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Bridging to a New Grade Level

It’s a special time when a Girl Scout graduates from one program level to another. This transition to the next level in Girl Scouting—called ‘bridging’—is an opportunity to progress as well as experience more adventures with your troop, learn new skills, and seek new challenges! 

Bridging ceremonies usually take place at the beginning or end of the Girl Scout year and can have three parts:

  • 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 participate in friendship circles and thank their guests.

As a volunteer, you can even make it special for your troop by hosting a bridging ceremony where girls cross over a bridge—real or symbolic—to mark each girl’s advancement in Girl Scouts. Sometimes these are combined with a Court of Awards ceremony to start or end the troop year.

Get Ready for Your New Program Level

Look ahead to all the new adventures your girls can have as they bridge and check out the Badge Explorer to learn more about all of the new badges and Journeys your girls can earn. In every program level, girls can earn Journey awards, skill-building badges, and legacy badges that are designed to spark their curiosity, challenge their limits, and build competency as they progress through Girl Scouts.

We recommend purchasing a My Girl Scout Kit to make the transition smooth. Each Kit comes with the Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting, an Insignia Tab, the American Flag Patch, the World Trefoil Pin and the Membership Pin. Select your Official Uniform Item, Journey Book, Troop Numerals, Council Identification Set, and your choice of a free purple or black bag. Visit your local GSNorCal Shop to customize your kit!

Bridging Guides and Resources

Each of the bridging ceremony's parts offers plenty of room for the girls' creativity and individuality. The ceremony should always focus on paying tribute to Girl Scouts as they move forward. Check out these guides to help your troop earn the bridging award and hold a bridging ceremony. 

Our individually packaged and pre-assembled Bridging Kits are an easy way to prepare for your troop's Bridging Ceremony! Each Kit comes with a Bridging Certificate, Membership Star, Disc for the Membership Star, as well as a special pencil and fun patch. Kits for Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts also include Brownie Wings. Plus, all kits include a $5 coupon to the GSNorCal Shop!

National Bridging Week: June 5-12, 2021

All bridging Girl Scouts can take part in GSUSA's National Bridging Ceremony, which usually takes place at the beginning or end of the Girl Scout year. This momentous occasion integrates our Girl Scout traditions, while offering a sneak-peek at what girls will do as they advance to the next Girl Scout level. A pre-recorded Spanish-language version of the bridging ceremony is also available for your use.

Learn More

Additional Tips and Resources

Traditions give Girl Scouts a sense of history—and inspire them to be the best they can be. Remember to pull your Girl Scouts in to the conversation. Planning a bridging ceremony is a great opportunity for a girl-led activity. Here are some additional tips and resources to help make the most of your girls' bridging experience:

  • Planning your first Girl Scout bridging ceremony? From bridging basics to tips from volunteer experts, check out these tips! Learn more about bridging ceremonies and Court of Awards in the Ceremonies and Celebrations section of our blog, The Trailhead.
  • Need help keeping your Daisy to Brownie bridging ceremony girl-led? Brainstorm a few options then have the girls vote! Ask questions like "What can we do that is socially distanced and FUN?" and wait for all the ideas: dance party in a backyard, make bridging theme snacks together over Zoom, build bridges at home with balloons, blankets, and other easy supplies to cross on Zoom, host a troop meeting at a public park with a bridge, the sky is the limit!   
  • Are your Girl Scouts bridging from Juniors to Cadettes? Check out Golden Gate Bridging, GSNorCal's annual event where Junior Girl Scouts from across the country cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to commemorate their transition to Cadettes! 
  • Looking to have your older Girl Scouts take the lead? The older your troop gets, the more hands-off your role as a troop leader should be in their bridging ceremony. You’ll want to let the girls lead more as they progress into higher program levels. For more detailed guides to age-based, progressive girl leadership, check out our  blog posts on letting girls take the lead .
  • Do you have graduating Ambassador Girl Scouts? Even as adults, Girl Scouts make a difference. Visit our Alums page for ways your graduating girls can stay connected to Girl Scouts after high school.
Virtual Backgrounds

Share some Girl Scout spirit in every Zoom Meeting using the Virtual Background feature. To download the Zoom Backgrounds below, simply right-click the desired image, select "Save Image As...", and click "Save". Then open Zoom, select Virtual Background, and add the image. 

For instructions on how to set up backgrounds on Zoom, visit the Zoom Help Center.

2021 Bridging
Snack Ideas

No matter what, GSNorCal is here for you. To help you take advantage of all that Girl Scouts has to offer, we have some new and exciting incentives! Maximize your rewards and renew today