-19 really stopped all in-person events in March. Our girls not only had to contend with their world suddenly drastically changing, but remote school learning and all of the plans they had for Girl Scouts suddenly stopping and/or being cancelled left and right- not to mention the struggle of not being able to see friends in-person and share hugs. Our troop met virtually in the spring and took a break over the summer, but after school started back up, we decided to proceed with our bridging ceremony, as we felt the girls really needed to see each other. We wanted to honor all they had accomplished from the previous year. Ms Nikki from our leadership team had a great idea to purchase “plank” pieces online that could be painted and assembled together to form a flat bridge so that every girl could paint their very own piece of the bridge and the troop could have it as a keepsake. Our troop also has a member that is in a wheelchair full time, so this way she could participate by going over the bridge as well! The troop set up a painting time with each girl prior to the bridging ceremony in an open garage and had small groups of girls come in at staggered times to ensure safety. When the bridge was put together at the ceremony each girl had so much fun seeing how her individual work fit into the framework of the group, and what a beautiful symbol of diversity it was! It was such a neat personalization to add to the ceremony and something we expect the troop to enjoy for years.

We love when the girls are able to express themselves individually and see how their contribution makes for a beautiful outcome for everyone!

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Daisies Bridge to Brownies

 

Submitted by Karen Grealy

Metro Denver

Parker

Although our Daisy Troop 67744 has been meeting remotely since cookies season, they still needed to celebrate bridging to Brownies! The troop leaders visited all of the bridging Girl Scouts at their homes with a portable bridge. Even though the troop would have preferred a party, these girls were treated to a gift basket and a small ceremony. They are excited to see each other again soon!

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Troop 61353 Surprise Senior Bridging Ceremony

Submitted by Sarah Benjamin

Metro Denver

Littleton

On June 30, 2020, the leaders of Troop 61353 in Littleton surprised their Cadettes bridging to Girl Scout Seniors with a drive-by bridging ceremony.  Each girl was greeted with a bin full of goodies, flowers, special hand-made keychain, bridging patches and pins, and badges earned at the end of the year and beginning of summer.  A mini-ceremony was performed with stating the Girl Scout Promise and Law, a special poem, and certificate. We ended each ceremony with an elbow bump, replacing the handshake to keep everyone safe.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Truly social distancing bridging

Submitted by Lisa Herrmann

Northern & Northeastern CO

Longmont

We were trying to think of fun ways to bridge in a social distancing world. All of our bridging girls have their driver’s licenses now, so we decided it might be fun to drive instead of walk or do something virtual. We decorated our cars and made a mini caravan over three local bridges. It was so fun! The pic looks like we all got new cars! Then, we donned our masks and met up for ice cream.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Watch now: 2020 Bridging Video

A big thank you to everyone who submitted photos of your “at home bridging” this spring! Bridging is an important transition in a Girl Scout’s life. It’s a defining moment when a Girl Scout becomes aware of her achievements and is ready for new adventures and responsibilities. We are thrilled to celebrate the 9,000 Girl Scouts across Colorado who are bridging from one Girl Scout level to the next this season.

Watch the 2020 bridging slideshow video now.

While we know bridging hasn’t looked the same this year as it has in year’s past, we hope this slideshow video gives Girl Scouts across Colorado an opportunity to reflect on their Girl Scout experience and look toward the next Girl Scout level. Whether the next Girl Scout level brings highest awards, community service, or an overnight experience, we know Girl Scouts will continue to be filled with new adventures, experiences, and opportunities.

Congratulations to all the bridging Girl Scouts this year! We hope Girl Scouts continues to build you as a girl of courage, confidence, and character who makes the world a better place.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.

Troop 61053’s Virtual Bridging

Submitted by Helmi Sandifer

Metro Denver

Littleton

Bridging in 2020 was the last year all nine girls in Troop 61053 would be bridging together. Seven of the nine girls are moving on to their final two years of Girl Scouts, going from Seniors to Ambassadors. The other two are bridging from Cadettes to Seniors. With everyone separated at this time, they still wanted to connect with each other and create something interesting. After seeing different inspiring videos online, two girls arranged the project with the direction of the catches, throws, and finding cool different bridges. Then, everyone filmed their video with help from family and sent it in. After collecting all the videos, they were edited together and information about each one was added by two Girl Scouts. Seeing the final product, was so magical because it showed everyone that though we can’t be together, we can still connect. You can watch it here.

The majority of Troop 61053 has been together since kindergarten, but they have grown and changed every year. As the years go on, they have continued to be creative and curious. Through Girl Scouts, they have learned women’s history, science, society, but most of all entrepreneurship, workmanship, compassion, and friendship. Every year they create cards for the military , and go caroling at a local nursing home around Christmas. They are always ready for the next adventure and what even happens in the future.

We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.