Golden Gate Bridging
To our GSNorCal community and Golden Gate Bridging event enthusiasts:
As many of you are aware, over the past two years the Girl Scouts of Northern California (GSNorCal) made the necessary decision to pause our Golden Gate Bridging event in response to public health requirements for COVID safety. During this time, we have taken the opportunity to review GSNorCal’s events and programs for how they support our mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character, especially in light of our reduced staff and resources as a council. We also carefully considered how council-led events and programs might evolve to create greater and more equitable access for girls and troops across our diverse region, which serves 19 counties from Gilroy to the Oregon border.
GSNorCal has decided the time has come to reimagine Northern California bridging celebrations. As of today, we are officially announcing Golden Gate Bridging will no longer be offered as a staff-led, GSNorCal council-run event. What does this mean? While individuals and troops may choose to use the Golden Gate Bridge as their bridging destination and special girl celebration experience, GSNorCal will cease to formally host and produce the Golden Gate Bridging event in 2022 and beyond.
What began as a humble, grassroots ceremony has grown over the years into a full-scale festival production led by our staff and volunteers. At peak levels, GSNorCal has hosted upwards of 7,000 participants (including a large percentage from other parts of California, many from across the United States, and even some international troops) for a day-long schedule of activities, games and entertainment. While this has become a marquee experience for a subset of passionate participants we have been proud to host, we found there are thousands more girls within our own council that have been historically excluded from participation due to financial limitations or other barriers to entry. This divide has only increased over time and was exacerbated by the pandemic. In addition, the growing footprint of this event has required significant resources, budget, and infrastructure to produce each year.
We understand this news is a great disappointment to many of us who, over the last several decades, have looked to Golden Gate Bridging as a storied tradition and fun rite of passage to signify the transition of Juniors on their journey to becoming Cadettes. It is our hope that our decision to stop the full-scale event is an invitation to our community to join us in reimagining a more inclusive, sustainable Bridging program to celebrate this special event in a Girl Scout’s journey.
In true Girl Scout spirit, we know great leadership requires great responsibility. This clarifying moment is an example of how we are challenged to step outside what is comfortable, challenge ourselves to question the status quo, lead by example, and showcase our values in action. In keeping with our commitment to develop programs that are youth- and volunteer-centric, we welcome your participation as we embark on our GSNorCal’s Junior-to-Cadette Bridging team launch. If you are an older Girl Scout (grades 6-12) or volunteer that would like to be involved in shaping the future of Golden Gate Bridging, please let us know here.
We hope that girls, volunteers, and council staff can come together to preserve the spirit of Golden Gate Bridging, and look forward to the new traditions around bridging and Girl Scout sisterhood that are sure to blossom from our renewed collaboration. If you have questions, we’d be happy to answer them—please contact us an email@example.com. Thank you as always for your time, dedication, and Girl Scout spirit.